New UK law means anti-gay comments could lead to seven years in jail

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by obeygiant, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #1
    [​IMG]

    The Daily Mail


    England: Embrace diversity or be thrown in jail!

    I wonder how police will decide if people have crossed the line or not?
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #2
    i personally think that's absurd. i may be and I say MAYBE ok with a fine but 7 years. this is a little overboard imo.

    i am all for people being civil to each other which i think is needed in society
     
  3. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #3
    Gee- this is your first post since you came back. I guess I shouldn't take that as a personal swipe or anything. Wonder how long you've been saving this one up?
     
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #4
    was that in reference to me?
     
  5. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #5
    Nope. And just for the record, I don't agree with this proposed law.
     
  6. obeygiant thread starter macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #6
    Actually I thought it would be kind of ironic. :)

    For the record, the question I was banned for was one I honestly wanted an answer to. I wasn't trying to be offensive. I had had like two glasses of wine tho. :D
     
  7. Pants Dragon macrumors regular

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    #7
    Completely and utterly stupid. I'm beginning to forget what free speech is.:rolleyes:
     
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    Free speech doesn't mean you have the right to incite hatred against others and what's more, the law allows for up to seven years, it's not automatically seven years.

    I'm obviously for this law, as it's only going to affect the hate-mongering bigots in this society who make life difficult for others... this is particularly on the backs of the cancelled tours of a number of reggae and dancehall artists who have, through their lyrics and public stances, incited terrible actions against many communities. Also affected are going to be a number of fundamentalist preachers from a number of faiths...

    Tough.
     
  9. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

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    #9
    Just curious as to why you don't agree with it.
     
  10. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #10
    A 7 year prison sentence for COMMENTS? Seems like the wrong solution for expressing an opinion - right or wrong.
     
  11. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

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    #11
    It probably won't be used that often.

     
  12. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #12

    Given the source, the Daily Mail, I would take a pinch of salt of their claims. I would suspect that the law is more aimed at those inciting groups of people... although I haven't read the the current Bill in detail, nor has anyone else here, I would wager. ;)
     
  13. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #13
    Let me say "That's so gay!"

    /end irony

    Seriously though, I worry when people start passing laws against thoughtcrime and wrongspeak.
     
  14. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #14
    Because I like to know who my enemies are.

    That's what I thought when I read it.
     
  15. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #15
    Are you saying that we don't have any MPs on MR? For those who are interested, this link will let you track the progress of the relevant bill.

    If this amendment runs similar to the racial and religious incitement laws, it's nothing for most people to be afraid of. With the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, there is the same problem of broad arrest powers (which bother me) and no real definition of what is truly threatening (which makes sense, but is still bothersome). The exception to the Act, and I presume this amendment, is as follows:

    How do you distinguish abuse and antipathy at the most severe from threats?

    As an aside, I don't see this ever happening in the US. "Fighting words" are not protected speech, but in over 200 years, the SCOTUS has been loath to define what those words are.
     
  16. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #16
    ^Since this is proposed as an amendment, with the wording still yet to be finalised, then yes, I suspect no-one here has read it, least of all The Daily Mail. ;)
     
  17. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #17
    Well, the UK's track record with ASBOs seems to be pretty dismal so I have a hard time imagining that this law would be much better.

    Are there any other hate speech laws in the UK?
     
  18. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #18
    I wasn't going to comment because I had a feeling it wasn't actually what it's being presented as, but since so many people here seem to think it is, I'll point out the obvious. It's not about what you say. No matter how disgusting. It's about inciting violence against others. You can hate gays all you want, but if you go out in front of a group of people who follow you or listen to you and tell them to actually go out and commit violence, you could be held culpable. No so sure I agree with it as is, it doesn't seem to be as specific as it should be. But it seems like sensationalism on the part of the paper, and even more so of the OP. Who isn't British.

    What did you expect us to say, that we agree with anyone who wants to take away freedom of speech because they're saying something we don't like? Because no one here will say that. I can't help but question your motives.
     
  19. obeygiant thread starter macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #19
    yeah, bingo.

    So, you think I'm being sensationalist by posting this story? And it really doesnt matter that I'm not british. Are you telling me its off-limits for me to post it? If you havent noticed there are many nationalities who post on a wide range of issues in this forum.

    My motives? I'm curious to what you think my motives are, solvs.
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    And of course we had our poster last week who was insisting that Ahmedinijad's words were sufficient to have him arrested in America...
     
  21. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #22
    Why?
     
  22. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #23
    Maybe for the same reason, maybe not, but the vagueness of the law is absurd. That a law, on its face, leaves enforcement up to the individual is incredibly scary, be it to protect race, religion, creed, sex, orientation, etc.

    Laws may be enforced unequally, but the legislature could at least make the effort to make it appear neutral at face value.
     
  23. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #24

    Since ministers have yet to decide on the wording of the amendment to the bill, which is still going through various debates and committee stages, then I guess there's a good reason for it to be vague.

    This thread is discussing something which doesn't even exist in law or even proposed law yet... there's a chance any wording of any bill can be amended or struck down before it even reaches the Lords.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/pabills/200607/criminal_justice_and_immigration.htm

    So, in effect, this thread and the Mail's report is just fanning the flames of those who get their knickers in a twist about these kind of things.
     
  24. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #25
    Yes, I agree. But, I suspect that the intent is to get the wording similar to the other incitement laws. If it is more stringent, you'll have folks complaining that the gays are more protected than the Christians. If it is less, you'll have folks complaining that the Christians are more protected than the gays.

    Best move would be to maintain a level of continuity. And doing so, would leave us with a vague definition inciting language.

    So, while the wording is not final, I don't think it unreasonable to rely on prior laws to prognosticate on the expected.
     

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