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Peers vote for freedom to criticise the LGBT community

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  1. The Government could and should have prevented this ..they have not done so simply because Brown does not and has never supported gay rights.Remember this when voting for the new London Mayor…

  2. Peter Cronin-Hill 23 Apr 2008, 1:35pm

    I think this is homophobia by a different name.If i sang a song saying all polotitians and all catholic priest were corrupt, i suspect i would arrested.I am disgusted, and frightened by this right wing swing.(hm? must remember that, might be a lyric in it)

  3. Jen Marcus 23 Apr 2008, 1:39pm

    This is beyond the pale of being unjust and unfair! Its a moral and absurd outrage! Its like giving license to comics, musicians, writers, Church leaders using the “N” word or, calling a woman a “slut, whore or Bitch” etc.or putting down someone’s Faith system or beliefs! No, this totally uncivilized and should not be protected speech. What were these Peers thinking? ?

  4. Ryan Haynes 23 Apr 2008, 1:52pm

    I often love most gay jokes, especially the stereotypical ones. Whilst using language to incite hatred is wrong – there is nothing wrong with using language to incite laughter, whoever that may be directed at.

  5. well do we have ourseleves to blame for all this. First Europe back down on the equality issue and now this? Have we all become to complacent as far a gay rights go. All the gay men I speak too are more interested in what they are wearing than their rights. Should the gay pride march be reformed to what it was, a stronger element on issues of rights rather than pop stars? Be aware the Torys are coming and things will start to revert back. Now is the time to write , lobby and make those who should listern, listern.

  6. Dominick J. 23 Apr 2008, 3:50pm

    Einstein wrote:”The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.” But then the Religious Right wouldn’t know anything about Morality or decency for that matter, only the evil they perpatrtae on other human beings that are different from them.

  7. Ryan Haynes 23 Apr 2008, 4:31pm

    A lot of us continue to work on equality – but many of us just won’t let it rule our lives. Sometimes life is too short for campaigning – instead we should have fun.And, from direct experience you can’t make people listen – you can only invite them to listen and that’s where innovative campaigns work and not lobbying or being a political hack…that’s where politics has gone wrong and continues to go wrong!

  8. I am concerned about the amendment made ‘It would not be an offence to criticise people based on their sexuality.’ I am a young gay man and I am not practicing my sexuality, its part of my make up, it’s who I am as a person so why is it expectable for people to criticise me being gay? I am sure I wouldn’t be aloud to be ‘critical’ to somebody on grounds of the color of their skin. Giving permission to rap artists to still use homophobic remarks is disgusting, must we be made to feel diminished and wrong? It’s in my view that if more amendments are made then the whole bill would deem useless.

  9. I am really shocked by this piece of news. It really shows how little the Conservative party has changed, and ministers simply must challenge this amendment.I am very disappointed.

  10. Joe Johnston 23 Apr 2008, 7:33pm

    Freedom of speech is vitally important – incitement to hatred is a different matter. It seems to me that those who consider (irrationally) that homosexuality is wrong should have the right to say so but should not have the right to incite hatred against us nor to physically attack or discriminate against us. This is, surely, what this amendment allows for and I can’t see any reason why we should think that incitement to hatred is the same as reasoned criticism (even if we disagree with the reasoning).I think a lot of our community are confusing issues here.

  11. I think its wrong to be a rap artist. Its just not natural.

  12. Thank God common sense has prevailed. I have had enough of organisations like Stonewall fighting for these Orwellian laws that seek to police our every word on the pretext of supposedly preventing hatred against gays. If this mission creep towards a Big brother society doesn’t stop soon, then the people in this thread protesting this merciful decision will be the same people who, several years down the line, will be moaning that we let the police/surveillance state happen without any resistance. It won’t just be our words/thoughts that are police and monitored by then, but our every action too (ever wonder just why we need four million CCTV cameras?). For this very reason, I for one won’t be indulging in a civil partnership and signing over my personal details – and those of my partner – to be stored on a database that could prove very useful to an emerging fascist dictatorship. Wake up people!

  13. Sister Mary Clarence 24 Apr 2008, 12:03am

    Have I misunderstood something here Lord Smith, doesn’t the legislation as amended still protect us from all this? I don’t really see any reason why people can’t express dislike for gay people or see the need for legislation to do prevent people from doing so. God knows we slag the religious nutters off on here often enough – is that so different?We are protected against those that incite hatred in the same way as other minority groups in society are. To ask for anything more does not provide us with equality, it singles us out for special treatment.We need to grow out of the victim mentality that many people still have..

  14. how weird that some comments on here actualy seem fit to aggre with this state of affairs. Correct me if I am wrong, by in the eyes of the law at present it is illigal to incite hatred on religous grounds and on race. But to run up to a gay man in the street and call him a dirty rotton sticking queer, there is no law. Ask the police. Having been in a sitution like that myself, there is no specific laws in place to counter act these sort of actions. They almost have to bend round other laws, i.e harassment to cover it.

  15. Well said Sister. It is about time we got that collective chip off our shoulder and stopped playing the victim. Wake up people! Gays are more accepted by the mainstream than at any time in history. It is an extreme minority of ignorant oafs that nobody listens to anymore that still try to incite hatred against us. If we cannot use good old-fashioned reasoning and intellect to stand up for ourselves and to defeat them, then we will be victims for ever more. We can’t keep running to mummy for protection forever!

  16. I have no problem with free speech. It takes a lot to make me cry. Especially after the bareback video scandal, the gay community should not be immune from criticism. Nobody should.But it’s the injustice of not being able to criticise religion in the same way, thanks to theocracy-enabling legislation against religious ‘hatred’. The problem is this: “What if Beenie Man says you have to hate fags? What if people act on that? He’s right. The Bible says, you have to hate fags. You’re up against a bunch of people that say ‘you put your hands on my Bible and we’ll call the hate speech police…”This speech, about what is free speech, is perfectly relevant to this discussion, i cannot recommend it highly enough (hitchens again, but he puts it so well): and this See what happens if you go up to a bunch of fanatics with their Bible placards at a gay pride march, and respond by ripping out a few pages of their holy book, or saying “your beliefs are so silly, I’m going to make a cartoon about it.” See who’s most under threat then.Let’s have freedom of speech on equal terms. it is a moral necessity to express hatred, ridicule of religion, and we should be figithng for the right to do so, not restricting other people’s rights to criticise.

  17. Sister Mary Clarence 24 Apr 2008, 11:44am

    “If it is accepted by MPs, the new freedom of speech protection would prevent prosecutions such as that currently under way against the Oxford University student, Sam Brown, arrested after he called a police horse “gay” during a drunken conversation with two mounted police officers.”Is that really what you’re fighting for anon?Forcing clumsy legislation like this on the country will not engender more tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality and bring equality closer, it will hamper it.

  18. One summer some years ago when the buffon Waddington was the Home Secretary he was sitting in the International Departures lounge at Manchester Airport waiting for a flight presumably.The man’s flies were completely undone fortunately with only white shirt-tail on display rather than any of his rancid flesh.I thought then “another of Thatcher’s goons” so dim he could not remember to do up his trouser front when he went to the toilet! Waddington was a small-town solicitor from Lancashire when he was ridiculously elevated in Thatcher’s Government – presumably “one of us”. That he has led this homophobic stance is no surprise – he was pompously bleating on about the European Treaty in the House of Lords only the other day.What a pity he is such a busy little blighter.

  19. Having read all the contributions here, I’m happy to change my opinion! Let’s have free speech, but also, let’s answer back on our own terms, not on terms dictated by media types and self-important cyber censors.

  20. Robert, ex-pat Brit 25 Apr 2008, 9:08pm

    Adrian T, you have a point. If religious denominations are excluded and allowed to use their religious beliefs to condemn, judge and villify our lives, often rantings that lead to violence against us, then no, they should not be excluded. We should also enjoy the same right to villify and denigrate their beliefs if they persist in denigrating our lives. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Nobody should be above the law. If they can’t respect us, then tough titty! We will and should bash back, in equal measure.

  21. Bill Perdue 26 Apr 2008, 6:58pm

    Do you ever wonder why conservatives always froth at the mouth about government regulation of businesses, health care, discrimination and the like? They pretend that they’re protecting us all from a looming fascist dictatorship. But is the bill to ban violence inducing hate speech really a step towards fascism? Should it engender the kind of paranoid hysterics evident in this frantic eruption: “For this very reason, I for one won’t be indulging in a civil partnership and signing over my personal details – and those of my partner – to be stored on a database that could prove very useful to an emerging fascist dictatorship? Wake up people!” Aside from the fact that someone gripped by such paranoia is unlikely to be partnered, what explains this panic? Is it real, imagined, or just political lying? Another, more reasonable theory says that their opposition to such laws is based on the fact that conservative party hacks are in fact the paid political rent boys of the ruling rich, the cults and businesses. And those people think they should have a perfect right to cheat workers and consumers and to carry on being bible bigots without paying the price, particularly in a court of law. After all, it’s traditional. The conservatives say that if we complain about bigotry, we’re asking for special rights. They fear, and rightly so, that our demands for equality will alienate the big business owners, cultists and bigots that they’re paid to protect. They say that complaining about hate speech that incites violence is queer, unmanly, and that we’re just a bunch of crybabies. “We can’t keep running to mummy for protection forever!” they tell us. Only whiners, pansies, poofs and faggots do that. They say that GLBT rights are special rights which we don’t deserve (we are after all just an unworthy bunch of queers, dykes, crybabies, pansies, poofs and faggots). Then they make the ridiculous and dangerous claim that hate speech does not lead to violence. That same lie is perpetrated by Ratzinger, Akinola, Bush and of course Cameron. The fact is that hate speech DOES lead to violence and thate this law is sorely needed. And so is one that says that if reggae bigots, bible fascists, ignorant mullahs, Paisleyites and other cultists promote hate speech they should lose their tax exempt status. In fact they should be taxed to death, banned from giving concerts, and taken to court. The law will also help curb the kind of hate speech against non-whites and muslims that leads to violence. In terms of civil rights, a victory for one is a victory for all. The truth is that there’s no need to make even the slightest concession to conservatives, cultists or bigots. The GLBT vote is large enough to make Labour and the Lib Dems stand up and pay attention if we mount a serious campaign on the question of hate speech and violence. The Conservatives, the BNP and the UKIP just don’t have the power to thwart such a campaign and it should be our goal to see to it that they don’t.

  22. Oliver P Camford 27 Apr 2008, 7:25am

    Bill Perdue,You have, I hope read the Koran, the Sira and the a’Hadith and studied the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence before suggesting that those of us who deprecate Muslim theology, if such one can call it, are guilty of ‘hate speech’.No, you haven’t! Well, gosh, I am so surprised!Sometimes, you know, it’s not ‘hate speech’, it’s truth.I don’t hate people but I do hate their beliefs on occassions – and I loathe Islamic beliefs with a passion which you, in your ignorance of what they actually are, can scarcely comprehend. It is ignorance on the vast, vacuous and grand scale such as you embody which will destroy us all. Please, go read at some good sites like or the gatesofvienna blogsite or for a few months then come back and tell us that Islam is acceptable in civilised society!

  23. Sister Mary Clarence 27 Apr 2008, 12:32pm

    Ah, another one who has seen Bill for what he is.Beginning to wonder whether all the religious nutters are right and we are sinners. What with plagues of locust being hard to find, could God have set Bill on us instead?

  24. Bill Perdue 27 Apr 2008, 9:52pm

    You’re right, Ollie, I haven’t bothered to read them, or the book or mormon or the bible or the torah. Why would I waste my time on trashy fantasy fiction that isn’t even useful as toilet paper? (The ink, or so I’m told, can be very irritating to sensitive skin.) I treat all anti-GLBT religions as political enemies and don’t draw a distinction between the intent of the cults or their leaders to harm us, just their freedom of action to do so, especially in places like Jamaica, Nigeria, Iran and Iraq. We have to focus some of our energy on helping our brothers and sister in those countries, particularly by insisting that the US and EU grant them asylum when they escape. I think it’s clear that Ratzinger the Nazi, who encourages the spread of HIV/AIDS, Paisley the prot and his anti-Irish thugs, archbishop Akinola, leader of anglican bully boys who murder muslims, the grand ayatollah Sayyid Ali Husaini al-Sistani and the American bible fascists are all our enemies. While they’re equally guilty of fomenting and organizing violence against GLBT folk and others, they’re obviously most dangerous in Iraq and Iran. The difference between our approaches to islam and other bigot cults couldn’t be clearer. Yours appears to be based on uncontrolled hysteria and feverish paranoia. (“gatesofvienna”. Please, take a pill, breathe deeply and try to remember that the most recent genocide in Europe was committed by christian fascists against muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina a few years ago.) By seeking professional help you can learn to control your panic attacks and not have to worry about being ‘destroyed’. (And Ollie, be careful not to spend too much time listening to pieces like Götterdämmerung and the like, they can overly excite overstrung personalities like yours.) The GLBT movement’s internationalist approach takes into account the fact that these cults and their leaders are all our enemies and is based on fighting them politically. They’re all right wing conservative movements using superstition as a cover for union busting, misogyny, racism and gay bashing and we have to oppose them on those grounds. The problems in the Middle East will not go away until the uncivilized governments of the US and England end their genocide against the Iranians, withdraw all their military forces from the region, sever their ties with the zionist apartheid state and admit asylum seekers from the carnage they generated in Iran and Iraq. Following that withdrawal the people of Iran, Iraq and Palestine will be able to topple the rightwing regimes that use superstitious gibberish like the bible or the koran as cover.

  25. If I write something nutrue about one person they can sue me for libel. If I write something untrue about a group of people, that statement is protected by freedom of speech. I don’t understand that distinction at all. Joe Johnston’s point about irrational reasoned rational criticism being okay simply doesn’t make sense, because if it’s irrational, it can’t be true and if it isn’t true then surely the group being criticised shuold have recourse to libel laws. If you say that gay people will burn in hell, surely the person saying that should have the right to prove that in court and pay the price of not being able to. Freedom of speech isn’t about saying what you want when you want to say it. If you’re untruthfully denigrating anyone, as an individual or a group, that individual and group must have an equal right not to be affected by that denigration, otherwise you’re enforcing a law that allows one person to harm another ( or a group). That cannot be right.Margaret Atwood wrote in The Handmaid’s Tale about two kinds of freedom: ‘freedom from’ and ‘freedom to’. The freedom to insult, denigrate and criticise must be balanced by a freedom from criticism, denigration and insult. To place the onus on the recipient to simply shoulder any insult is utterly unbalanced and unjust.And in the case of religious condemnation, religions enjoy protections from hateful criticism and the right to criticise. That should be extended to everyone.The problem with your argument that any group is up for being laughed at is that it ignores the social and political context of the humour. How many jokes do you know that are targeted at straight, white men, the basis of which is their straight, white maleness?I was at a gig recently during which the singer called his microphone ‘gay’ for not working properly, he also said that French people are unfriendly, and talked about girly boys. Now, you might think that there’s no difference between the 2 prejudiced views, but you would be wrong, because the French form an entire nation that doesn’t act against itself institutionally. The comments about gay people exist in a context of historical and ongoing persecution and institutionalised hatred and discrimination.

  26. For goodness sake, people want CRITICISM to become illegal? Let’s outlaw dirty looks and criminalise tutting. Incitement to violence – yes, incitement to hatred – sure, but criminalising the expression of a critical opinion is support for totalitarianism. How ironic all those people who ‘march against fascism’ and then advocate its application.

  27. News & Events : Is this a victory for? 23 Sep 2008, 8:37pm

    […]… […]

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