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US pro-family activist detained by Canadian customs for alleged violation of ‘hate’ law

April 13th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Freedom Of Speech Comments Off

Peter LaBarberaBy Patrick B Craine, LifeSite News

A prominent U.S. pro-family activist was detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency Thursday for alleged violations of Canada’s “hate propaganda” law.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, had flown into Regina International Airport to speak at the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association provincial conference this weekend.

LaBarbera had been targeted by a makeshift group known as “Intolerance Free Weyburn,” which pressured the government to deny him access to the country. LaBarbera believes he was flagged by customs as a result.

LaBarbera provided LifeSiteNews with a formal document issued by CBSA agent Darren Banick that cites section 319(1) of Canada’s Criminal Code and says Banick believed LaBarbera "may commit acts which would be against the Criminal Code of Canada."

Section 319(1) of Canada’s Criminal Code bars “public incitement of hatred … against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace.” Breaching the law carries a punishment of up to two years imprisonment.

He was allowed to spend the night in Saskatchewan and will appeal the decision to Banick’s supervisor, Penelope Ulmer, at a hearing today at noon Central Standard Time.

LaBarbera said the customs agent went through his luggage, his phone and laptop, and played a DVD of a speech he had given Wednesday. He then reviewed AFTAH’s website, pulled up the “about page,” and said, according to LaBarbera, “So you’re targeting an identifiable group of people based on sexual orientation.”

LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews that he was asked for details about the talk he was scheduled to give. He said the agent asked, for example, “What percentage of your talk is going to be about homosexuality versus life?” He said the agent seemed unconcerned by the pro-life aspect of his talk.

Read here


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The Rise Of The Same-Sex Marriage Dissidents

April 12th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Gay Marriage Comments Off

by Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

Just days after being named CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich was forced out because he is an opponent of same-sex marriage. After declining opportunities to recant his views, he “voluntarily” decided to step down. Responses have been all over the map.
 
A writer at Slate actually tried to justify the termination as a good thing. Libertarian Nick Gillespie said he was “ambivalent” about Eich’s removal but that Eich’s resignation simply “shows how businesses respond to market signals.” And even conservatives weren’t rallying behind Eich on the grounds that marriage is an institution designed around sexual complementarity so much as by saying that even if he’s wrong, conscience should be protected.
 
At the end of the day, they’re all wrong. Or at least not even close to understanding the problem with Eich’s firing. Political differences with CEOs, even deep political differences, are something adults handle all the time. Most of us know that what happened held much more significance than anodyne market forces having their way. And Eich shouldn’t be protected on the grounds that one has the right to be wrong. See, Eich wasn’t hounded out of corporate life because he was wrong. He was hounded out of corporate life because he was right. His message strikes at the root of a popular but deeply flawed ideology that can not tolerate dissent.
 
 
Read also:  The Hounding Of A Heretic by gay activist Andrew Sullivan, and an update here
 
 
 
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Take the #NoZilla pledge and #DumpFirefox

April 11th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Petitions, Religious Liberty Comments Off

Read pledge and sign petition here

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Uninstall Firefox

April 11th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty Comments Off

By Dennis Prager, Townhall.com

In 31 years of broadcasting, and 40 years of writing, I have never advocated a boycott of a product.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, when the left attempted to destroy Chick-Fil-A for its owner's views on same-sex marriage, I suggested on my radio show that the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, stand in front of a Chick-Fil-A restaurant while enjoying some Ben and Jerry's ice cream. In that way, I argued, he could show one of the great moral differences between the right and the left. Though Ben and Jerry are leftists, we conservatives do not believe that company owners' views should matter to consumers. We believe that products should speak for themselves. If the ice cream is good, despite whatever repugnance we might feel regarding the views of the makers of that ice cream, we will still purchase it.

The left does not see things that way. The left is out to crush individuals and companies with whom it differs. This is especially so today on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of this took place last week. The governing board of the widely used browser, Firefox, forced the company's CEO, Brendan Eich, to resign. The Firefox board had learned that in 2008, Eich donated $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign in California. Proposition 8 amended the California Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In classic Communist fashion, gay rights organizations demanded that Eich publicly recant. When Eich did not, gay rights and other leftist organizations called for a boycott of Firefox. Firefox immediately forced Eich out.

[...]  It is important to further note that gay employees at Firefox acknowledge that Eich never discriminated against gays, whether in employment, benefits or any other way. But that doesn't matter to the left because a totalitarian streak is part of the left's DNA.

As Princeton Professor of Jurisprudence Robert George warned on my radio show, today the left fires employees for opposition to same-sex marriage. Tomorrow it will fire employees who are pro-life ("anti-woman"). And next it will be employees who support Israel (an "apartheid state").

The reason to boycott Firefox is not that it is run by leftists. Nor is the reason to support the man-woman definition of marriage. It is solely in order to preserve liberty in the land of liberty. If Firefox doesn't recant and rehire Eich as CEO, McCarthyism will have returned far more pervasively and perniciously than in its first incarnation. The message the gay left (such as the Orwellian-named Human Rights Campaign) and the left in general wish to send is that Americans who are in positions of power at any company should be forced to resign if they hold a position that the left strongly opposes.

And right now that position is opposition to same-sex marriage.

Think about that. In the United States of America today, the belief that marriage should remain defined as the union of a man and woman is portrayed as so vile by the left that anyone who holds it is unfit for employment.

Read here


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Group Starts #OpenZilla Campaign to Ensure ‘Tolerance’ Extends to Christian Employees at Mozilla

April 9th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Katherine Weber, Christian Post

Faith Driven Consumer launched an #OpenZilla campaign in response to the recent resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich whose support for California's Proposition 8 in 2008 caused uproar. The #OpenZilla campaign seeks to ensure the software company expresses inclusiveness and respect toward its religious employees who may oppose same-sex marriage.
Faith Driven Consumer, a group that seeks to connect Christian consumers with faith-compatible companies, has requested the Silicon Valley-based software company provide clarification on its diversity policy to ensure employees will not be discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Recently, Eich resigned from his newly-appointed post as CEO of Mozilla, known for its Firefox web browser, after it was revealed that he donated $1,000 to California's Proposition 8 in 2008.
The Christian-consumer group said the purpose of its #OpenZilla campaign is "to encourage a company famous for open source solutions and inclusiveness to extend openness, tolerance, and respect to those who hold a biblically-based view of marriage."
 
"While the firestorm surrounding Mozilla's recent actions has focused largely on the company's former CEO, we remain deeply concerned about faith-driven employees at the company as well as those who may apply to work there," Chris Stone, a certified brand strategist and founder of Faith Driven Consumer, said in a statement.
"In the short-term, we are concerned about the rights of employees to continue to hold to their personal biblical views on marriage without being discriminated against or bullied. In the long-term, we are troubled by LGBT advocates who are calling for a 'glass ceiling' for faith-driven employees, suggesting that companies may hire such people but should not allow these employees to assume leadership roles if they hold a biblical view of marriage."
 
Read here
 
Sign up to #OpenZilla here
 
Sign the #NoZilla pledge here
 
Kevin Kallsen and George Conger discuss this 'thought crime' in this week's Anglican Unscripted (16.30 minutes in)
 
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The increasingly curious case of Robert Green

April 9th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty Comments Off

From Voice for Justice UK

Readers of this blog may remember the worrying case of Hollie Greig, a Down’s Syndrome sufferer who made allegations of serious and repeated sexual abuse, while a child living in Aberdeen. As chief perpetrators, Hollie named her father and brother, but she alleged the involvement of a far wider ring, including a senior police officer, a judge, and a range of highly influential and prominent Scottish professionals. She went on to name seven other children who, she said, had also been subjected to ritual abuse at hands of the same ring.

Serious stuff, but despite medical evidence at the time confirming Hollie had indeed suffered sexual interference, including penetration, and the reports of two independent child psychologists saying that in their assessment Hollie was a reliable witness and there was no reason to doubt her testimony, the Grampian police apparently chose to dismiss her as a fantasist. It is reported that they interviewed only two of the named twenty two suspects – without checking their computers for possible possession of child pornography images, as is routine with allegations of this nature – and refused to interview any of the named victims. Not only that, but legal steps were apparently then taken to suppress all mention of the case in the media. Hollie was subsequently awarded £13,500 by way of compensation.

Compensation for what, you might ask? And one individual did just that. Robert Green, an investigative journalist and child rights’ campaigner, shocked at what he felt to be a cover up, started a campaign to demand justice for Hollie, and a full investigation of the facts by the Grampian police.

Now of course it is entirely possible that Hollie is indeed a fantasist, and Robert Green misguided, but in absence of proper investigation we shall never know. However, in light of the grooming and abuse scandals of the last few years, coupled with clear evidence of police failure, such refusal seems almost perverse. For all of us the spectre of Jimmy Savile looms large, and one would have thought that at the very least, in the interests of transparency and justice, the Scottish legal system would have wanted to establish the truth or otherwise of these claims.

Fast forward to February this year. Robert Green was apparently quietly at home in Warrington, not having visited Aberdeen once in the last year, when he received a visit from the Grampian Police. Now given that Warrington is under the jurisdiction of Cheshire, this was somewhat unusual, but there was worse to come, because the Grampian officers arrested him and took him back to Scotland, omitting to inform him of any charge. Five days later, having subjected him to psychological assessment, but still not having interviewed him, VfJUK understands he was told he was in violation of a non-harassment order. Which, curiously, seems not to exist.

Read here


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Caterers who refuse to work on same-sex weddings face prosecution

March 31st, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Gay Marriage, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Alice Philipson, Telegraph

Chauffeurs, photographers and caterers could have to pay thousands of pounds in damages if they refuse to provide services to a same-sex wedding

Chauffeurs, photographers and caterers will break the law if they do not provide services to same-sex couples getting married on conscience grounds, the government's equality watchdog has said.

In accordance with new rules introduced yesterday, businesses such as florists, hoteliers and wedding planners could have to pay thousands of pounds in damages to same-sex couples if they refuse to work on a gay wedding.

The guidance, drawn up by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and civil servants, makes it clear that "refusal to provide services to customers" is in breach of equality laws and all weddings must be catered for on an equal basis.

Churches, religious organisations and other groups opposed to same-sex marriage could be denied contracts with publicly funded bodies such as schools, hospitals and prisons, according to The Sunday Times.

Under the new rules, they could lose contracts or be refused grants for any service where their opinion on same-sex marriage cold be "relevant", such as marriage guidance counselling or during the process of adoption or fostering children.

Read here


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Resistance in the age of bullying

March 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Gay Activism Comments Off

By Robert Knight, Washington Times

I don’t know about you, but I’m hearing more and more from people around the country who are terrified about where the nation is headed.
 
Every day, we’re confronted with more unchecked abuses of power. Judges, attorneys general, governors, legislators and the president of the United States are openly ignoring their oaths to uphold the law.
 
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), fresh from being exposed for targeting Tea Parties, brazenly proposes new rules to make sure agents can continue the persecution without worrying about legalities.
 
Even the mighty National Football League and the 2015 Super Bowl were used as leverage by homosexual activists and their corporate allies to kill a much-needed religious-freedom bill in Arizona recently.
 
It’s not just government agencies that are functioning as ruthless enforcers of political correctness. Ask any schoolchild who has had the audacity to defend marriage in a Facebook posting or Tweet.
Nothing seems to slow down this juggernaut.
 
Ben S. Carson, who also writes a regular column for this newspaper, is a man who does not engage in hyperbole. His sheer reasonableness, along with a stellar career as one of the nation’s top neurosurgeons, terrifies liberals.
 
In an interview with BreitbartTV.com at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), he likened the current trend of intimidation in America to conditions in Nazi Germany.
 
Asked about his remark that we are “living in a Gestapo Age,” Dr. Carson responded: “I mean very much like Nazi Germany, and I know you’re not supposed to say Nazi Germany, but I don’t care about political correctness. You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.”

Read here

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What Do We Mean When We Speak of Freedom?

March 9th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty Comments Off

By Jeremy Jennings, Standpoint Magazine

What do we mean when we speak of liberty? Where does our understanding of the concept of liberty come from? These are important questions and arguably should inform all our thinking about politics. Both, in very different ways, are addressed in Larry Siedentop's Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism (Allen Lane, £20) and Daniel Hannan's How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters (Head of Zeus, £20).

In its most straightforward sense, liberty is usually taken to be a condition in which an individual is not impeded from doing what he or she wants to do. This was a definition of liberty first firmly established by Thomas Hobbes in the 17th century. "A free man," Hobbes wrote in Leviathan, "is he, that in those things, which by his strength and wit he is able to do, is not hindred to doe what he has a will to." An individual therefore remained free for as long as he or she was not physically or legally coerced by either other individuals or by the state. The extent of a person's liberty, Hobbes argued, depended upon "the Silence of the Law".

At least two conclusions followed from this. The first was that, of all the forms of coercion, it was arbitrary coercion by the state that was most to be feared. Such, Montesquieu observed in The Spirit of the Laws, was the nature of despotic government. Second, this simple definition of liberty largely assumed that there was a part of an individual's existence that rightly should remain beyond the interference of either the state or society. This argument was set out brilliantly by Benjamin Constant in his famous lecture of 1819, The Liberty of the Ancients compared with that of the Moderns, and was to be developed by John Stuart Mill when, in On Liberty, he made the important, if problematic, distinction between the "self-regarding" and the "other-regarding" actions of an individual. It was only the latter that were amenable to control by society.

Of course, this understanding of liberty has not gone unchallenged. A definition of liberty in terms of non-interference, it is argued, begs the question of how liberty is actually realised. Having the right to own property, it is suggested, means little if as a matter of fact the vast majority do not have the wealth to acquire property. Accordingly, we can only be said to be truly free if we have the power to satisfy our wishes. Much confusion has followed from this proposition. As Friedrich von Hayek commented, liberty does not mean all good things. To be free may mean the freedom to starve.

But where do our ideas about the meaning of liberty come from? This is the topic addressed by Larry Siedentop in his erudite and elegantly-written Inventing the Individual. No doubt to the dismay of many, Siedentop's thesis is that our modern understanding of human agency, and therefore of the liberty of the individual, has its roots deep in the moral intuitions of Christianity.

Read here

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Call for Boris Johnson to defend his ban on Christian adverts under oath

March 5th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Gay Activism, Religious Liberty Comments Off

From Christian Concern

Lawyers representing a Christian charity which was banned by Boris Johnson from advertising on London buses, are seeking a High Court order for the Mayor to be brought to court and answer under oath, the accusation that he acted for his own political gain.
 
During the 2012 London Mayoral Election, Boris Johnson banned an advertisement by the charity, Core Issues Trust (CIT), which supports people with unwanted same-sex attraction. At the time of the ban, the Mayor was about to address an election meeting organised by the homosexual lobby group, Stonewall.
 
The Master of the Rolls, Sir John Dyson, has ruled that the High Court must re-investigate the ban after new evidence came into light which was not made available to the first High Court hearing.
 
Mayor of London to be re-investigated by the High Court
 
Lawyers from the Christian Legal Centre, representing the Christian charity, Core Issues Trust, are asking the High Court to summon Mr Johnson in person rather than allow him to submit a witness statement.
 
“The Master of the Rolls has ordered a High Court investigation into the Mayor’s behaviour in banning our advertisement because it is suspected Mr Johnson may have abused his power and acted in self-interest, fearing that he might lose the votes of homosexuals who oppose my charity’s aim of helping people move away from a gay lifestyle,” says Dr Mike Davidson, Director of CIT.
 
Read here
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The Libertarian Question

March 5th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Gay Activism Comments Off

A classic from 2003, by Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online

There is a mystery at the heart of the gay-marriage debate. I call it the “libertarian question.” The libertarian question (really a series of questions) goes like this: Why should any form of adult consensual sex be illegal? What rational or compelling interest does the state have in regulating consensual adult sex? More specifically, how does the marriage of two gay men undermine my marriage? Will the fact that two married gay men live next door make me leave my wife? Hardly. So how, then, does gay marriage undermine heterosexual marriage? Why not get the state out of such matters altogether?

The libertarian question is mysterious because, in modern society, we find it difficult to understand the continuing necessity of shared moral standards — and of collective taboos against actions that violate those standards. Traditional societies depend on shared moral sentiments and collective taboos. Modern democracies, for the most part, have rejected these forms of collective morality in favor of an emphasis on personal freedom. Yet the truth is, although their workings are mysterious to us, shared moral codes (and a structure of taboos that guards those codes) can never be entirely dispensed with.

Let’s approach the libertarian question about gay marriage from a new angle. The flap over Senator Rick Santorum’s remarks has raised the question of incest. If homosexual sex is declared private, why won’t consensual adult incest fall under the same sort of protection?

Read here


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Flour Power: Bakers Stick to Beliefs Despite Pressure

January 21st, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Gay Activism, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Tony Perkins, FRC

In a politically correct world, the costs of running a business are a lot more than dollars and cents. For Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of a small Oregon bakery, the price is their First Amendment rights. Their dream of opening a dessert shop near Portland, Oregon turned into a nightmare when two lesbians refused to take "no" for an answer on their request for a same-sex "wedding" cake.

Exactly one year ago, the Kleins explained that they couldn't take the order because it would violate their faith to participate in a same-sex "marriage" ceremony. Furious, the women filed a complaint with the state. The story made national headlines, as the young couple became another face in the war on religious liberty. "We still stand by what we believe from the beginning," Aaron told reporters. "I'm not sure what the future holds, but as far as where we're at right now… it's almost as if the state is hostile toward Christian businesses."

And the state isn't the only one. After word spread, the harassment in the liberal suburb of Portland became too much to take. The Kleins were forced to close the shop in Gresham and operate out of their home. Even there, the family was a target. Activists broke into their company truck and painted "bigot" across the side.

Now, 12 months later, the state of Oregon is weighing in — and not on the side of free speech and free exercise. Investigators from the state Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled late last week that the couple was guilty of discrimination and ordered the Kleins to settle. If they refuse, the Bureau threatens to bring "formal charges." Herbert Grey, the bakers' attorney, was flabbergasted. "They're being punished by the state of Oregon for refusing to participate in an event the state of Oregon does not recognize." Even the state constitution defines marriage the same way as Aaron and Melissa — and they're being persecuted.

Read here

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A Bill to silence debate, curb dissent and inhibit democratic engagement

January 15th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Freedom Of Speech Comments Off

From Cranmer

Today all freedom-loving democrats the length and breadth of the United Kingdom look to the House of Lords (once again) to defend our ancient liberties and the health of democracy against this increasingly authoritarian, censorious and coercive Government.

Last September His Grace raised concerns about the (niftily-named and immeasurably soporific) Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill. In short, a bill intended to promote transparency and ensure greater integrity in the democratic process may greatly restrict charities and other groups from speaking out on important matters of public interest. The Government denies this, insisting that charities are already exempt from party political campaigning. But lawyers, charities and a raft of respected organisations (IEA, TFA, CPS, TPA, PEN, BBW, ASI) take a contrary view. The Christian Institute has a helpful explanatory hub.

[...]  If (say) your church opposes (say) euthanasia, and you support a candidate who shares those views, your church will be deemed to have assisted that candidate and so be subject to financial regulation. If you publish views contra a pro-euthanasia candidate, you can rest assured that every phone call, flyer and coffee morning will be scrutinised, assessed and the costs totted up. That's okay, you may say: my church wouldn't spend anything like £20k on a political campaign. But nationally they may certainly do so. And if they fail to make the appropriate returns, the Archbishop risks being imprisoned.

But this £20k limit is swept aside by a particularly sinister clause. Under the proposals, any group that spends more than £9,750 on political activity in a single constituency will have to register with the Electoral Commission. It is not remotely clear what happens if your campaign is national or geared to a wider region (whether, for example, the anti-HS2 group will need to divide their budget by the number of constituencies along the route). Astonishingly, that limit includes staff costs, which is an expenditure specifically excluded for political parties. This could greatly affect the work of churches and other non-partisan voluntary groups which may have no direct involvement in an election but which happen to employ an administrator on £10k pa. Any 'substantial' agitation by such a group may constitute political lobbying.

Read here

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Free speech vote in next few hours – please pray

January 8th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Freedom Of Speech Comments Off

From the Christian Institute

In the next few hours there will be a vital vote in the House of Lords on clause 1 of the Anti-social Behaviour Bill.

Under clause 1, Anti-social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) would be replaced with Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (IPNAs).
These injunctions will be easier to obtain and require a lower threshold of evidence.

You may remember our victory in seeking to remove the word "insulting" from Section 5 of the Public Order Act. The Government’s proposal in clause 1 would undermine the benefits of this reform.

Everyone is concerned about tackling genuine anti-social behaviour. But very senior lawyers from across the political parties agree that clause 1 is much too broad and is a real risk to free speech.

Former Chief Constable, Lord Dear, has tabled an amendment to replace the "nuisance and annoyance" threshold with the test of causing "harassment, alarm or distress". This would protect free speech while still allowing the courts to tackle anti-social behaviour.
The vote is expected to take place around 6pm today and we believe there is a lot of support within the House of Lords.

Please pray:

  • For Lord Dear as he leads on the amendment.
  • That Peers on the Government benches will be willing to vote against their whip.
  • That the vote today will be won.For the staff of The Christian Institute as we work alongside politicians and other organisations who agree with our concerns.

Yours in Christ,

Colin Hart
Director
The Christian Institute 

Read also:  Outlawing "annoyance" is Cameron's crassest law from Cranmer

Lord Dear: IPNAs – a threat to our freedom and a waste of police time from Conservative Home

 

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Police issue new guidance on reform to ‘insult’ law

January 2nd, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Freedom Of Speech Comments Off

From The Christian Institute

Police officers will be told they are no longer able to arrest people just because others might find their words or behaviour “insulting”, in new guidance issued by the College of Policing.

Last year the Government agreed to remove the word “insulting” from Section 5 of the Public Order Act after the amendment was voted in by the House of Lords in December 2012.

The important free speech reform, backed by The Christian Institute, is to become law on 1 February and will be known as Section 57 of the Crime and Courts Act.
 
“When the amendment comes into force”, the new College of Policing guidance states, “words or behaviour that are merely ‘insulting’, or the displaying of writing, signs or other visible representations which are merely ‘insulting’, within the hearing of someone likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress, will no longer constitute a criminal offence under section 5(1).”

The campaign to change the law was spearheaded by the Reform Section 5 group, which united an unusual alliance including The Christian Institute, the National Secular Society, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, and other civil liberties groups concerned about free speech.

Read here

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Gay marriage: Civil liberty protections rejected by MSPs

December 21st, 2013 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Gay Marriage Comments Off

From The Christian Institute

MSPs considering a Bill to redefine marriage have voted down protections for public sector workers, charities and people considering adoption.

Scotland for Marriage, which supports traditional marriage, said warnings about the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill were being ignored.

The organisation said it was encouraged by the level of support the protections attracted but it was “disappointing” they were not passed.

“The warnings about problems the legislation is going to cause are not being listened to.

“The Scottish Government is in cloud cuckoo land if it doesn’t believe these changes are necessary”, said a spokesman for the group – which has over 50,000 supporters.

Read here


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Italian parliamentarians push back against gvmt doc mandating journalists promote ‘LGBT’ agenda

December 21st, 2013 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Freedom Of Speech Comments Off

by Hilary White, LifeSite News

A set of instructions for journalists by a government department that threatens professional sanctions and possible jail time for writing unfavorably about homosexuality and “gay marriage,” has raised outrage among some sections of the Italian parliament. The document is a straightforward attempt to co-opt the entire profession into the homosexual agenda, a group of 21 Deputies has said.

Alessandro Pagano, a Deputy from Sicily and a staunch opponent of the parliamentary abortion and euthanasia lobbies, has called the guidelines “a gag order” and a deliberate suppression of “freedom of information and expression” by an ideologically motivated faction. It presages, he said, “the new forms of dictatorship of the twenty-first century."
 
The document, issued by the Ministry of Equal Opportunities’ racial discrimination office, (Ufficio Nazionale Antidiscriminazioni Razziali, UNAR) instructs journalists not to portray any hint of the existence of opposition to the homosexual political agenda. Instead of debates on television between those in favor and those opposed, talk shows must present the appearance of complete social agreement.
 
Pagano said the document was prepared with the express purpose of imposing “the LGBT ideology on public opinion through a ‘domesticated’ media” by a “working group composed exclusively of 29 gay and lesbian associations,” including Arcigay, Italy Equality, Gay Center, Gay Help Line and Gay.Net.
 
Pagano is one of 21 signatories of an “interpolation” asking parliament to address the freedom of speech and religion issues raised by the document.
 
Read here
 
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Right to protest protected in amendments to bill

December 19th, 2013 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty Comments Off

By Alan Travis, Guardian

Original draft of anti-social behaviour, crime and policing bill raised fears powers could be used to stifle many forms of protest

The Home Office minister Norman Baker is to amend the government's new antisocial behaviour powers amid fears they could be used to ban carol singers, charity collectors and protesters .

Critics say the way the bill is currently drafted mean its powers could be used to stifle many forms of protest on the grounds that they might cause annoyance or a nuisance to somebody else.

Baker tabled government amendments on Thursday to the anti-social behaviour, crime and policing bill reinforcing the right to peaceful protest.

The government amendments will also ensure that new injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance, known as Ipnas – which are to replace antisocial behaviour orders (asbos) – include an extra "reasonableness test" to ensure that the courts cannot grant them for no reason. This is to extend an existing test in the legislation which requires the court to consider the injunctions "just and convenient" before they are granted.

The extra civil liberty safeguards are to be included following meetings involving the Liberal Democrat minister and critics of the bill, who have included the former director of public prosecutions, Lord Macdonald, and Lord Faulks, who, coincidentally, was appointed a justice minister on Thursday.

Macdonald has said that the bill in its current form potentially empowers state interference against political demonstrations, street performers and street corner preachers in the face of shockingly low safeguards.

Read here


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Reform to ‘insult’ law will come into force in February

December 4th, 2013 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Freedom Of Speech, Religious Liberty Comments Off

From The Christian Institute

A free speech reform backed by The Christian Institute is to become law on 1 February next year.

From that date police will no longer be able to use Section 5 of the Public Order Act to arrest people just because others might find their words or behaviour “insulting”.

The Government agreed to the free speech reform in January, but it has taken until now for them to decide when it will come into force.
 
Simon Calvert – Campaign Director of the Reform Section 5 group – welcomed the news, but warned about a new anti-social behaviour law which could again threaten free speech.

Under Section 5 one protestor was arrested for calling Scientology a “cult”, someone else arrested for saying “woof” to a dog and another for calling a police horse “gay”.

Several Christians were arrested for peaceful and lawful street preaching, and one Christian couple were put on trial for criticising Islam.

Read here


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A terrible act of inhumanity that shows why justice must never be secret

December 3rd, 2013 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Coercion Comments Off

By Christopher Booker, Mailonline

Throughout all my years reporting on scores of chilling examples of what social workers are allowed to do behind the closed doors of our secret family courts, the case reported yesterday on the front page of the Daily Mail is not just the most disturbing of all.

It also illustrates how far our ‘child protection’ system has now gone horrendously off the rails. The facts are so shocking they beggar belief.

A pregnant Italian mother who was visiting Britain had her baby forcibly removed from her womb by British doctors on the orders of a secret court, before the child was handed to social workers.

This 35-year-old mother, who suffers from a bipolar condition, was visiting Britain for a two?week training course with Ryanair at Stansted airport.

Preparing to return home to Italy, having successfully passed the course, she had a bipolar episode at the airport and became over-excitable when she thought she had mislaid the passports of her two daughters who were still in Italy. She contacted the police for help.

When they arrived, she was on the phone to her mother, so she handed one of the officers the receiver. The mother explained to the police about her daughter’s mental condition and said she had not been taking the medication and needed to calm her down.

The police then apparently contacted Essex social workers — as they are routinely instructed to do in such cases — and told the woman they were taking her to ‘a hospital to check that your baby is OK’.

On arrival, she was startled to find that it was a psychiatric hospital.

She protested that she wanted to return to her hotel, but was forcibly restrained, sectioned under the Mental Health Act and told she must remain in the psychiatric hospital.

What happened next, however, was truly astounding.

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