The B.C.’s Human Rights Tribunal dismissed a complaint asserting Facebook had discriminated against a man on sexual orientation grounds, saying the jurisdiction sits with Ottawa.
B.C.’s Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed sexual discrimination in the area of service complaint against social media giant Facebook.
Ryan Elson alleged Facebook, Inc. discriminated against him on the basis of sexual orientation in the area of services and then retaliated against him by allegedly censoring a post in which he allegedly stated he intended to file a human rights complaint.
Facebook denied discrimination and requested the complaint be dismissed.
Elson’s complaint is based on Facebook’s alleged temporary restriction of his use of its service for one week in September 2019.
Elson further alleged that Facebook retaliated against him by allegedly censoring a post stating he intended to file a human rights complaint.
Elson explained the crux of his complaint to the tribunal this way: “As a biological male who prefers biological males, I am entitled to express my opinion and discuss how trans ideology is destructive to my freedom to have a sexual orientation.”
However, in April 2020, the tribunal rejected Elson’s allegations of discrimination in the area of publication and on the grounds of sex and gender identity. It only accepted for filing his allegation of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the area of services, tribunal member Paul Singh said.
That 2020 decision is not available on the tribunal website.
In August, Facebook amended its response, denying discrimination and filed to dismiss the case saying the tribunal lacked the legal jurisdiction to consider the complaint.
However, Singh said, multiple precedents indicate telecommunications are a federal issue, meaning the Canadian Human Rights Act governs such complaints.
Singh’s decision said Elson had filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission that declined jurisdiction.
As such, he dismissed the complaint on Nov. 10.