Thursday, December 06, 2007

Incitement to Hatred Bill (homophobia): latest

Action: keep lobbying MPs and Party Leaders.

From Christian Concern for Our Nation: The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill was amended in last week’s committee stage to include an offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexuality. The wording of the amendment follows the wording of the existing law governing incitement to religious hatred. This means it only extends to words or behaviour which is threatening and where there is an intention to stir up hatred.

While we welcome the use of this wording, it is still our view that such a provision is unnecessary, as current criminal provisions adequately protect people from threatening and violent behaviour.

In addition, the new offence does not include a clause specifically protecting freedom of speech, as is present in the incitement to religious hatred provisions. This difference is hard to understand, as it seems greater protection is therefore being given to homosexual rights than to religious rights. Such a clause, stating that the new law will not affect peoples rights
to freedom of speech in similar terms to that enshrined in the religious hatred law is imperative to ensuring freedom of speech is protected for those seeking to speak about a biblical view of sex and relationships.

The Bill will continue to be debated in the House of Commons and can still be amended further to either delete this clause completely, or to add a clause protecting freedom of speech. Please continue to write to your MP and/or party leaders, pointing out that the new provision is unnecessary, and also that if it is included there must be further protection for freedom of speech, as is the case with religious hatred.

LCF Submission on the Government proposals are here.

Our previous emails on this issue

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen