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Court of Appeal dismisses case by gay rights activist against TVJ, CVM

The Court of Appeal has unanimously dismissed an appeal brought by gay rights advocate Maurice Tomlinson against TVJ and CVM. 
 
Mr. Tomlinson sued the stations in 2012 because they refused to air a video promoting tolerance towards homosexuals.
 
At the heart of the case was whether a TV station had the right to refuse to air videos they don't want to, or whether they could be forced to air such videos.
     
The case assessed the constitutionally protected rights to freedom of expression and to distribute and disseminate information, ideas or opinions through any media.
         
Justice Phillips, who wrote the unanimous judgment, held that the stations could not be forced to carry an advertisement they did not wish to air.
      
The judge said that while Mr. Tomlinson is free to express his ideas, he does not have the right to use the private property of TVJ and CVM to do so. The court said the stations have an equal right to use their own platforms to disseminate the ideas they want to share with the public. 
  
Forcing the stations to carry Mr. Tomlinson's message would breach their rights, the court said. According to the judge, this could not be in harmony with the values of a free and democratic society.
 
The court ruled, therefore, that the TV stations' refusal to air his video, was justifiable.
 


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