Monday, August 30, 2004

We don’t need hate speech laws

There's been a lot of talk about hate speech. People talk of Destiny marching with hate, others speak of anti-Semitic attacking of graves as proof that we need hate speech laws. Gay people are getting freaked that people in black t-shirts are marching down city streets expressing their views - and they want that curbed. There's even a Select committee hearing submissions on the issue of hate speech. Submissions to the Government Administration select committee close 1 October.

Parliament's responsibility is to balance freedom of speech as a fundamental right in a democratic society with the protection of individuals from direct harm which may be the consequence of inciting hatred against them. Note the words direct harm. Harm does not mean hurt feelings - does it?

Firstly, there are laws about attacking graves. Attacking graves is not hate speech. It is vandalism and racism. Burning flags is not hate speech. It is currently legal. Protesting lawfully is not hate speech - which is, incidentally, what Destiny Church followers were doing.

But who is calling for hate speech laws - the Jews, the Muslims, perhaps the Christians, a few parents who want to shut up their rebellious kids, maybe the Maori, or does this come from beneficaries.

No. It’s the homosexuals.

Some homosexuals seem to think that people hate them - but they are quite happy to slag off people who don’t agree with them. Most of these people they slag off happen to be people who don’t particularly like the gender of the person that homosexuals want to have sex with.

Some of the people who are behind the promotion of hate speech laws are practicing what they say they are vehemently opposed to.

Hate speech laws are totally unnecessary. We live in a country where freedom of speech is valued. Hate speech laws would unnecessarily curb that freedom. If you don't agree with me, post a comment telling me why I`m wrong.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, the gay community is divided over the
issue of hate speech. As someone with a media
studies background, I'm a little sceptical
about whether hate speech as a media effect
is supposed to lead to hate crimes. Added to
which, New Zealand's gay male community has
usually been opposed to state censorship on
the basis of discriminatory censorship of our
erotic media.

And I *am* just as concerned about the desecration of
Jewish graves. As the grandson of an Indian immigrant,
I am as opposed to anti-Semitic offenses and organised racist violence as I am against antigay hate crimes.
Many Jewish New Zealanders are scared by what has happened recently.