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Homophobic Comments Found Not To Be Discriminatory
January 9, 2003

The BC Supreme Court has overturned the decision of the BC Human Rights Tribunal in a case involving a North Vancouver high school student who was subjected to repeated homophobic taunts and verbal attacks by other students. Although the student was not a homosexual and the students who had harassed him did not believe he was a homosexual, the Tribunal had held that the high school failed to provide the student with an environment free from discrimination as required by the BC Human Rights Code. The Supreme Court concluded that the Tribunal’s decision was incorrect. The Human Rights Code protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of their sex or their sexual orientation. The Court held that the students’ homophobic comments could not constitute discrimination on the basis of the student’s sexual orientation as the student was not a homosexual. (The Board of School Trustees of School District No. 44 (North Vancouver) v. Azmi Jubran and Deputy Chief Commissioner, British Columbia Human Rights Commission, 2003 BCSC 6, January 6, 2003).

(click here for full text of judgment)