July 13, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Ontario Court Clears Path for Defamation Suit Against “Groomer” Accusations Targeting 2SLGBTQI+ Community

Ruling Upholds Right to Legal Action, Rejects Protection for Baseless Child Sexual Abuse Claims

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice, in the case of Rainbow Alliance Dryden et al. v. Webster, has ruled in favor of allowing a defamation suit to proceed against an individual who publicly labeled members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community as “groomers.” in a press release from the legal team of Egale Canada. The court emphasized that baseless accusations of child sexual abuse against the 2SLGBTQI+ community are not protected under Ontario’s anti-SLAPP law, reinforcing the right to pursue defamation claims in such cases.

This is a landmark case in Canada and shows that this method of defaming the character of LGBTQ+ people might be actionable in other countries. 

The court considered Egale Canada’s intervention, highlighting the historical weaponization of false accusations of pedophilia against 2SLGBTQI+ individuals to deny them equal rights and opportunities. The decision underscores the importance of allowing those targeted by homophobic and transphobic myths to seek legal recourse, especially amid rising levels of hate, harassment, and violence fueled by misinformation.

The term “groomer” was addressed as a slur used against drag performers, perpetuating harmful stereotypes. The court recognized the slur as rhetoric based on hurtful and hateful myths and stereotypes, emphasizing the right of those accused to take legal action to protect their reputations.

In Dryden, Ontario, Brian Webster referred to a drag performer and the local 2SLGBTQI+ community organization, Rainbow Alliance Dryden (RAD), as “groomers.” The lawsuit for defamation was initiated in response to Webster’s Facebook post, which included screenshots of a news article about an all-ages drag event, attracting violent threats and placards linking drag performances to pedophilia.

Webster sought to dismiss the defamation suit using anti-SLAPP legislation, arguing that his post expressed an opinion on a matter of public interest. However, the court rejected this argument, acknowledging that baselessly accusing drag performers of child abuse is not a matter of opinion or public interest, allowing the case to proceed to trial.

Egale intervened, providing the court with context about the relationship between drag performance and 2SLGBTQI+ culture, as well as the impact of accusations of child abuse against the community. The court considered Egale’s submissions, recognizing drag performances as a form of cultural expression and condemning the equation of drag performances to child grooming as rooted in homophobic and transphobic beliefs.

The court relied on Egale’s intervention to affirm that the term “groomer” functions as a slur against drag performers and the broader 2SLGBTQI+ community. Referencing the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent findings in Hansman v. Neufeld, the court emphasized the unique marginalization of trans and gender-diverse people, deeming public comments exposing them to hatred and contempt, such as the accusation of child abuse, as less worthy of protection.

Daniel Girlando, Natalie Kolos, and Lauren Malatesta of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP represented Egale’s intervention. For additional technical details on the decision, please refer to the analysis by Judson Howie LLP, the plaintiffs’ representatives in this motion.

in NEWS
Related Posts

Summer at Annenberg:Swim Daily and Watch the Sunset

July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

By Susan Payne A unique, inclusive community destination along the Pacific Coast Highway of Santa Monica is inviting you to...

(Video) Two Different Angles of a Firecracker Being Tossed Into a Garage in Brentwood

July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

A series of incidents where teens threw firecrackers have been happening in Brentwood since April. In this case, the firework...

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s Daughter Advocates for Long Covid Awareness and Safety Measures

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Brentwood Resident Speaks Out Opposing Mask Bans, Calling for Covid Protections in County Facilities Violet Affleck, daughter of actors Ben...

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck Have Formally Listed Their $68 Million Beverly Hills Mansion For Sale

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Amid Rumors, the Actors Have Placed Their Family Home on the Market Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have officially put...

Kroger and Albertsons Reveal List of Stores to be Divested in $25 Billion Merger

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Eleven Stores in West Los Angeles Among Locations to be Sold  The Kroger Company and Albertsons Companies Inc. have announced...

(Video) Renowned Soprano Singer to Make L.A. Homecoming at Broad Stage

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Golda is scheduled to perform on July 13 at 8 p.m. @smmirrornews This Saprano singer is set to take the...

UCLA Student Housing Break-In Leads to Sexual Assault Charges

July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Suspect Faces Up to 25 Years to Life in Prison if Convicted Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced...

Dine LA Restaurant Week Returns to Celebrate Culinary Diversity With Amazing Deals

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Special Menus at Hundreds of Local Restaurants from July 12 to July 26 Dine LA Restaurant Week will be returning...

Reward Offered for Information on Abused German Shepherd Found Near Malibu Creek Canyon

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Groups Seek Justice for Argon, Dog Discovered with Zip-Tied Mouth and Neck In Defense of Animals and Peace 4 Animals...

Viral Tweet Spurs Screening of Michael Mann’s Miami Vice at the Lumiere Cinema in Beverly Hills

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Independent Theater to Showcase 2006 Film on July 13 Following Online Debate By Dolores Quintana Following an unexpected turn of...

LAPD Detectives Nab Group Responsible for Over 30 Residential Burglaries

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

“Reflector Vest Crew” Burglary Suspects Arrested in Los Angeles In collaboration with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes...

Santa Monica Artist Dave Quick’s “Return from the Burn” Exhibition to Open at Bergamot’s Lois Lambert Gallery

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Pre-Burning Man Showcase Features Kinetic Art and Sculptures Coated with Playa Dust, Opens July 13 With upwards of 80,000 attendees,...

(Video) Newly Rebranded Santa Monica Hotel Shines a New Light on the Neighborhood

July 9, 2024

July 9, 2024

The Revitalized Business is Also Available For Events @smmirrornews The newly rebranded Santa Monica Hotel casts a new light on...

Award-Winning Soprano Makes Broad Stage Debut

July 9, 2024

July 9, 2024

Golda Zahra to Perform in LA July 13 By Susan Payne Renowned Soprano Golda Zahra is making her homecoming back...

Electric Lodge Hosts Summer Empowerment Fair

July 9, 2024

July 9, 2024

Performing Arts Center Partners with LADWP By Susan Payne Performance. Sustainability. Community. These are three virtues leading the charge for...