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Thread: Freedom of speech, homophobia and UK laws:Was Baptist Shawn Holes' conviction unfair?

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    Freedom of speech, homophobia and UK laws:Was Baptist Shawn Holes' conviction unfair?

    Source: DAILY MAIL, Wednesday March 31st, 2010.

    Headline:"Tatchell defends 'gays are sinners' preacher."

    Www: a.martin@dailymail.co.uk

    I am not asking whether you, as a homo-sympathiser or a homophobic, agree with Shawn Holes' statement that day he was arrested, but whether laws that govern such things as the freedom to criticise that which you disapprove of are too tough; as can be seen in this case, they are at least strict enough to warrant a response from both sides of the argument as to how far we should go in allowing or suppressing a statement that might appear offensive to some about an act or 'way of life' that might itself be considered offensive by the defendant and his moral Christian principles.
    Should morality from a Christian perspective go hand-in-hand with the legal freedom to express it, or should the freedom to express an alternative way of life such as homosexuality overrule the apparent courage and conviction of such people as Christians in the UK who still traditionally disagree with it?
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    Re: Freedom of speech, homophobia and UK laws:Was Baptist Shawn Holes' conviction unf

    this old chesnut again well you live by the rules die by the rules nuff said.
    All it takes for evil to succeed is that good people do nothing
    When men cease to believe in god, thay do not therefore believe in nothing ,thay then become capable of believing anything. G.K Chesterton
    If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" William Shakespeare,
    The cleverest thing the New World Order has done, is to convince mankind that It's a good thing to be enslaved.

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    Re: Freedom of speech, homophobia and UK laws:Was Baptist Shawn Holes' conviction unf

    Gay rights campaigner condemns

    The sad point is that he pleaded guilty out of expediency. Pity Mr Holes did not have the time to plead not guilty.
    He pleaded guilty to a breach of the peace, in the circumstances outlined.
    It's a really horrible use of the Scottish breach of the peace law, (Very different to Common Law B.o.P. in England and Wales) to stifle free speech.

    I agree with Peter Tatchell, that this is eroding the rights of free speech.

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    Re: Freedom of speech, homophobia and UK laws:Was Baptist Shawn Holes' conviction unf

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Gay rights campaigner condemns

    The sad point is that he pleaded guilty out of expediency.
    I agree with Peter Tatchell, that this is eroding the rights of free speech.
    The sad truth is that Christians often do what is expedient, including running away from that which frightens them including the Law.
    Yes, but give Christians too much and they'll take away yours. But this was quite steep under the circumstances.
    Reading maketh the man.

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    Re: Freedom of speech, homophobia and UK laws:Was Baptist Shawn Holes' conviction unf

    Well prosecuting him for that particular quote is very unfair, because as far as his religion is concerned, homosexuals are sinners. It is not the place of the state to define who are sinners and who are not.

  6. #6
    crazylilting Guest

    Re: Freedom of speech, homophobia and UK laws:Was Baptist Shawn Holes' conviction unf

    Freedom of speech is a difficult one. One i think should be revisited and amended personally. In the case of the Christian telling someone they are going to hell for being gay. I would simply call it uttering threats and prosecute him accordingly. No one has the right to question or discriminate against someone for their sexuality. It baffle's me how religion's that hold such a view are even allowed to transmit that belief to new believers. All bible's should be rewritten to reflect a higher moral standard, just shocking...

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    Re: Freedom of speech, homophobia and UK laws:Was Baptist Shawn Holes' conviction unf

    Quote Originally Posted by crazylilting View Post
    All bible's should be rewritten to reflect a higher moral standard, just shocking...
    Bwa hah hah hah hah.
    Yes, of course, maybe they'd move the apostrophes into their correct places at the same time.

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    Re: Freedom of speech, homophobia and UK laws:Was Baptist Shawn Holes' conviction unf

    Quote Originally Posted by crazylilting View Post
    In the case of the Christian telling someone they are going to hell for being gay. I would simply call it uttering threats and prosecute him accordingly.
    Which "uttering threats" law do you think covers this? .. or would you advocate yet another law to discriminate against believers?

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    Rizla Guest

    Re: Freedom of speech, homophobia and UK laws:Was Baptist Shawn Holes' conviction unf

    Mr Tatchell, 58, said: 'The price of freedom of speech is that we sometimes have to put up with opinions that are objectionable and offensive.
    It's not often I agree with Peter Tatchell, but in this case, the law is quie simply wrong.

  10. #10
    Major Sinic Guest

    Re: Freedom of speech, homophobia and UK laws:Was Baptist Shawn Holes' conviction unf

    Britain is, despite the war of attrition carried on by the last Labour government against many of our rights and freedoms, a relatively tolerant and free nation, and quite rightly so. Atheists are no longer burnt at the stake as heretics, and our citizens are pretty much at liberty to follow their beliefs in terms of creed, faith, religion, philosophy or lack of. The law attempts to protect us from others' excesses, thus freedom of speech or action is not an absolute, again quite rightly so.

    The problem seems to be that increasingly legislative protection of one minority is in conflict with the legislative protection of another. A Christian, however much he might be ridiculed by an intolerant secular society, still has the legal right to follow his faith. Equally homosexuals have the legal right to practice their sexual orientation. However in the Christian doctrine, the practicing of homosexuality is a sin. We had the recent situation where the Christian owners of a B & B refused to accommodate two homosexual males in a double bed, and are being prosecuted for this discrimination. This would suggest that the law requires that a person must be prepared to compromise their faith, if it is conflict with an 'arbitrary' more important freedom, in this case the right of two homosexual males to share a double bed.

    Whilst I don't question or disagree with the law which protects the rights of homosexuals, I do consider a law which legally coerces an individual into compromising his deeply held convictions is illiberal and not acceptable.

    My own view, and as an agnostic and a heterosexual I have no interest to declare, is that the potential 'damage' to the Christian proprietors of the B & B in compromising their beliefs, was greater than the 'damage' to the homosexual couple for hurt feelings and the inconvenience of accepting twin beds, or finding alternative accommodation. I believe that recognised religious convictions should excuse compliance with conflicting legislation. The principle in law is already established, in that Sikhs are permitted to ride a motorcycle without a crash hat, whereas it is a crime for anyone else to do so. Equally licensed kosher and halal butchers are permitted to slaughter livestock in a manner which if practiced elsewhere could leave the practitioner open to prosecution for cruelty.

    The pragmatic view of course is that the B & B proprietors could simply have said they did not have a double room available, or the homosexuals could have pushed the twin beds together, but I suppose that would be too easy.

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