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House of Lords votes to keep ‘free speech’ defence in homophobic hatred laws

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  1. I thought the Tories were supposed to be in bed with us, so to speak?

  2. @ Jason ,
    One night stand?

  3. seems the different to the Tories is they see being gay as a choice? although many of us don’t think so…….some voted against the incitement to religious hatred bill on those grounds…and many Tories argued that incitement to religious and racial hatred were different because of that

  4. It’s high time we cleared the clergy out of the Lords. This is what happens. Always stalling progress.

  5. Simon Murphy 9 Jul 2009, 4:50pm

    Fair enough. Just so long as I’m allowed to discuss or criticise religion. This includes criticisms of religuion and urging muslims to turn atheist.

  6. Simon, to be fair there are big buses driving around the country telling people that “god probably doesn’t exist, so stop worrying and enjoy your life”… Isn’t that kind of the same thing, inviting people to reconsider their faith?

  7. Hi valerio,

    It is different! This is because Church, and other religious groups have set up programmes where they actively try to change someone’s sexuality. In some case these groups are very aggressive in the methods that they use. To my knowledge there are no equivalent groups which try to change your religious status.

    Also the whole idea of conversion therapy has been condemned by many including the national council of psychiatry.

    Finally I note that you use the word “reconsider”! Conversion therapy is not, and has never been used in order that one “reconsiders” their sexuality. To this day, electro shock conversion therapies are still used in many countries. To say that electrocuting people is a way to allow them to “reconsider” their sexuality is ludicrous.

    The practice, or even idea that gay men should be asked to “reconsider” their sexuality is offensive and should be legally stopped.

  8. Does that mean when Inspector Mark Bolt of Helston police station stated in writing that when a women screamed the homophobic abuse “FUCKING QUEER” at a gay man in front of witnesses, it was not harrasement of a gay person. The House of Lords clearly agree with the Cornwall police homophobic stance and that the person was only expressing ‘Free Speach’, in addition to the women spreading malicious rumour a gay man had HIV/AIDS, when he did not.

    Again Insp. Mark Bolt of Helston Police station in Cornwall expressed in writing this was not harrasement. Clearly this sort of abuse was what the House of Lords had in mind as ‘Free Speach’.

    Tories…one step nearer the gas chambers for gays!

  9. “Isn’t that kind of the same thing, inviting people to reconsider their faith?”

    No. Religion is a choice. Being gay is not. Telling someone to change their sexuality is like asking someone to change their skin colour, becasue “god does not like blacks”. Its offensive, and incredibility arrogant.

    Religious choice is not the same as sexuality. In fact, we can prove that we are gay, while not one person on this entire planet can prove that god exists, or say they know what pisses god off.

  10. Will the Scouser 9 Jul 2009, 6:12pm

    Frankly, I don’t see why we need to curb people’s freedom of speech, as long as they don’t incite violence. We have right on our side, so why should feel intimidated by the impotent rantings of, e.g., Nazir-Ali? I think that they should be free to shoot their mouths off to their heart’s content, and we should be free to reply and tell them what stupid, ignorant pillocks they are.

  11. Jason! Well observed! For those few Tory-toadies who visit these pages, note well: the Tories are clearly not “in bed with us”.

  12. Bob Hutton 9 Jul 2009, 6:37pm

    Please be assured that, as a Christian, I do not hate gays, and wiould condemn violence and verbal abuse against gays. However, I do believe that in a free society we should all have the right to engage in lively debate and express sincerely held views without the fear of the police knocking on the door. I realise that the Christian view of homosexuality is offensive to gays, but one could argue that Richard Dawkins statements about Christians being deluded is offensive to Christians BUT we all have to acknowledge that when agreement ends tolerance begins – and that means tolerating the rights of people to air views that we don’t like.

  13. @ Bob Hutton

    One big difference though Richard Dawkins has not set up courses to de-program Christian has he. Unlike the church who inflict physical and emotional harm on people by trying to correct sexuality.

  14. Not only that Abi. Religion is about belief systems, which should welcome challenging opinion. Homosexuality is a pre-conditioned way of life.

  15. Bob Hutton when you say . . .

    “. . . and that means tolerating the rights of people to air views that we don’t like.” .

    This is not about preventing people from airing views we do not like, this is about preventing people from inciting hatred; there is a big difference.

    Bob Hutton when you say . . .

    “I realise that the Christian view of homosexuality is offensive to gays, but one could argue that Richard Dawkins statements about Christians being deluded is offensive to Christians” . . .

    This is not the same. . . Dawkins does not incite hatred towards or want to eradicate Christians. However, some Christians have been involved in pursuing the following systematic attempts to exterminate gay people . . .

    1.Some Fundamentalist Evangelical-Charismatic Christians believe they have the right to emotionally, psychological and physically abuse gays in their deliverance/exorcism practices . . . I need to remind you that we live in the 21st century and not 12th century medieval England

    2. Some Fundamentalist Evangelical-Charismatic Christians also believe they have a right to cure gays of their sexuality based on a therapeutic practice called affect focused therapy . . . I need to remind you that the Royal College of psychiatrist has discredited these therapies, and argued that reparative treatments lead to depression, anxiety and in some cases suicide.

    3. Some Fundamentalist Evangelical-Charismatic Christians also want to believe that we make up 1% of the population, and so try to exterminate us by numbers. . . I need to remind you that the general accepted if not rather conservative estimate is that gay people make up 10% of the population

    Mr Bob Huttton when some Christians seem believe they have a right to worship a Nazi styled Jesus instead of a Jesus of love, compassion and tolerance as outlined in the gospels . . . this is way this clause is important and will eventually be ratified.

  16. michael liverpool 9 Jul 2009, 9:17pm

    I can see the Parliament Act being used to remove this pathetic amendment. It’s no surprise really as it was used to push through much of the equal rights for gay people. Same old story from the House of Lords. It’s about time the old freeloaders were axed, how dare they go against the will of the ELECTED Commons, who clearly voted against this amendment! What a strange country we are – being dictated to by a bunch of unelected and self-serving old men who are completely out of touch with this century. To call them honourable and noble is laughable. Axe the Queen and the this medieval old boy’s club now! What is wrong with this govt, get on with it!

  17. Q.
    When is a law not a law?

    A.
    When the ckuffing religious lobby can drive a coach and pair thro’ it; why bother passing them in the first place..!

    I do NOT want to be governed by “I-know-what-is-good-for-you” ‘believers’ in matters pertaining to my sexual orientation nor in matters pertaining to the choices I might wish to make at the end of my life as to whether to make a day trip to Zurich.

    Bog OFF..!
    And I don’t mean ‘buy-one-get-one-free’..!

    Keith.
    SALFORD.

  18. theotherone 9 Jul 2009, 9:59pm

    Hi kids.

    Sorry to rain on your Authritarian parade but it’s a free speach issue and I, as someone who chalanges Homophobia with the writen, spoken and (oftomes) shouted word agree with the Lords.

    Sorry folks, if you’re not big enough to take someone shouting ‘Poof/ dyke/ Trannie’ after you then you’re best being hetro

  19. @theotherone

    If this thread is akin to Junior school level for you . . . just to let you know the nursery is next door

  20. michael liverpool 9 Jul 2009, 10:19pm

    Telling a gay person they should turn straight, like the conservative religious brigade do all the time is hatred, however way you dress it up. This amendment is completely transparent and it’s obvious who it is trying to protect. Free speech or not hatred is hatred, and expressing or inciting it in a public forum should be a criminal offence. Telling a black person they are sinful and must turn white is a criminal offence and I want the same protection. I don’t want any special priveleges, I’ve got no hidden agendas, but homophobia has got to start being taken as seriously as racism. Either that, or we repeal the incitement to racial and religious hatred laws and we’ll call it a day. Either way, all we can ask for is equality.

    Authoritarian??? This amendment is not wanted by a majority of the elected House of Commons. I believe it is the

  21. Mihangel apYrs 9 Jul 2009, 10:21pm

    theotherone:
    I can give as good as I get verbally, but homophobic verbal abuse can lead onto physical responses.

    A youing personn coming to terms with being gay may NOT be able deal with the hatred, and may choose to die rather than cope with the pain

  22. Who would have believed it? A level of sanity still prevails in the House! Hear, hear, m’Lords, and a two-fingered salute to the fanatical gays who profess to speak to the rest of us who believe in the preservation of freedom speech for all. Yes, that includes OUR right to continue to spew hatred and bile willy nilly at our detractors on this very forum!! You really couldn’t make this bullshit up!

  23. michael liverpool 9 Jul 2009, 10:21pm

    House of Lords who are being authoritarian.

  24. “One big difference though Richard Dawkins has not set up courses to de-program Christian has he. Unlike the church who inflict physical and emotional harm on people by trying to correct sexuality.”

    Yes, Abi, but the Christians don’t go around kidnapping gays and forcing them to attend their de-programming classes, do they? Again, it is down to personal choice, and these programmes would not exist if there was zero demand for them…

  25. Codex wrote
    “Christians don’t go around kidnapping gays and forcing them to attend their de-programming classes, do they?”

    In relation to “Kidnapping” . . . Do gay children have much choice if their authoritarian Christian parents decide that they should be heterosexual?

  26. michael liverpool 9 Jul 2009, 10:33pm

    There’s no doubt demand to join the Ku Klux Klan or the Nazi Party. Do we protect people’s right to join these, or do we take a firm stand to stop hatred flourishing in all its evil forms? We saw what hate and prejudice eventually led to during Hitler’s reign. Have you not learned anything Codex? Allow it to flourish and it’s consequences are dangerous. Not just to gays but to everyone.

  27. On the whole, I would favour the level playing feild of free speech.

    However, as the law stands, the problem here is that religion already gets the protection from hatred that would have been extended to LGBT people by this amendment.

    We therefore now continue with an asymetric law where LGBT people can be prosecuted for religious hatred but religious groups are protected when spouting hatred against LGBT people.

    In other words, mere belief is now protected over and above an intrinsic human quality. This is wrong. Human rights are for humans, not beliefs.

    However, there is good news.

    The House of Commons has already passed this amendment with a thumping majority (despite the usual Conservative suspects voting against it). Therefore, as the Bill now goes back to the Commons, who will doubtless approve it again, all the bishop infested Lords have done today is introduce a delay.

    Shame on them.

    Reform of the upper house cannot come too quickly.

  28. As I have no idea what a “feild” is, I think my fat finger meant “field”.

  29. There’s a limit to free speech. Inciting hatred is the line you shouldn’t cross. People aren’t allowed to engage in racist comments or suggest that one race of people is evil, so they shouldn’t be allowed to make homophobic comments. The comparison with religion is erroneous because that’s a choice and no more ‘right’ than any other belief. I’m sure there are people who genuinely believe horrible things about people with a different skin colour to theirs, but just because they believe it, doesn’t mean they’re free to make offensive comments.

    Hiding behind religion is cowardly and pathetic. If you want to interpret the Bible literally, then why is it OK to pick and choose? Show me a Christian who follows every word of the Bible and only then could they even sugest they might be allowed to criticise LGBT people. You won’t find one because no-one nowadays will stand up and say they believe in slavery, are against interracial marriage, and are happy to carry out the extreme punishments allowed in the Bible for supposed ‘crimes. Selling your daughters into slavery? Genocide? Killing those who disrespect their parents?

    No, of course not. It’s all about homosexuals now. And who would they pick on when we have protection? More importantly, WHY do some people need to denigrate ANY of ‘god’s people’? And why would you EVER think that is what God (if he exists) wants?

  30. JohnK (15):

    Right on, pal! Mr. Bob Hutton needs to be reminded that gays do not capture children the moment they are born, e.g. infant baptism.

    Also, let Mr. Hutton take a walk around Europe where he can see the spots where ‘sodomites’ were burnt by a mob of ‘well-meaning, tolerant christians.’

    Ever hear of London’s pillories? Or the hangings at Tyburn?

    But what choice did the mob have? Everybody else was doing it, and the prie-s-s-s-s-s said it was better for ‘perverts’ to burn now than in hell for a-a-a-a-a-ll eternity, whatever that is.

    The Vatican spreads its ‘loving guilded cape’ over humanity and proclaims that christians must be kind and compasionate towards homosexuals; then it turns around and teaches children that homosexuality is the same as prostitution, adultery and bestiality.

    Did I have a choice as some Latin-speaking guy in a black dress trimmed with white lace lowered me in a tub of cold water when I was 5 days old? But what great photos for the family album, a family who never went to church except for weddings, funerals, and infant baptisms, but who expected me to be at church all the time.

    Get a picture of this, get a picture of that. Get the picture?

    Bob Hutton is the picture of delusion.

  31. we’re so lucky. once again sacrificed- this time on the altar of free speech.

  32. Bentham….!
    You naughty ex-Trappist you!
    You forgot the silly hat!
    It’s no good unless you mention their silly ‘ats..!
    What great comments..from everyone…#13, #14. #15 and #30 to cite just four.
    Why is it not as plain to these halfwits, what is so readily available on here.
    Keith.

  33. John K wrote: “In relation to “Kidnapping” . . . Do gay children have much choice if their authoritarian Christian parents decide that they should be heterosexual?”

    And do straight kids have any choice if PC social workers deem they should be raised by two men or two women. Works both ways, luv!

    Ever hear the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? Our community in general would do well do take this saying on board and rise above any perceived antagonism, and stop bleating about how offended they are by the likes of Jonathan Ross and Chris Moyles who, let’s face it, couldn’t say boo to a goose and be taken seriously!

    If we lose the freedom to express our thoughts openly – no matter how unpalatable they may seem between different factions of society – then the screws of totalitarianism and the fully-fledged police state will grow ever tighter. Is that a society we would really rather live in, where you could expect a knock on the door in the middle of the night for expressing your own opinion which may not be in synch with someone else’s due to their own personally held beliefs?

    We have already lost the freedom to protest openly without the risk of being beaten to death or tasered by our out of control police. Let’s not give them any more powers to arrest civilians for matters which could be as trivial as a slip of the tongue, for that is what will occur if people’s thoughts are legislated against.

  34. Just one question about this, isn’t it about time we got rid of these senile old f–kwits anyway and replaced them with something more relevant to todays society – I would suggest a free iPod for everyone

  35. “And do straight kids have any choice if PC social workers deem they should be raised by two men or two women. ”

    Yes, they do actually. The child’s wishes are taken into account if they’re deemed old enough. A child probably wouldn’t be sure about their sexuality until puberty so there’s no way to be sure they were placed with the ‘right’ parents sexuality-wise. BUT that’s not how foster and adoptive parents are chosen anyway. It might be a factor in the whole picture, but a number of things are assessed to decide what would be in the best interests of the child.

    I see what you’re getting at regarding the freedom of expression, but there are limits, as I said above. I don’t think protecting people for who they are will lead to a police state or whatever. In addition, I don’t feel most people feel a burning need to attack one section of the community for who they are. I like to criticise policies, etc, but I’ve never felt the need to have a go at people because they’re black/Asian/male/female/disabled/blue-eyed….

    I suppose what annoys me most about it is that there’s no truth in what the Christians and others say. The bible was only interprted as being against homosexuality some centuries ago and not before. Most people understand that people are born gay, so it’s offensive to criticise someone’s choices/lifestyle when they’re nothing of the sort. Yes, let Christians criticise sex before marriage, abortion, promiscuity but NOT who people are.

    I

  36. Karl Rosenqvist 10 Jul 2009, 9:43am

    Why is it that the christians (because it is the christian lobby, prove me wrong) always want’s special rules for themselves?

  37. I thought the tories claimed to be Ok with lesbians gays and bisexuals
    Jokes about LBG is not ok nor is churches getting special rights
    “homosexua” was coined in 1868 and added in 1946! free speech shouldn’t mean immunity for hatred and bigtry

  38. The issue at stake here is whether the tory amendment is going to further the cause of equality. It will not.

    It is entirely redundant because the new legislation will NOT ban free speech or rational discussion, it ONLY bans hate speech. There is no need for an amendment whatsoever. It is only Tory bigots making a point about the fact that they don’t really approve of gay people and that in the hierarchy of equality we are less equal than other so-called eqaulities groups.

    The whole approach is wrong. There should be ONE piece of hate speech legislation that applies to all equalities groups to ensure that they are all treated equally. If not, and if the house of Lords gets its amendment added, then every other piece of similar legislation should be amended in the same way specifying the circumstances in which it is acceptable to make criticisms of poeple from ethnic minorities, disabled people etc. Sadly this also has to include people who make a choice to follow a religion although many disagree that they should have the status of an equalities group because it is a matter of choice…

  39. Mihangel apYrs 10 Jul 2009, 11:48am

    Waddington takes the conservative whip. Is Cameron going to take him on?

  40. Codex said: “Ever hear the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”?”

    - Actually words to. Telling children in school they will burn in hell for instance, if they don’t follow some sort of teaching.
    AS mentioned above, this loophole is redundant, as religious people have the freedom to preach this nonsense anyway, they are within the law to do so. On occasions police have wrongly arrested religious nutcases for waving placards, but they have received justice in the courts.

    It’s a pointless law and I hope the MoJ get it scrubbed out.

  41. theotherone 10 Jul 2009, 12:24pm

    How can we even talk about this allowing a ‘level playing field’? What: no one’s allowed to speak so it’s fair? There should not be limits on free speach period. If someone insites violence then public disorder laws can be used against them not specific ofences limiting free speach.

    As to the idea that young Queer peole shouldn’t have to put up with nasty comments: I’m sorry mate but they’d better get used to it because they’ll always, even in the nicest and most tolarent of cities and neighbourhoods, get abuse. We can’t oporate a ‘risk free sociaty’ for anyone let alone Queer people, it’s more importent (in my view) to build up people’s confidence so they’re not floored by the homophobes.

  42. Bishop Ioan 10 Jul 2009, 12:46pm

    It is sad that this has been voted through. The difference between anti-gay speech and, say, the atheist convictions of Richard Dawkins is that there is very little to no chance that athiests will attempt to force Christians and other believers to renounce their faith. Too much violence against LBTQ people has already happened and this will, mark my words, only encourage more.

    The church needs to stay out of politics…no one is going to feed Christians, Muslims or any others who by the anti-gay outdated nonsense preached by their religions. This constant pandering to them will have negative results for our community. I also agree that clergy should be prevented from holding office in the House of Lords due to conflicting interests. You, know, Reverend Sirs, a man not being able to serve two masters and all that.

  43. I wrote to my Tory M.P, shadow Culture, Media and Sport minister Jeremy Hunt asking him to vote down this amendment when it was in the Commons, he declined. Low and behold Jeremy Hunt turns up at Gay Pride to tout the Tories support for the GLBT community. There is a huge difference between verbal support and actually voting for equality and protection, let alone instigating legislation to safeguard our community. This is my problem with the Tories – when it comes down to action and deeds they are all talk and no action.

  44. Mihangel apYrs 10 Jul 2009, 2:16pm

    well theotherone, have you read “Mother of boy who committed suicide after gay bullying urges Congress to take action”.

    It’s obvious that this kid didn’t have any backbone, and his death is actually an advantage to the rest of us.

  45. Robert, ex-pat Brit 10 Jul 2009, 2:40pm

    I’m all for free speech even if it offends or incites, just as long as we have the same right to offend religious bigots by anything we say about them with equally offensive words. Its a two way street. I don’t want to hear religious cults playing the victim card either, they reap what they sow.

    As for Rowan Atkinson’s comment, I think we need to have more gay comedians ragging on about straights and their behaviour even if its offensive to them to even the field. Maybe that will make them think twice and what its like to be on the receiving end of cheap jokes at our expense. Here in the states, some gay comedians often refer to straights as “breeders”. Its a derogatory reference and it pisses many of them off. British gay comedians should start doing the same to demonstrate how unkind words have consequences. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  46. Robert, ex-pat Brit 10 Jul 2009, 2:41pm

    The Home Office should also reverse the other form of censorship by banning certain undesirables from entering the UK based on their history of hate speech.

  47. Robert, ex-pat Brit 10 Jul 2009, 2:43pm

    Another thing, isn’t it about time to get rid of the undemocratic, unelected House of Lords and give more power and democracy to the people?

  48. theotherone 10 Jul 2009, 3:32pm

    Mihangel apYrs:

    i must be a monster…

    You’re talking about Gay Bullying, this story is about something else.

    I’ve pointed out that the great british GOVERMENT has not efectivly handled the issue of bullying and left the door open to allow this.

    Try comparing apples to apples not apples to pears.

  49. James,

    We mustn’t confuse the issue. Church groups that try to change someone’s sexuality, electroshock therapies and “electrocuting people” are not issues that involve freedom of speech. This law does not affect any of these activities, as far as I understand.

    You say that religion and sexual orientation are not the same thing, and I agree with you. A religious person will agree with us too but for different reasons. But what each of us thinks is only relevant to a degree because the law’s intent is to forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, religion, race…

    So whatever you advocate for one category, you must expect to have to respect for another.

    I’m in two minds about this, so I’m not entirely sure where to side on this issue, but your argument feels a little emotional and personally I feel uneasy about taking away people’s freedom of speech on the basis that what is said can be offensive.

    I’d rather run the risk of being offended than finding myself sued for speaking my mind.

  50. Complain to the "Homophobic Fascist” Rowan Atkinson via his Agent:Agency:PBJ Management

  51. Dominick J. 10 Jul 2009, 4:21pm

    What a shame they can’t just do their jobs and PROTECT and Defend and stand for the “rights” of all the people. Wearing those black robes and pretending to stand for justice for all is disgusting. Freedom of Speech is suppose to come with responsibilty. It wasn’t ment to take away rights or to defame or margininalize or Help to incite hatetred and murder.

  52. Funny how many Christians are all for free speech when it comes to encouraging discrimination against gays, but when something comes along like ‘Jerry Springer’- which they find offensive, but doesn’t in any way stir up hatred or bigotry against any people- they go running to blasphemy laws

  53. Daniel Wilkes 10 Jul 2009, 11:43pm

    It says a lot about the majority of members in the House of Lords that they want to keep this silly amendment which does absolutely nothing to the meaning of the law.

    “In this Part, for the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred.”

    Reads the section under question. “For the avoidance of doubt” clearly suggests that even the homophobes who wrote it knew that the law was never intended to be used in such circumstances anyway. So, all it does is, like section 28 before it (which never resulted in a successful prosecution), enshrine in English law the idea that homosexuality is something that should be criticised. It maintains the idea of homosexual “practices” and “sexual conduct” being morally questionable in English law (if not actually criminal), something which I had hoped was finally got rid of with the repeal of the sodomy law. This is the religious homophobes in the legislature clutching at straws, testing their strength and hoping against hope that that they can keep the state at least nominally homophobic, lest they lose their last toehold in the fight for everybody’s “mortal souls”.

    HM Government and the Commons (which the people elected) were right to scrap this completely ineffective, yet offensive, amendment and that the unelected Lords should dare to challenge the Commons on a point of morality more than once is outrageous!

  54. theotherone 11 Jul 2009, 11:46am

    Dominick J: consider how silly your post sounds – free speach is great as long as no one says anything nasty.

    You take the rough with the smooth free speach wise – you don’t silance people, you chalange them. Voltare is often misquoted as saying ‘I deplore what you say but I defend your right to say it’ I’d say this: I deplore what you say and I’d love you to say it so that I can shout it down.

  55. Mihangel apYrs 11 Jul 2009, 3:28pm

    OK try again. No-one has the right not to be offended, everyone has the right not to be made to feel unsafe or degraded, as a lot of clergy-speak does. And hate-speech can validate violence. I’m in favour of absulute freedom up to the point where it invades my space. But eaqually we want the protection that religion and others have: if it’s seen as being valid for them why not for us. I can’t say someone is an abomination and a threat to children and society if they’re black, but I can if they’re gay and I do it from a religious point of view or a pulpit.

  56. theotherone 12 Jul 2009, 1:26pm

    so the answer then is MORe infringments on free speach?

    What next? Legislation to protect red heads? Small people? People with a third nipple? We should get rid of the laws that protect the religious not put more lawsin place.

  57. Mihangel apYrs 12 Jul 2009, 1:34pm

    Let’s just agree that we disagree on this. I have one point of view (and believe me I do understand yours, once I believed freedom of speech was absolute), you have another, one that I don’t wholly subscribe to.

    We will have to see the fallout in the future.

  58. theotherone 12 Jul 2009, 4:07pm

    agreeing to disagree is fine by me :-)

  59. There’s no ‘a’ in ‘speech’ theotherone ;-)

  60. My concern is who decides what is inciting hatred? How is this proven – if it’s just by someone stating in court they felt there were being hated – then it’s concerning that genuine free speech becomes limited.

    The liberal wing is currently in the ascendancy, and so Christians may feel threatened that they’re losing their freedome of speech. But what happens if the balance of public opinion swings the other way – it has in the past so who says it can’t happen again?

    I passionately believe in free speech – but I’m not sure it’s a widely held belief by most gays on here. I believe Christian bigotry exists – but the above comments also show gay bigotry isn’t a figment of my imagination either.

  61. Jonathan

    Gay bigotry sounds truly disturbing . . . I would be grateful if you could clarify this further.

  62. It surprises me that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has not been mentioned in an attempt to define free speech. The groundwork is there.

  63. I thought that the house of Lords had essentially no power in England, and was really a cultural thing celebrating English history. Maybe I am wrong

    Re hate speach – doesn’t the world, and the ghosts of the 50+ million who died in WWII say something to us – that real hate speech, and speech that ties in with cultural background hatreds, should be band. If only hate speech had been banned in Germany in the 1930s.

    Perhaps no one would have walked the the gates of the compounds, that had a sign “work makes free” in German. The greatest lie on the face of the earth. Instead 6 million Jews, and millions of other undesireables, including germany’s gays walked through those gates. Only one way. Because they exited through hitler’s chimneys.

    And the hatred of the Jews came from what conservative church. Whose hierarchy is a disgrace before God for how they violate the very meaning of Jesus life on earth as a mescsage for all people.

  64. No way should it be illegal to openly discuss or debate homosexuality! Now we’re just taking it too far! Being deaf is not a choice, and many deaf people would prefer to stay deaf (i.e. not get a Cochlear Implant to restore hearing). I guess it should be illegal to try to convince friends or relatives to get one of these too?

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