Victory for free speech in ‘gay hate’ law
Their Lordships have triumphed. The House of Commons has accepted defeat in its attempt to remove Lord Waddington’s ‘free speech’ clause from the Coroners and Justice Bill, wherein is contained the legislation intended to eradicate incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexuality, or ‘homophobic’ expression in the public sphere.
A number of comedians had expressed concern that the new law might leave them open to prosecution.
The real comedians were those who thought that such a law was ever enforceable in the first place, for when does a forcefully-expressed opinion become harassment? When does criticism become phobia? When does a reasoned sermon become hate preaching?
Lord Waddington said:
“We are living at a time when Christian beliefs are under attack. That is something that I never thought I’d see during my lifetime. And so, for the first time, for a very long time, we are compelled to state our beliefs very, very clearly. And when issues arise which clearly are matters which affect our faith we have got to be prepared to state our case before the public.”