The controversial hate crime bill – Update

So the controversial hate crime bill has been approved.

There have been several concessions throughout the process to the huge concerns about free speech.

“Intent” is now required in accusations of “stirring up hatred.” Criminal threshold will require the validation of a “reasonable person,” and now after pressure from secular campaign groups and others, religion and belief are no longer to be cushioned from “expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule or insult.”

The political fallout of this bill is yet to be seen and while we may all have personal opinions on the nature of “protected characteristics” and the extent to which different groups still have battles to fight, we must celebrate as secular campaigners that we got pretty much what we wanted as far as religious belief is concerned.

While the bill’s wording on religion is still slightly less robust than similar free speech protection in England and Wales, we can rejoice that Life of Brian is back on the viewing menu.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation