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Is Handing Out A Pamphlet Suggesting Gays Be Killed A Crime?

unicorn booty, gay news, gay blog, gay business, gay, britain, hate speech
id=”attachment_1587″ The Death Penal-teeeee?

The short answer: We’re all about to find out. Five men are being charged under Britain’s new hate speech laws for mailing and distributing a pamphlet entitled “The Death Penalty?” (Can’t you just picture the little flourish on the end from the question mark? It’s like, “The Death Penal-TEEEE?”)

Razwan Javed, 30, Kabir Ahmed, 27, Ahjaz Ali, 41, Umer Javed, 37 and Mehboob Hassain, 44 are each charged with distributing threatening material intended to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Sue Hemming said: “This is the first ever prosecution for this offence and it is the result of close working between the Crown Prosecution Service and Derbyshire Police.

A statement from the police added, “Following complaints from the public, Derbyshire Police mounted a thorough investigation. We have carefully reviewed the evidence provided by the police and are satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge these men.”

Hmm. I’m not quite sure what to make of this. Anyone who’s ever been to the gay bars on Bourbon Street in New Orleans knows about the “preacher” in the sandwich board squawking about gays going to Hell. Heck, these types of people regularly show up to gay pride celebrations around the world, and they often hand out pamphlets just like the ones in question here that inevitably wind up littered all over the ground. Are they a public nuisance? Yes. Is much of their argument inflammatory and offensive? Absolutely. Should they go to jail for this? I tend to think not.

It’s a slippery slope dictating just what our government is allowed to punish us for saying, and I’m not quite sure this merits opening up that can of worms. At the same time, assuming someone actually received one of these pamphlets and then went out and killed someone – then all of the involved parties should be prosecuted for murder. I’m stuck on a Hmm here.

What do you think? Should these men be jailed for handing out material calling for the killing of homosexuals?

Via BBC

  • Anonymous

    While public free speech should be protected, with the attitude of hatred in the world today. Witness the shooting in Tucson, Arizona U.S.A. and what just happened in Uganda, this type of thing is over the line. There are just enough people of marginal sanity that will say, Ok, I will kill the gays. Or put a gunsight on a photo of a political opponent and there is another who will buy a gun and live out a fantasy. Hate speech is hate speech. A better, loving world will only happen if we work for it!

  • Liz LaVenture

    While public free speech should be protected, with the attitude of hatred in the world today. Witness the shooting in Tucson, Arizona U.S.A. and what just happened in Uganda, this type of thing is over the line. There are just enough people of marginal sanity that will say, Ok, I will kill the gays. Or put a gunsight on a photo of a political opponent and there is another who will buy a gun and live out a fantasy. Hate speech is hate speech. A better, loving world will only happen if we work for it!

  • Anonymous

    If it’s not a crime, it should be. With the atmosphere of hatred in the world today standards of human decency need to be upheld. Witness the recent shooting in Tucson Arizona U.S.A. and the murder in Uganda. Publish photos of Gays and say “Hang Them” or put a gunsight on the location of a political rival and someone of marginal sanity will fullfill their fantasy and yours. If it is to be a better, more loving world, we have to work for it!

  • Liz LaVenture

    If it’s not a crime, it should be. With the atmosphere of hatred in the world today standards of human decency need to be upheld. Witness the recent shooting in Tucson Arizona U.S.A. and the murder in Uganda. Publish photos of Gays and say “Hang Them” or put a gunsight on the location of a political rival and someone of marginal sanity will fullfill their fantasy and yours. If it is to be a better, more loving world, we have to work for it!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, enouraging murder is a punishable crime.

  • morgli

    Yes, enouraging murder is a punishable crime.

  • As an American, I am biased towards tolerance of even hate speech as a function of absolute freedom of speech. Really, I believe banning something gives that thing a kind of prestige, and I don’t want to so honor stupid prejudice. Then again, Britain is not the USA, and I certainly don’t mind how this speech may be prosecuted legally there.