Main | Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gay Paper Supports End To Canada's Law Against Hate Speech

A columnist in Canada's gay magazine Xtra has come out in support of a move by MP Keith Martin to remove the provision against hate speech from the Canada Human Rights Act. Brenda Cossman:
[T]he best way to get your opinions about offensive speech into the paper is to bring a human rights complaint trying to censor the offensive speech. The hate speech provisions create an incentive to bring a complaint, so that you can actually then attract attention to your claim that something is offensive. Sorry, but this is crazy. Human rights commissions should not be censors. They should not be deciding just what words are too offensive for the Canadian public to hear. Imagine how gay presses might have fared over the years with these kind of laws, since lots of Canadians think that the stuff that gay people say is, well, totally offensive. I think I'm with Keith Martin. Let's get those provisions out of the human rights codes, and go back to fighting words with words, even if it's hard, and even if the words are, well, offensive.

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