Sunday, July 22, 2007

Some Hate Is More Equal Than Others

Escellent Greg Koukl column re:hate crimes legislation.

Here's one little slice I liked:

Hate crime legislation changes all that. Now motive as well as conduct can be punished. This is a frightening step. "At the end of the day," wrote former ambassador Alan Keyes, "government can govern men's actions; it cannot govern their hearts. And when it attempts to govern their hearts, that is simply an excuse for the worst kind of tyranny."

Keyes’ remarks are not mere hyperbole. In April 2004, by a vote of 59 to 11, the Canadian Parliament passed bill C-250 criminalizing the expression of “hate” for homosexuality. The text reads:

Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, willfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of ... an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

This is just the first step. Svend Robinson, the MP who authored C-250, wants the law to go beyond punishing incitement to hatred to criminalizing the anti-homosexual speech itself. It makes one wonder how an unfettered debate on same-sex marriage will be able to proceed (“All those opposed to same-sex marriage…you’re under arrest”).

No comments: