Anti-Gay Wingnut Peter LaBarbera Halted at Canadian Border Over Possible Hate Speech Violations

LaBarbera outside the Illinois marriage equality bill ceremony last year.

Anti-gay wingnut Peter LaBarbera was detained at the Canadian border on Thursday as immigrations officials examined whether he might be in violation of the country's laws against hate speech, LaBarbera reported on Thursday.

Wrote LaBarbera on his site after tweeting about the incident:

Upon deplaning, as I passed through Customs, I was delayed for further questioning by an official with the Canada Border Services Agency. Obviously, I had been flagged as a result of a campaign by the leftist group "Intolerance Free Weyburn," which is specifically lobbying the Canadian government to deny my entry into Canada as the alleged purveyor of "hate'" [See this AFTAH report on their lobby effort to deny me entry into Canada, and this previous report on the group's attempt to have me removed as a speaker at the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association (SPLA) conference April 11-12.]

After questioning me about the purpose of my scheduled presentation at the SPLA event; rifling through my luggage, which contained numerous books and literature related to homosexuality (pro and con); examining the contents of my laptop and my cell phone; playing a DVD of my speech Wednesday at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio; and critically viewing AFTAH’s website–a preliminary decision was made to deny my entrance into Canada on the basis that my speech at the SPLA would violate Canada’s “Hate Propaganda” law (essentially the potential for “public incitement of hatred” against a group of people based on their “sexual orientation”). The Orwellian experience at Customs dragged on for more than three hours as a formal document was issued outlining my denial of entry under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (citing the Hate Propaganda code). Finally, after 1:00 A.M., I was released pending my appeal of the decision today (Friday). My passport was seized until I arrive back at Customs today at noon for my appeal before a “Minister’s Delegate Review.”

No word yet on that appeal.


  1. bkmn says

    I hope someone from our side is able to go to his appeal today and explain why his speech is hate speech.

  2. simon says

    The gay mafia did it again. US immigration should cancel his passport and deny his re-entry.

  3. northalabama says

    does this mean there’s precedent to deny justin bieber entry back into the usa next time he leaves? yes! go canada! 😉

  4. crispy says

    “examining the contents of my laptop and my cell phone”

    So they viewed a bunch of gay porn?

  5. says

    Canada’s Hate Speech laws have been in place for more than 20 years. In the last 20 years we’ve seen massssssive leaps in social progress, and not just in legislature – in *culture*.

    Canada has a more fre press than the USA. Canada has less lax censorship in art and media – our film ratings board doesn’t censor art the way the US’ does. You can swear on primetime TV without being “bleeped” or fined for it.

    And – Canada has brilliantly distinguished what hate speech is. If what you are saying puts your targeted of your speech at risk – it what you say about them directs hatred at them which will compromise their safety, their freedom to live without fear of harm, then your “right to say it” is less important than their right to live safely and freely.

    Who is “muzzled” by our speech laws? Bigots.

    Unpopular speech is fine. Controversial speech is fine.

    What is not fine is speech that exists solely to drum up and target hatred toward a specific and historically-oppressed group.

    Anyone capable of understanding nuance understands this.

    hate speech laws. LGB & T peoples serving openly in the military since 1992. our first legal gay marriage in 2001, nationwide in 2005. bill-33 (toby’s act) being passed. leaps and bounds have been made for our communities – and a big reason is that we don’t have hatred masquerading as “opinion”, and (most importantly) we don’t have a FOX NEWS polluting the minds of the weak and the wounded with false stories that exist solely to promote fear and prejudice.

  6. says

    @Crispy LOL, that’s right. They don’t call him “Porno Pete” for nothing! Hopefully someone brings up to them his org is listed as a certified hate group here in the US.

  7. Perry says

    Sorry, the true meaning of freedom of speech includes speech we find repugnant and reprehensible. “Hate Speech” laws are should be covered. What shouldn’t be covered in speech that advocates violence. When he starts to advocate violence then arrest.

  8. says

    Poor, Pete. On the bright side, maybe he’ll make it onto our favorite Canadian show, Border Security (always full of border guard hunks), so we can discover what kind of homosexuality (pro and con) “literature” he stuffed in his valise.

    I’m sure any porn on his laptop was for “research” purposes only! Pete needs to keep reaffirming how truly disgusted he is by homosexual acts.

  9. Perry says

    I would be curious to know how the same people advocating banning “hate speech” themselves show hate in their description of those they see as vile. I guess their hate speech is acceptable because they are “right”. Oh well. I still think some people need to eat a burger once in awhile and stop looking so sickly and frail.

  10. says

    Actually, cowardly-closeted troll-Perry – the problem is your subpar reading comprehension skills.

    Unpopular, controversial, “mean”, speech is fine. The laws are specific, discerning, and rather explicit in their definition.

    This is, as I said, obvious to everyone who understands nuance, has solid reading comprehension skills, and also isn’t a cowardly troll with no spine who exists solely to get the attention of openly-gay people on website comment’s sections because nobody in their actual lives cares to give the time of day.

    *elegant curtsy*

    I’ll now leave you to continue to post all day, trying to get the attention of me and tyler and any other commenters who arent’ certifiably insane.

  11. matthew says

    He stepped across a border and lost his American right to free speech. Now he knows how it feels when I step across a border and lose my freedom to marry.

  12. Smuggy says

    If this happened to someone entering America they would have been jailed until a hearing – if there even was one. The dude is lucky we Canadians are so dumb as to let him go.

  13. Richard Harney says

    When everyone is telling you that what you say is “hate speech” then maybe you should re-evaluate your life.

  14. Randy says


    I’m so glad this happened to him.
    It only starts to pay back my experiences at the US border.

  15. jjose712 says

    I really really don’t understand a man who is so obsessed with homsexuality.
    I can understand casual homophobes because there’s a lot of factors (social, cultural and specially religious) that cause that homophobia.
    But researching about a them, spend hours, days, years of your life on something that you say you hate, it’s very very weird

  16. hugo says

    I wish they would have locked him up and thrown away the key!! Missed opportunity, Oh Canada!!

  17. JackFknTwist says

    How wonderful for Canada to assert its sovereignty in not allowing in to their country this hateful oaf.
    Thank you Canada.

  18. SoLeftImRight says

    This was delicious reading. All I can think of is, in a Cartman voice, ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  19. Perry says

    Hate speech is merely saying hateful things. It is not the same as discrimination, harassment, threats or violence – all of which are qualitatively worse and are rightly criminalized.

    One of the main problems with hate speech laws is defining what constitutes hate. Unlike incitement to violence, it is highly subjective. The line between hate speech and legitimate unpalatable viewpoints is hard to draw with certainty, clarity and consistency.

    Free speech is one of the hallmarks of a democratic society. It should only be restricted in extreme, compelling circumstances. Criminalizing views that are objectionable and offensive is the slippery slope to censorship and to the closing down of open debate. It is also counter-productive. It risks making martyrs of people with bigoted opinions and deflects from the real solution to hate speech: education and rational debate. Hate speech should be protested and challenged, not criminalized.

  20. says

    Obviously Perry has problems with reading.

    I can’t wait to see Pete on Border Security! They send all kinds of people back. It’s amazing how many people attempt to cross the border without thinking about things very seriously.

  21. says

    Exactly, KevinVT the hate speech legislation is available for any and all to read. Unfortunately, if you’re a republican closeted-homosexual trolling coward reading something that proves you chosen stances wrong is likely too difficult to bear.

    The distinction has been made, and only a feeble-minded GOP-suckup hack wouldn’t be able to see it. Quel surprise.

  22. Perry says

    I can read and I am saying Canada (and European counties with the same laws) are wrong.

    Good thing I am neither a Republican (I am a Libertarian), I am not closeted (came out early on in college), not a coward (when you serve in the military you can call me a coward), and not feeble minded (not too many of those kind of people get into an Ivy League school).

    I said we should start collecting money so certain people can have something to eat and not look so sickly. I know certain anorexic looking people are desperate for attention and create a blog to attack others with hateful comments. That’s pretty sad.

    And FYI, learn the difference between bare and bear. It looks like the lack of food is affecting your already small brain that is consumed with a desperate attempt at 15 minutes of fame.

  23. says

    I call your bluff on all you say. Don’t believe a single word of it. Lying on the internet is the last refuge for cowards.

    Canada’s hate-speech legislations are specific and discerning. You clearly have not read them. That’s ok. Like many cowards you cling to your ignorance. It’s all you have left. #notmyproblem

  24. NY2.0 says

    Libertarians are just republicans that are ashamed of identifying themselves as such. They’re proud republicans in the privacy of the voting booth.

    Libertarians have problems with laws against hate crimes and ofcourse Canadian and European laws are always wrong for democracy. When it comes to civil rights laws libertarians are usually muted.

  25. says

    “One of the main problems with hate speech laws is defining what constitutes hate. Unlike incitement to violence, it is highly subjective. The line between hate speech and legitimate unpalatable viewpoints is hard to draw with certainty, clarity and consistency.”

    Canada figured it out. Like we figured out healthcare, LGBT equality, and that time a while back when we were a safe-haven for escaped Slaves. *cough cough*

    “Perry” – you troll, even under this chosen name, we all know who you are. A shell of a man, who lies because he has nothing of worth to show for himself.

    A shame – had you grown up in a country with hate-speech laws maybe you wouldn’t be such a self-hating wimp of a man.

  26. Mary says

    OK, two questions here. One, did some unlucky male Customs official have to frisk Pete? And two, did Pete enjoy it? If the answer to the first question is “yes”, I have a very strong feeling that “yes” is also the answer to the second.

    If Pete were really worried about the decline of the American family and the well-being of children, he’d go after the “silent majority” of straight people for their own lack of morals – even if the continued to be anti-gay. But his fixation with gay issues to the exclusion of other family issues shows that his real interest is in homosexuality itself. He spends too much time talking about the mechanics of gay sex and viewing pictures of it. When I was anti-gay I discussed gays and society, the historical ramifications of accepting homosexuality as normal, etc… I didn’t constantly view pictures of women with their legs wrapped around each other and then claim to find it disgusting.

    Is there still time for Pete to acknowledge his homosexuality (or bisexuality,) make an honest man out of himself, and evolve into a pro-equality conservative? Let’s hope so.

  27. Bill says

    I think Pete’s straight. Gays can’t be responsible for all the bad examples out there, so let straight guys claim this one.

    Or, gays and straights can get together and pass Pete off as asexual, and the asexuals can then suggest some other group to tar with Pete’s presence.

  28. anon says

    Canada and large chunks of Europe have what can be described as “elitist” democracy. Where in the US money is the primary source of political power, in these other places you get a sort of punditocracy of bureaucrats, residual aristocracy, the press, labor unions, religious leaders, universities and high ranking politicians that decide just about everything. Everyone else is just a peasant without a worthwhile opinion. Canada tries real hard to do the same thing, but they just don’t have the organizational energy to do it like, say, France. You really don’t get these things right until you can ban doing laundry and car washing on Sunday like in Germany. Or make sure everyone pays their parking tickets like the Swiss.

    Basically PP ran in the wall of the Canadian establishment, and they don’t want any outside competition. And, he can’t bribe his way in like he can with money in the US. All this stuff about hate speech is just window dressing over raw political power.

  29. david from edmonton says

    we denied entry to the Phelps and now this. this why Canada is the best place in the world to live. remember when you cross the border OUR laws prevail. suck it haters

  30. Bill says

    @david from edmonton : and for those in the U.S. crying about this nut being sent packing by saying that Canada doesn’t have free speech, they should read up on MacLean and MacLean, two rather raunchy Canadian comedians/musicians. Some Canadian friends once gave me an example (via a tape or CD):

    “What’s the difference between Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Trudeau? Margaret only screwed half the country.”

    And that was while Pierre was the prime minister! Given that, it doesn’t sound like Canada has a lot of censorship.

  31. Joe in Toronto says

    Just the facts, folks :-)
    For greater clarity, please refer to the following:

    and the following is excerpted from The Criminal Code of Canada:

    Public incitement of hatred

    319. (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of
    (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
    (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

    Wilful promotion of hatred

    (2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of
    (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
    (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.


    (3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2)
    (a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;
    (b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
    (c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or
    (d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.


    (4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 318 or subsection (1) or (2) of this section, anything by means of or in relation to which the offence was committed, on such conviction, may, in addition to any other punishment imposed, be ordered by the presiding provincial court judge or justice to be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the province in which that person is convicted, for disposal as the Attorney General may direct.

  32. Sane Soul says

    Canadians from coast to coast to coast owe a debt of thanks to the Canadian Border Security agents who kept this man out of our (lovely) nation. The purpose of his trip was to sow discontent and cause trouble; stay home, Pete, and restrict your efforts to ruining the lives of Americans. You have no business here.