The Canadian courts have recently affirmed that labeling drag queens as “groomers” falls outside the boundaries of the country’s laws protecting speech. This decision could potentially pave the way for future rulings that criminalize the use of derogative terms against drag performers. This emerges from a court ruling on December 14, 2021, following a case filed by Rainbow Alliance Dryden et al. against Brian Webster.
Justice Tracey J. Nieckarz of the Ontario Superior Court ruled that it’s defamatory to categorize drag performers as “groomers” purely based on their sexual or performance identities. She clarified that such language doesn’t fall under Ontario’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) laws.
Webster is a Facebook blogger hailing from Thunder Bay, Ontario. He faced a defamation lawsuit filed by a local drag king, with financial support from Rainbow Alliance Dryden, a Pride organization, and Egale Canada, a federally funded LGBT group. The case revolves around a Facebook post by Webster in which he accused Rainbow Alliance Dryden of sexually grooming children to indoctrinate them into the LGBT community. Webster filed an anti-SLAPP motion to get the case dismissed, which was promptly rejected by Nieckarz, who stated that his expressions against the drag king were not in the public’s interest.
The dismissal of Webster’s anti-SLAPP motion now allows the plaintiffs to proceed with legal action that could potentially lead to the banning of derogatory terms like “groomers” for drag performers in Canada. These recent developments come amid a rising trend of drag story hours for children in public places – a phenomenon that sparked in 2015 via a collaboration between RADAR Productions and author Michelle Tea in San Francisco, as LifeSiteNews reported. While resistance to exposing children to LGBT ideology has grown, Canadian children remain vulnerable, with parental and public vigilance acting as primary safeguards.