Be warned. Next year the following words may be illegal. Writing, reading, sharing, or simply being in possession of them may make you a criminal. Indeed if you are reading this blog after a Labour victory in the 2020 election you could well be committing a crime right now.
Hate speech laws are firmly on Labour’s agenda. Justice Minister Andrew Little has told us so. In fact we would have had them already were it not for the moderating influence of NZ First over the last three years. With that influence looking likely to be removed from the next parliament, a Labour/Greens government will forge on with delight in this space.
You only have to read about the launch of Labour’s “Rainbow” policies this week to be assured of that (NZ Herald 05.10.20). One activist gleefully spoke of how New Zealand was about to have the most rainbow parliament in the world. Another told us how “conversion therapy” will be made illegal. Combine this with new laws which will criminalise speech deemed “hateful” in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity, and you have a serious threat to freedom of speech in New Zealand.
Of course the hate speech advocates rarely admit that building a legal fortress around the rainbow agenda is the real agenda. Instead they prefer to focus our attention on the Christchurch mosque shootings. Apparently this is what justifies new hate speech laws. But it doesn’t. New Zealand already has laws which prohibit public dissemination of the sort of racist ideology which the shooter was promoting.
Section 131 of the Human Rights Act 1993 makes it illegal to publish, distribute or publicly broadcast, threatening, abusive or insulting words with the intention of inciting,
…hostility or ill-will against, or bring into contempt or ridicule, any group of persons in New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons,
The push for new hate speech laws cannot be justified by what happened in Christchurch. Instead that tragedy is being cynically used to further an agenda which lies elsewhere. It is an agenda which seeks the complete cultural cleansing of any views which challenge the increasingly bizarre rainbow ideology. Dare to suggest that biology matters and fluidity of gender identity is an unscientific construct – your views will be deemed harmful and hateful. You may be looking at prison time. Certainly a substantial fine.
Think this is just scaremongering? Look at Scotland. Right now, in spite of significant opposition, the SNP is pushing through extreme hate crime laws (BBC News). The list of criteria which define “protected groups” includes sexual orientation and transgender identity. Any action which “stirs up hatred” against such groups is criminalised. Even simply being in possession of “inflammatory material” with a view to sharing it is a crime. Better get rid of that Bible!
Of course genuinely hateful speech against all groups should be condemned. But the problem is that these days any speech which challenges the rainbow agenda is classified as “hateful”. It matters not what tone is used, or how respectfully the view is expressed. Opinions which do not fit the “correct” view on this matter are by definition deemed to be hateful and harmful.
If you are a New Zealander who holds to a traditional Judeo-Christian understanding of human sexuality and ethics – be warned. If an unrestrained Labour/Greens government arrives next week, your freedom of expression is under serious threat.