10/07/09

Gay abandon: the right to debate but not to hate

bruno_sacha_baron_cohen

The day before the UK release of Bruno, Sasha Baron Cohen’s swish along the catwalks of homophobia, the UK’s House of Lords voted to allow Brits to criticize homosexuality. Gay groups are painting this as a victory for homophobia. Christian groups say it is a victory for free speech. I say, on balance, that it is a victory for common sense.

The debate focused mostly on the difference between criticism and incitement to hatred. Is it wrong to teach schoolkids that it’s OK to thump anyone who they think is a sissy? Yes, just as it is wrong to encourage violence against anyone with the “wrong” skin colour. But should people face prosecution for open debate about the pros and cons of gay marriage, nuclear families with same-sex parents and the like? Surely not. We may not like people who are crtical of the things we hold most dear, but our society is built on their right to criticise our views, and ours to criticise theirs.

For my part, I would be more than happy to criticise (possibly even thump!) the self-righteous prig who told The Moral Maze that she didn’t think that gay people ought to be allowed to work as gardeners in Christian schools. (Replay of programme available until 18/07/09) I kept willing one of the panelists to ask her what she thinks Christ would have done (or indeed did do) if any of that tight little band of apostles was gay. I find her views pretty offensive, but I don’t think she should be locked up for expressing them.

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This post was published on 10/07/09 in Ideology and HIV, Men, women and others.

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  1. Comment by roger, 10/07/09, 02:16:

    I personnaly don’t think Bruno is a homophobic movie, it only confirms that straight people have a crap sense of humour 😉

    As good as “Legally Blonde”…

  2. Comment by Dr Rajesh Gopal, 13/07/09, 12:53:

    n a 105 page judgement delivered by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the High Court of Delhi(Mr.Justice Ajit Prakash Shah) and Hon’ble Dr Justice S.Muralidhar; apparently some portions of the section377 of the Indian Penal Code have been declared null and void.

    The provision criminalized even an act of consensual sex between adults of same sex in private an offence-a non-bailable crime with punishment of 8 to 10 years.

    The High Court of Delhi of 2 July 2009 found the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code ” insofar as it criminalises consensual sexual acts of adults in private, is violative of Articles 21, 14 and 15 of the Constitution” .

    Let us hope that appropriate measures are taken to ensure its effective application in all parts of India.

    The detailed judgement can be read by accessing the following link.

    To read this decision go to: http://lobis. nic.in/dhc/

    Click on judgment date and choose July 2, 2009.

    The case name is NAZ FOUNDATION Vs. GOVERNMENT OF NCT OF DELHI AND OTHERS

    Regards and best wishes,

    Dr.Rajesh Gopal.

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