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MPs vote against ‘free speech’ protection in gay hate law

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  1. The Halcyon 10 Nov 2009, 12:43pm

    Thank mercy for the intelligence of the Commons. Now scuttle on off to your hole, Waddington.

  2. David North 10 Nov 2009, 12:48pm

    ‘I “DEMAND” the right be an obnoxious bigot to be enshrined in secular law because the SKY pixie I believe in tells me so.’

    What is it with these people that they cannot see just how awful and idiotic that comes across?

  3. Submitting the amendment once was a statement, but four times is just pathetic – hopefully this is the end of it.

    I for one would be riveted to hear Waddington and the Tory MPs in question answer why this amendment is necessary in their eyes but not one to race protection laws reading:
    “For the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of inter-racial marriage or reproduction 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.”

  4. Mumbo Jumbo 10 Nov 2009, 1:52pm

    Jessica, as on all stories of this nature, a breakdown of the voting figures according to party would be informative.

  5. Yes, a breakdown on this vote would be remarkably interesting. Good thinking Mumbo Jumbo

  6. Thank goodness the Waddington amendment has been rejected yet again. It’s to be hoped this is the last we’ll see of it. Why should religionists have a special get-out-of-jail card? And why can’t they see the connection between the garbage they talk and what appears to be an upsurge in homophobic violence? I suppose it’s to do with the basic human quality of empathy. To be empathetic you’ve got to understand that different people think and feel differently, and accept that. These people have absolutely no concept of what it might be like to be someone else. Why should that complete cluelessness be enshrined in law?

  7. I am actually with Lord W on this one. Give the bigots enough rope to hang themselves. If they are capable of having a rational debate on the subject, then they can have their say – none of these ammendments allow incitement to hatred or crime.

    Just as my husband and I expect the right to be allowed to walk the streets hand-in-hand without fear of discrimination or retribution, I respect the rights of others who may wish to have public debate on the matter. I answer any questions put to me openly and honestly. Outright hostility is met with the response it deserves: A swift call to the Police.

    Forbidding open discussion is just another form of denial. Why not let them have their say, that way we can talk about the facts of life out in the open, the birds and the bees, and maybe – just maybe – the message that we aren’t ‘freaks’ will get through to one or two people.

  8. I admire your idealism, Dionysian, but, honestly: “religionists” and “rational debate”? Shome mishtake there shurely!

  9. “I respect the rights of others who may wish to have public debate on the matter”

    But it is rarely a public debate, is it? Alas, no. I disagree with your assessment of what constitutes “free speech”, Dionysian.

    The usual end result is something along the lines of “homosexuals should be put to death”…. this is not uncommon among some religious extremists, and this is NOT free speech.

    Free speech is the right to debate an opinion or to have free though. Its is not a right to advocate the harming or oppression or even the death of anther based on a belief system that cannot be substantiated in a court of law. These religious organisation don’t want free-speech. they want to the right to discriminate. This is very, very different indeed. And thank god for this rare gem of the wisdom from democracy.

    Ironic they call their rights to discriminate “free speech” and in the same stroke, seek to deny the rights of another to exist in a world free of harm. In a sense, this is blind hypocrisy in its purest form.

  10. Will is right. What we are asking for is the same protections that exist for racial incitement. This law allows for the ability for individuals to engage in free speech to critique gays and lesbians; but there is a huge difference between that conversation and both active discrimination and hate speech which puts our lives and our families at risk. Why should we be any less deserving of the kind of protection racial minorities have when gays and lesbians are being attacked and killed in our streets? And if you think that there is no correlation between hate speech and acts of violence then ask any victim of gay bashing what words were said as the fists and boots rained down….

  11. The Halcyon 10 Nov 2009, 3:52pm

    David North – Don’t you mean the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

  12. A happy day!!

  13. Either put special clauses in all hate crime legislation (race, religious, sex, orientation etc) or none.

    Their right to mouth of is already enshrined in law as it is.

  14. It will be interesting to see if this will be applied to the religious bigots who preach ‘death to gays’. I somehow doubt it because everyone seems terrified of upsetting them.

  15. Thanks for that, dave. It made for interesting reading. No big surprises, obviously! Thanks again.

  16. thats brilliant dave! many thanks for the link to the party breakdown. it is always good to know who out friends and enemies are!

  17. Thanks for posting that dave.

    I think the only thing I need to add is:

    You cannot have Freedom of Speech without responsibility. You cannot have a situation where people can say whatever they want, without there being consequences – because at a basic level there will always be consequences for someone; be it in the form of feeling marginalised, or at the other extreme of see hatred stirred up.

    We provide protection for other groups from this in law, why should the LGBT community be exempt from such protection? Are we worth less?


    Let’s hope that the now this has been sent back a fourth time the Lords will stop procrastinating and pass the bill.

  18. Merseymike 10 Nov 2009, 5:47pm

    The point is that this is a very reasonable amendment…..clearly a whipped vote with the usual suspects on the Labour side opposing. As for the Tories, well, just sums up why could never vote for them

  19. WOW it is now pretty obvious which party we should support!!!!

  20. If David North is quite happy to be prosecuted by the police for what he has written at the top of this piece, then let’s all go ahead.
    This Bill is ludicrous and dangerous, freedom of speech and even thought is being destroyed bit by bit by people who believe “some pigs are more equal than others”. Newspeak, Thought Police, Unwords – truly Orwellian indeed.
    Every gay person who believes they have been persecuted in the past should shun these dreadful legislators. can you not see that more and more power is being sucked up by the state?

    It is cruelly ironic that on the 20th anniversery of the falling of the Berlin Wall that these powers are being driven through (and an unelected European President is being given the nod by a group of Politburo-types “leaders”). I wonder if we see ourselves when we wonder how a democratic Germany voted Hitler in and allowed the Third Reich to take hold.

  21. Julian, removal of this amendment just means that the same wording is used for protection of gay people as religious people. Are you saying we are less worthy of protection? These laws are rarely used in practice. The message they send out however, is a powerful one. The Waddington amendment devalues this message completely.

  22. It is obvious from looking at the names of those voting against the Waddington amendment, why no gay person should vote conservative. Not one conservative appears to have voted in favour of removing the amendment! I fear for gay equality under a Tory government! The only liberal democrat to vote against was the bigot Beith from Berwick.

  23. I have come to realise that free speech in relation to hate is never free. There is always a cost!
    bless the labour party for they are without sin. and may the evil tories be damned in eternal whatever!

  24. Mumbo Jumbo 10 Nov 2009, 8:21pm

    Thanks for the (second) link Dave. As I indicated earlier, that was the real story in this vote and it was sloppy reporting on Pink News’s part not to have it included in the article.

  25. Joe Johnston 11 Nov 2009, 12:43am

    No wonder there is homophobia. The people posting on here who cannot see the difference between legitimate comment and incitement to hatred do us more harm than good. Taking away the right of someone who wants to say that they disapprove of my homosexual lifestyle is disgraceful. Freedom of speech MUST apply to EVERYONE – incitement to hatred MUST NOT be available to ANYONE and only the unintelligent (like some of the posters on here) cannot tell the difference.

  26. Eagle the militant American Indian-Jew 11 Nov 2009, 12:46am

    Any free speech that condemns homosexuality most always leads to violence against gays and any moron knows that. People that put some prunes in power are prunes themselves. If you put in jackass in with well bred race horses its still going to remain a jackass.
    A thin line exists between freedom and oppression. Some free speech needs to be controlled whereas such speech takes away certain freedoms from others.

  27. Hurray – I was wondering when someone would drag Hitler into the argument ! Sorry folks, just as a racist can’t claim “free speech” when abusing someone because of the ethnicity, a religious nutter should not have the right to quote life threatening verses from Leviticus because of their sexuality without being prepared to to stand up in court and defend whatthey say. Free speech is not being denied, abolished, crushed trashed – just the right for bigots to say things without having to justify themselves in a court of law…… how terrible, they will actually have to justify their poisonous words elsewhere than in a free ride pulpit. How awful. Maybe we’ll get a few of them thinking hard before they open their traps and spew forth more murderous bile.

  28. 21stCenturySpirituality 11 Nov 2009, 5:06am

    This legislation is also being discussed on the Christian Institutes Facebook Page.

  29. Free speech isn’t free. Do you people understand what you are saying? You want to criminalise someone who doesn’t like homosexuality and says they don’t like it? This is state run brain washing.

    What is this hate everyone goes on about all the time anyway? Can someone please explain the term?

    There is a civil sanction for libel which has been available for hundreds of years in this country, now that is being wiped away by judges and cerrtain celebrities with their “prior injunctions” and we now criminalise people for airing views.

    Once agin, if david is happy to be prosecuted for calling a religious nut a bigot, then let’s prosecute people for saying they don’t agree with gays or gay sex. You are confusing incitement to violence with “incitement to not agree with me”.

    The arguement here seems to be “we don’t care how totalitarian the sate becomes so long as we are on top”. It is chilling

  30. well, I have a sick day off and sense prevails! What can I say. I notice my own local MP was in the sensible camp so he avoids a caustic note from me.

  31. Julian – inciting hatred is done by the ones who whine they don’t agree with LBG people
    civil sanctions don’t seem effective when many get away with homophobia
    homophobia is accepted by rubbish comedians and bigoted believers

  32. “The argument here seems to be “we don’t care how totalitarian the sate becomes so long as we are on top”. It is chilling”

    Again, Julian, like many people here, you do not understand the concept of free speech.

    Free speech is the right to say “I think gays are wrong”, and even if the majority don’t agree with it, a person has every right to think and say that. This is free speech.

    Saying “I think gays are wrong and should have no rights” is not free speech, it is oppression and discrimination by one belief system over a minority. Free speech is not the right to actively impose restrictions on the basic human rights of others, which is exactly what these religious institutions want.

    See the difference?

  33. We’re not there yet. The House of Lords has to agree and has rejected the Commons’ position once already this session. The matter is back in the Lords today. Expect hysterical whinging from the Christians as ever.

    The parliamentary session is nearly at an end. There will be severe temptation on the Government to drop this issue and let the rest of the Bill pass without it. If the house of Lords is stubborn again tonight then everyone who possibly can will need to lobby Labour and LibDem MPs (on this issue at any rate there is no hope with the Tories) not to give in.

  34. Julian – you’re failing to understand what the Bill is about, and why is was important to stop this amendment.

    People will still be able to say that they disagree with homosexuality, and the LGBT community having equal rights. They will still be entitled to their opinion, and to say it. BUT, they will no longer be able to stand up and say that the we should be taken out and shot, or stoned, or killed.

    There is a difference. There is a marked distinction.

    You say taking that right away damages our society. Allowing people to incite hatred, to condone murder, to suggest killing – you seriously see that as less damaging, than saying “no, we won’t tolerate people doing that anymore.”

    However, as much as I disagree with your take on this, you’re entitled to it.

  35. The conservatives seem united in this, let us be clear, to retain the right to condemn us. That is not free speech. Anne Widdecombe et al are NOT arguing for free speech, but to retain the right to prevent our equality. Will Sinister Mary and Yapping Rex tell us to shut up again?

  36. Derek North 11 Nov 2009, 11:23pm

    The right to hatred remains:

    “Peers voted by 179 to 135 to keep the defence – despite justice minister Lord Bach pointing out MPs had voted to overturn it on four occasions”

    OK. Fine. I’m off out to straight bash. Do I get that right.

    I’m allowed under the so called Law.

    I think not.

    Lets wait and see the voting record of these liars.

  37. Derek North 11 Nov 2009, 11:32pm

    My Flying Spaghetti Monster states that all gay people are an intrisicly disorded species.

    They have no protection.

    They are now legally allowed to be abused in the streets, verbally but not physically.

    As long as it suits your religion and right to free speech.

  38. I am disappointed in the Conservatives on this. They are completely united in favour of the so called free speech defence. Though a natural conservative voter economically, I remain worried about my rights under a Tory administration and this adds to my worry.

    As to the vote itself, the Government intends, it says, to reverse it but there is only a small amount of time left (can’t keep HM waiting to open the next session) and I fear the Government won’t want to lose the whole Bill.

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