Dr David Cumin
Free Speech Coalition

This is rather urgent. What the Government is proposing on hate speech laws is, frankly, scary. I’m writing to ask for your urgent support so we can stop it.

The Newsroom website (for Newsroom subscribers only) has obtained the Cabinet Paper put forward by Justice Minister Chris Faafoi showing what the Government has in store to “protect” us from so-called ‘hate speech’. The measures go much further than the Royal Commission into Christchurch recommended.

Possible jail time for “abusing or insulting communications”, or “inciting disharmony”.
We couldn’t make this up. The first proposal makes it a criminal offence for “the incitement of disharmony, based on an intent to stir up, maintain or normalise hatred, through threatening, abusive or insulting communications.”

It shifts the current speech laws from the Human Rights Act to the Crimes Act, with penalties of up to three years prison time.

The reforms seek to change the scope of speech restrictions too. They would make many more types of discrimination subject to the law: including hatred against religious belief, and even political belief.

According to the report:

“In addition to adding in new prohibited grounds of discrimination, specific amendments were suggested to clarify the law’s applicability to anti-trans discrimination. A new ground of “gender, including gender identity and gender expression” would be created and the definition of “sex” would be amended to “explicitly include sex characteristics or intersex status.” As well as criminal liability, the standard for civil liability would be expanded under the proposals to include cases where there has been “incitement to discrimination”, not just “incitement to hatred.”

Laws against “inciting disharmony” sound like something out of communist China, not a western democracy.

As David Farrar tweeted:

We need to step up now to defeat these proposals because these proposals are far worse than we expected, and we need all the financial support we can muster to defeat them.

I’ve just called a urgent meeting of the Free Speech Coalition campaign team. We will be planning our fight against the Government’s radical plans. But we need your support right now so we can spread the word about these proposals.

We need to know what resources we have available for this fight. I am asking you to chip in to our fighting fund right now.

I don’t want New Zealand turning into a society where the police are tasked with monitoring ‘offensive’ political opinions. But to stop it, we need your support.

The BFD. Free Speech. Cartoon credit: SonovaMin

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Breaking: Proposed Hate Speech Laws Are Terrible

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