Sunday, 21 March 2010

No justice, just privilege for hate-filled religionists

The island’s Department of Home Affairs this week published something they’re passing off as a summary of public views on the new Criminal Justice Bill.
As with many ‘public consultations’, it’s a bad joke. Probably not as unintentionally funny ( or downright cretinous) as the time the Manx government had a public consultation on the way they did public consultations, but pretty close. They concluded then that they didn’t need to change anything in a model they’d downloaded in entirety from the UK parliament website (their only change to the download was to halve the proposed consultation periods).
This time, as ever, they’ve responded by ignoring all the points made from all the respondents apart from the religious nutters, who want to reserve the right to behave like the racist, sexist, homophobic and generally sub-human throwbacks that we know them to be without any of their sermons being regarded as hate speech. This was thought perfectly reasonable.
The section dealing with it reads in full:

Clause 72
Amendments to the POA 98
Hatred against persons on certain grounds

This clause attracted 23 comments of which 21 expressed reservations in relation to the proposal. These reservations centred on the issues of freedom of speech and freedom to express religious beliefs and convictions without being prosecuted.
Department response
The Department noted and accepted observations that the clause did not have a satisfactory definition of “hate” or “hatred”.
The Department believes it is important to ensure that all in society are able to enjoy their lives without others harming them simply because of their religious beliefs (or lack of belief), sexual orientation, disability or their racial origin. However, whilst the Department is not persuaded there is adequate provision in current law to deal with emerging issues, the Department has reluctantly decided, at this time, to withdraw this provision from this Bill.
The Island is becoming an increasingly diverse society and the Department will nevertheless keep the matter under close scrutiny.”

This raises an interesting point, as there cannot be 21 literate evangelicals on the island.
Interestingly, while on the odd consultation report the views of respondents are attributed to the respondent, on this one they are not. I supect that would be because it would emphatically prove that most ‘views’ defending religious hate speech were from off-island wingnuts.
It has happened before. In fact, it always seems to happen whenever religious privilege is challenged by new legislation.
The report in full can be found at .
If you can read or write you probably won’t like it.

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