Main | Saturday, October 15, 2011

Britain May Soften Hate Speech Laws

After criticism from both sides regarding the arrests of anti-gay street preachers, Britain is considering a softening of what constitutes public hate speech.
An amendment is contained in the Protection of Freedoms Bill and Home Office consultation was published yesterday. Civil rights groups – and gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell – have called for the law to be changed because it “criminalises free speech”. Gay rights charity Stonewall has opposed any change to the law. Speaking in July, Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s director of public affairs, said: “We believe that the law is currently settled in the right place balancing freedom of expression with people’s right to live free from abuse which can be hugely intimidating. We will continue to express this view firmly to ministers.”

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