With the government releasing for public consultation its plan for laws governing ‘hate speech’, it is vital that families and faith communities understand what is really at stake with these proposals.
That’s why you need to read our FACT SHEET – hot off the press!
One of the most disturbing realities of criminalising “hateful” speech is that there is simply no universally agreed upon definition of what constitutes “hate” in speech. Without a clear definition, how will you know when or if you have broken the law?
There is no jurisdiction in the world where a statute has been enacted that offers a clear definition of what hate speech is. Consequently, it is left to the police and the courts to determine. This raises the problem of citizens not knowing precisely where the boundary of criminality of speech begins.”Historian and Professor, Dr Paul Moon
For example, traditional beliefs about human sexuality and identity, which have been held by the majority of humankind across diverse cultures for thousands of years, are only recently construed as “hateful”.
Under these proposed laws, people’s presumed reactions to your speech will become crucial to determining criminal intent. You may not actually intend harm, but if your speech is considered as showing hatred towards a particular group of people, you can be charged with inciting hatred and face a criminal conviction.
Make no mistake – political activists and special interest groups will miss the important distinction between hate-speech, and merely speech they hate and will end up using such laws as tools of political intimidation to punish opponents and shut down debate in the marketplace of ideas.
Don’t let that happen! It’s time to understand what’s really at stake, and push back.
Please use our Fact Sheet and additional commentary from our earlier email newsletter on this issue (CLICK HERE) to tell the Government what you think about the proposals.
MAKE A SUBMISSION TO THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE by 6 August 2021.
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