Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gay Rights and Free Speech: Some Things Stink

Labour MP Tom Harris has written about how he voted against a government initiative to prohibit "hate speech" against gays, lesbians, etc.

Well I'm gay, and on free speech I pretty much believe that the US First Amendment should be enacted here in the UK. So on the exact issue, I suppose I would support Tom Harris.

But that would be in an "all other things being equal" situation. As the discussion by Tom Harris and in the comments section of his blog has made clear, Tom has quite willingly gone along with other restrictions on so called offensive speech (see Simon Gardner's comment). And as Patrick Harvie notes it is on this of all issues that he breaks a three line whip.

I think that in this case his vote stinks to heaven.

You could get your bona fides back, perhaps, Mr Harris, by sponsoring UK legislation that allowed gay people access to marriage, or even more cheaply by simply calling for civil partnerships to be allowed to be celebrated in the many churches that would be quite willing to host them.

No comments: