British politicians better gear up for battle.
The House of Lords voted last night to amend Justice Secretary Jack Straw’s “gay hate law,” which offers strict sentencing for homophobic remarks and actions that can be perceived as threatening. Many people, like Tory Home Secretary Lord Waddington, wonder whether such a law would trample freedom of speech.
When it comes to language touching on matters of sexual orientation, there has already been a load of trouble with the police misapplying the existing Public Order Act. It is our plain duty to try to prevent this continuing to happen.
The issue would be moot, of course, if people just got over the gays and minded their own business.
The House of Commons will now debate whether to push for Straw’s original law or roll over for the higher Lords, who, according to The Daily Mail, “voted no-one should face jail for criticizing gay lifestyles or urging homosexuals to change their ways.” And, surprisingly, we agree.
Sure, those ex-gays and “converters” are a pain in the ass, but can you imagine if they all went to jail? That we be half our editorial content – gone. Or, conversely, festering in prison, where there gay hate would only grow. Neither of these scenarios appeal to us.
As an adult, I think I can handle insults sent my way. As a parent, I reprimand any child who starts calling another child names or shows disrespect to an adult. If I am under physical assault, my primary concern is physical safety rather than the particular motivation for the attack.
I’m not a big supporter of adding hate as an extra crime or circumstance. My presumption is that no one is being assaulted because the assailant likes the victim. It is sort of implicit in violent attacks, isn’t it?
I’m more scared of criminalizing “thought crimes” than I am of someone calling me a faggot.
Shouldn’t PC Thuggism be discussed? Protection from violence or institutionalized discrimination is one thing…but verbal insults? Please…we’ll have the goddam “Be Nice” mutaween on our hands if this continues unchecked.
I don’t know how widespread “police misapplying the existing Public Order Act” is, but I personally know someone who asked the police for some data to resolve a question for an anti-bias policy her ministry was developing — and ended up being the subject of a police investigation for allegedly making a phobic comment (the question she’d been asked to research).
Over-zealousness even for a good cause is over-zealousness
This seems exactly to be the type of “special rights” that bigots accuse us of seeking… to implement this would just make gay people seem like whiners.
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