Pastor claims censorship after TV show cancelled due to anti-gay remarks

The Vancouver Sun/January 31, 2010

Evangelical minister and television personality Charles McVety says he is the victim of "political censorship" and intends to take legal action after Crossroads Television System cancelled his show this week.

The tension between the reverend and the Christian broadcaster began in December, when the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, an industry watchdog, said CTS violated national broadcasting codes when McVety made "disparaging" on-air remarks about homosexuals.

A station spokeswoman, meanwhile, denied the cancellation of Word TV was a consequence of bowing to political pressure. Rather, it was based on the show's "lack of compliance with the CTS code of ethics," Carolyn Innis said.

In December's ruling, the council said McVety's description of Toronto's gay pride parade as a "sex parade," as well as his characterization of gay events as "malevolent, insidious and conspiratorial," were in breach of the standards.

McVety said he was also scorned for saying the new Ontario sexual education curriculum could turn some school kids into homosexuals.

His show was consequently pulled from the air. The station let him back the following week, but decided to pre-screen the show.

But this past Sunday night, any viewers tuning in to hear McVety were instead met with a notice alerting them that the show had been cancelled.

"The council threatened the television station," McVety said. "So, in order to protect their own interests, the station censored heavily, then just got rid of us, altogether."

McVety said his show has had "overwhelming support" from a number of organizations, each of whom he will ask to write letters to government protesting the decision.

CTS is licensed through the federal broadcasting regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

"The fact is that Word TV failed to keep its agreement to comply with the code of ethics and indicated a refusal to comply in the future," Innis said. "Unfortunately, numerous attempts by CTS to work with McVety were unsuccessful."

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