Wednesday, October 10, 2007

UK: Anti-Gay Comments Could Land You in Jail for 7 Years Under New Law

Stirring up hatred against homosexuals is to become a serious crime punishable with a seven-year jail sentence under a law announced last night.

From "New law means anti-gay comments could lead to seven years in jail" by Steve Doughty and James Slack, posted 10/08/07 at

The legislation - similar to laws already in force outlawing persecution on religious or racial grounds - will make criminals of those who express their views in ways that could lead to the bullying or harassment of gays.

The maximum sentence is longer than the average of around five years handed to rapists.

The announcement widened the rift between opposing supporters of freedom of speech and gay rights.

Christian groups condemned it as "a law to allow Christiansto be locked up for what they believe".

But the gay pressure group Stonewall said those who disapprove of homosexuals would have nothing to fear from the law if they express their views in a manner that is "temperate" and "polite".

Justice Secretary Jack Straw told MPs the gay harassment law will be included as an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill currently going before Parliament, though ministers have yet to decide the wording.

Mr Straw said: "It is a measure of how far we have come as a society in the last ten years that we are now appalled by hatred and invective directed at people on the basis of their sexuality.

"It is time for the law to recognise this."

He raised the prospect of extending the law to cover to "transgendered" people and the disabled.

The new law aims to catch those who do not explicitly call for attacks or discrimination against homosexuals, as this is covered by existing incitement laws.

Instead, police will be allowed to pursue those who create an "atmosphere or climate" in which hatred or bullying can be fostered. Officials said it would not prohibit criticism of gay, lesbian and bisexual people or joke-telling.

The final decision over who has "crossed the line" will rest with the police.

Read the rest of this article.

Related coverage:
A victory for gay equality? You must be joking!
Gay Comedian Speaks Out Against New British Hate Speech Law

If it wasn't clear before, the writing is on the wall now. Religious freedom is being destroyed and persecution is coming. The Church in the Western World is about to get sifted.

It might not hurt to send a copy of this article to senators Durbin and Obama and ask them if this is what they eventually have in mind for America since they support ENDA and Hate crimes legislation. While your at it, check out where your representative stands on this legislation too. Click here to contact your legislators.