In January-February 1993, three separate complaints were filed against three distinct respondents associated with a set of recorded messages (Tony McAleer, Harry Vaccaro and the Canadian Liberty Net). All three complaints were the same in substance: they claimed that the respondents had used the telephone to communicate messages that were likely to expose gay and lesbians to hatred and contempt, in violation of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. In the hearing, it was determined that Tony McAleer had communicated telephonically messages which 1) communicated extreme ill-will against "queers" by linking this group to pedophilia and child molestation 2) exposed "queers" to hatred and by advocating violent retaliation against them (trampling them into peat bogs like the Ancient Celts used to do). The Tribunal ruled the persons designated in this message by the derogatory term "queers" referred to persons identifiable by their sexual orientation, and, as sexual orientation was a prohibited ground of discrimination, this message was a violation of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. The respondents were ordered to cease and desist further communication of messages likely to expose protected groups to hatred or contempt on the basis of sexual orientation.
In 1996, Tony McAleer and the Canadian Liberty Net applied for a judicial review of this decision. They contended, among other things, that the term "sexual orientation" was too vague to be justified. For them, sexual orientation included the illegal practices of bestiality and pedophilia. Prohibiting them from speaking out against these sexual evils was tantamount to legalizing the practices. (McAleer v. Canada (Human Rights Comm.) (1996), 26 C.H.R.R. D/280 (F.C.T.D.))