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Norwegian Tourism Company Refutes Religious Discrimination Against Canadian Christian - VIDEO

Amaruk

A Christian graduate from Trinity Western University (TWU) in British Columbia, Canada, claims to have been discriminated against and "attacked" because of her religion after applying for a job with a Norwegian wilderness tourism company, reports CBC News.

All students at TWU - a private Christian liberal arts university - must agree to a covenant prohibiting sexual intimacy outside heterosexual marriage.

In her complaint to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, Bethany Paquette outlined a series of emails from Amaruk executives.

Amaruk Wilderness Corp. has rejected the claims. 

Bethany Paquette

A rejection email from Amaruk hiring manager Olaf Amundsen read in part:

"Unlike Trinity Western University, we embrace diversity, and the right of people to sleep with or marry whoever they want.

"The Norse background of most of the guys at the management level means that we are not a Christian organization, and most of us actually  see Christianity as having destroyed our culture, tradition and way of life."

In a reply email, Paquette wrote "your disagreement with Trinity Western University, simply because they do not support sex outside of marriage, can in fact be noted as discrimination of approximately 76 per cent of the world population!!! Wow, that's a lot of diverse people that you don't embrace."

She signed the email God Bless “probably partially because I knew it would irritate them.”

Amundsen then shot back that “propaganda is lost on me” because he is “a Viking with a PhD in Norse culture. So propaganda is lost on me”:

"In asking students to refrain from same-sex relationships, Trinity Western University, and any person associated with it, has engaged in discrimination...'God bless' is very offensive to me and yet another sign of your attempts to impose your religious views on me.

“There are practical concerns about a Christian university that rejects the concept of evolution but still grants ‘biology’ degrees.

"I do not want to be blessed by some guy who was conceived by a whore, outside of marriage, and whom has been the very reason for the most horrendous abuse and human right violations in the  history of the human race. If I was to meet the guy I’d actually fuck him”

Amaruk employee Christopher Fragassi-Bjørnsen then joined the discussion, writing that while "Trinity Western University believes that two men loving each other is wrong… we believe a man ending up with another man is probably the best thing that could happen to him. But we do not force these views onto other people, and we are completely fine if a guy decided to go the emasculation route by marrying a B.C. woman.”

TWU spokesperson Guy Saffold said "Canadians shouldn't be treated this way by a foreign company. Mocking of their religion — there is a personal shaming element to it that was most unfortunate."

Micheal Vonn of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association said employers are not supposed to express opinions about an applicant's religious background:

"You are allowed to think anything you like. But you have obligations as an employer to act in a non-discriminatory manner.

"What you have is written documentation that more or less is tantamount to a sign on the door that says no one of religious affiliation need apply for employment here. We don't usually see discrimination cases that are quite this stark."

However, in a statement issued last week, Amaruk said:

"We regret that Bethany Paquette was [em]inently unqualified for an assistant guide internship position with our company.

"We strive to make applicants aware of the minimum requirements for each position.

"Unfortunately, Bethany Paquette applied for a position when she knew, or ought to know, that she was unqualified for the position, did not meet the minimum requirements of the position, and did not hold the necessary certifications for the position."

Read the full email exchange here and watch a report on the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Trial Underway for Canadian Killer Who Mailed Body Parts to Government Offices: VIDEO

Magnotta

A criminal trial of Luka Magnotta is underway in Montreal.

Magnotta, as you may recall, is a Canadian porn actor who in 2012 was the subject of an international manhunt after he was charged with murdering a man and sending his body parts to political parties in the mail.

Global News reports:

Magnotta has admitted to killing 33-year-old Jun Lin in May 2012, of cutting up his victim’s body, videotaping the act and posting it online. He’s admitted to then mailing some body parts, discarding others in garbage bags and stuffing Lin’s torso in a suitcase, leaving the items curb-side in Montreal before taking off for France, then Germany — where he was apprehended June 4 (2012).

But he has pleaded not guilty to the five charges he is facing as a result of those actions; his lawyer Luc Leclair is preparing to argue Magnotta was so psychologically ill he couldn’t grasp the severity of what he was doing.

Leclair cross-examined Lin's former lover Feng Lin on Wednesday, attempting to paint a less than innocent picture of the victim. Also questioned was the apartment manager who rented a space to Magnotta that would later become the crime scene.

You can read many more details here, and there is a video report on the latest proceedings, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Canadian Teacher Suspended After Putting 'I'm Gay' Sticker on Student's Back: VIDEO

Langley

It's one of the oldest student pranks in the book: stick a sign on another kid's back that says "kick me" or some other phrase meant to humiliate.

AldergroveBut in a 2013 incident at Aldergrove Community Secondary School in Langley, British Columbia, the prank was played by a teacher. Daniel Mark Ogloff, a metal and machine shop teacher, placed a piece of masking tape on a student's back with the words "I'm gay" written on it, clearly intending to mock the student, The Province reports:

“Ogloff placed a piece of masking tape on the back of the jacket of a male Grade 11 student” with the words ‘I’m gay’ written on it, according to the report.

“Ogloff then gestured ‘shhh’ to the students after putting the tape on and pointed at another student and mouthed words to the effect, ‘It was him.’ ”

Students were laughing and taking photos.

“Ogloff considered this to be horseplay,” said the report.

Ogloff was suspended for 10 weeks for that incident and was ordered to participate in a “restorative action” with the student. He was also ordered to participate in mandatory mentorship with another teacher and to complete courses required by the district.

“Ogloff disputes the appropriateness of this discipline,” according to the report.

In the other incident, Ogloff in December 2012 “spoke inappropriately and disrespectfully” to a Grade 12 student who approached him in class to ask why she was the only student failing.

“Ogloff responded by saying words to the effect of ‘she wants to know why you’re passing and she’s not,’ in a loud voice,” adding, “‘you are never here and you don’t do anything in this class.’”

The incident is coming to light now because The B.C. Commissioner of Teacher Regulation has just slapped him with a two week suspension of his teaching certificate. The school district suspended him for 10 weeks last November.

Should this bully even be teaching kids?

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Films, Star Power, and Oscar Buzz: a Report from the Toronto International Film Festival

  Theoryof-premiere
Eddie Redmayne got a huge thumbs up in Toronto. Oscar-bound?

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Hello all. Just back from Canada from the Toronto International Film Festival, aka the best film festival in the world, which wrapped up on Sunday. My fellow Oscar bloggers like to shill for Telluride these days but I’m convinced it’s simply Stockholm Syndrome since Telluride actually makes the press pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a pass for the privilege of giving them free publicity. In Toronto, if you’re lucky enough to write about the movies for a living, you get your press pass for free and your only expense, other than travel and lodging (which can add up) is your time. But what person who loves movies, wouldn’t want to spend that gorging on selections from all over the world, the best of Cannes and Sundance and a ton of new ones, some of them courting Oscar gold, too.

I was so giddy all week that even when I failed to spot Reese Witherspoon at her own party for WILD (she’s short, y’all and thus hides easily in a crowd even in a sparkly dress) I remained elated to chat with Laura Dern (one of the greats who needs big roles again!) and wonder what possessed Chris Evans to what looked like gloriously form-fitting white longjohn shirt to a party where everyone else was in suits. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying. I was so thrilled that even the sight of Eddie Redmayne’s back in his daring aquamarine suit and Andrew Garfield’s giant beard at THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING party was as good as actually talking to them, but I made do with talking to Oscar-buzzing Felicity Jones who, like Redmayne, gives her best screen performance yet in that new Stephen Hawking biopic.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP..

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 11.03.03 PM

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Bear Cub Takes Playtime On The Putting Green: VIDEO

Golf course bear cub

The Mountainside Golf Course at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in British Columbia's Rocky Mountains got an unlikely visitor in the way of a bear cub (four legs, not two) who wandered on to the resort's putting green. When it realized the pole marking the hole wasn't much good for back-scratching, he then tried his best to reach the bright red flag up top before turning his attention to the much more accessible golf ball that was just lying there, begging to be played with.

You can watch the adorableness AFTER THE JUMP...

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Toronto School Board Member Shuts Down When Asked To Defend Homophobic, Transphobic Views - VIDEO

Sam Sotiropolous

Sam Sotiropolous, a member of the Toronto District School Board, has refused in an interview to answer questions about homophobic opinions expressed on Twitter, reports Pink News.

An August 30th tweet read “Until I see scientific proof that transgenderism exists and is not simply a mental illness, I reserve the right not to believe in it.” An earlier tweet on July 4th called Toronto Pride a “freak show.”

However, in a Global News interview, Sotiropolous - who is clearly uncomfortable -  refuses to answer questions about his views, claiming that although he has not formed an opinion on transgender people, he “has the right to reserve the right to have an opinion.”

Despite the fact that the tweet hasn’t been deleted, Sotiropolous denies calling Toronto Pride a “freak show”.  When confronted with another tweet claiming that the “disseminators” of “homosexism” are “maliciously rabid,” he walks away from the camera and appears speechless. At that point, his only comeback is he was under the impression that the interview would concern his comments on transgender people only. However, he does appear to back up his homophobic opinions, stating that “the words stand for themselves.”

At this point, he refuses to answer any more questions. The interview ends with a bizarre staring competition - which the Global News reporter wins.

Trans-rights activist Susan Gapka said that outrage at Sotiropoulos’s comments points to how far society has come in recent years.

“The terrific thing is that there are non-trans people, allies and supporters, leaping to the defense, there was a flurry on twitter, and social media, the news has covered it, that shows you how far we’ve come in the last five or ten years.”

Sotiropolous has since taken to Twitter again to defend his opinions, claiming that the school district is targeting "the rarest" types of bullying - transphobic and homophobic - while ignoring bullying based on appearance, school performance and ethnicity.

Watch the bizarre interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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