Wednesday, April 06, 2005

hate speech?

NZ First MP Craig McNair has made a point that the comment from John Tamihere who said ‘sex with another male is unhealthy and violating,’ could be constituted as hate speech, as it incites hatred against people on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

I'm not so sure.

McNair is on the select committee inquiry into hate speech. I'm not as convinced as McNair that what JT said constitutes hate speech anyway as there appears to be no incitement or hatred. From Tamihere's viewpoint, his statement appears to be said on the basis of fact - or, more appropriately, honest opinion, which he is entitled to express. I note that nothing JT said in the Investigate article - which I have read - has been disproved.

In fact what Georgina Beyer said when she let loose at Destiny church supporters at the Enough is Enough rally could be more appropriately described as hate speech even if it was her honest opinion.

This suggests that her opinions of Destiny church people are a bit screwed, and that any hate speech laws are more about what people think about a class of people than about what they say about people in that class. In other words, hate speech is legislating against what people think, based on what they say. It’s a bit like nicking a person in a souped up car for speeding because they got into a car and revved up the engine with the express intent to exceed the speed limit. It's almost like making a law for no other reason than for people to break that law.

My view is that people should be able to express their opinion and take the consequences. If a person says something defamatory (outside the House anyway) they can be sued.

It reminds me of the old story: Three frogs were sitting on a log, two of them decided to jump. How many were left?

Well, how many? Comments.

1 comment:

His Whoreness said...

easy - three frogs were left