Hate law protection extended

09.17.03

Parliament has voted to extend hate law protection to gays by a wider margin than yesterday’s vote on gay marriage. But the motion still passed only by 33 votes.

This bill was kind of a rock-or-a-hard-place issue. It’s tempting to lump it together with yesterday’s marriage vote, but in reality, the issues are separate. Sure, both votes involved gays and human rights, but that’s where the similarities end.

Firstly, today’s vote was proposed by idiotarian Svend Robinson (and for the record, it’s his politics, not his sexual orientation, that I object to).  Remember Svend? The guy who nominated the ISM for a Nobel Peace Prize? And made the announcement on IndyMedia? Yeah, forgive me for being a bit skeptical of him.

In this case, though, I find myself agreeing with Svend . . . because the alternative is people like this:

Opponents of the bill had complained that the legislation would stifle free speech, particularly among religious groups.

Some worried that passages in the Bible condemning homosexuality could be declared hate literature.

“We’ve seen through the courts that when religious freedom comes up against gay rights, that in fact religious freedom intends to be more often than not the loser in those particular cases,” said Derek Rogusky, of the group Focus on the Family.

Actually, the main difference is that the issue here is not marriage – where, granting the right to gays to marry doesn’t infringe on the rights of straight people to do so. The issue is much more controversial than that. A debate has been raging about hate laws right here on this blog, and I can’t say that there’s any black and white clear answer on the notion.

However, it seems clear to me that, considering the fact that these hate laws already exist, and that it’s already illegal to incite hatred against people based on colour, race, ethnicity, or religion, then it seems logical to me that sexual orientation be included as well.

In other words, either the law should be for everyone or no-one. Either extend it to gays or scrap it altogether. Anything else is just plain hypocritical.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Paul Jané 09.18.03 at 2:14 AM

Hear, hear!

(Although it definitely is discomforting to find oneself agreeing with Svend Robinson on anything. I think I need a shower now…)

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2 Eric 09.18.03 at 3:09 AM

“In other words, either the law should be for everyone or no-one. Either extend it to gays or scrap it altogether. Anything else is just plain hypocritical.”

Can’t argue with this one.

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3 Hanthala 09.19.03 at 12:21 AM

yeah, what eric said. interesting argument about religious texts though…

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4 Dave 09.19.03 at 6:04 AM

Hate laws protect everyone with enough money for a lawyer.

Stifling free speech is truly one of the few slippery slopes.

Tobogganning in Canada – weeeeee!

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5 Sigivald 09.19.03 at 8:46 PM

Eric: I can. Hypocrist is better than illiberty.

I’d rather a hypocritical situation with more liberty, than a consistent tyranny. (Not that I think this constitutes actual tyranny, but the point is the same).

The perfect shouldn’t be the enemy of the good. As I’m opposed to hate crime laws (IE, I don’t think it should be Extra Illegal to commit an identical crime for a “hateful” motive, than without that motive… notwithstanding the difficulties of demonstrating “hate” properly, et. al.) in general, I see no reason that they should be expanded merely to be consistent with an ideal I think is wrong.

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