Granada Bishop Accused of Hate Speech

Country: Spain

Date of incident: February 20, 2017

Category: Government Restrictions / Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Private

The Spanish Observatory against LGBTfobia filed a hate speech complaint on February 20, 2017 against Archbishop Francisco Javier Martínez for a homily delivered on February 12, 2017 in which he criticized gender ideology in the education of children. The complaint accused the bishop of promoting "hate speech against LGBT persons."

The Observatory filed a complaint with Granada's provincial prosecutor's office accusing Martínez of promoting "hate speech against LGBT persons." Additionally, because the homily was also distributed on the archdiocesan website, the group accuses him of "disseminating a writing whose contents foments hatred and discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity." The group has asked the prosecutor to charge the archbishop with the maximum penalties. The Observatory's complaint came on the same day as the Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, transmitted the message Pope Francis gave the Chilean bishops in an ad limina visit regarding gender ideology: "Deep down it is the denial of God" and his plan in creating human beings male and female, the cardinal said. The pope "told us very clearly that, without a doubt, it is a very serious issue of the current culture and that we are called to firmly denounce the evil that is behind this gender teaching,” Cardinal Ezzati said. In July 2016, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, archbishop of Valencia was charged with hate speech for a similar message in a homily. He was ultimately cleared of the charges. The complaints were based on the Cifuentes Act, which places the burden of proof on the accused, not the accuser: "When the plaintiff or a person alleges discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and provides legitimate grounds for suspicion, it is therefore for the defendant or the one to whom the discriminatory situation is imputed, to provide an objective and reasonable justification, sufficiently proven, of the measures taken and their proportionality." Sources: Info Vaticana, Church Militant and Santiago Times