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Filtered by: Freedom of Expression

New Norwegian Hate Speech Law Can Prosecute People for Remarks about LGBTQ made in Private Sphere

November 10, 2020, Norway

On the 10th of November, the Parliament of Norway has extended the hate-speech law to transgender and bisexual people, or generally "sexual orientation". People that are found guilty of hate speech could face up to one year in jail for private remarks and up to three years for public comments. This law could be conflicting with the freedom of speech for Christians, who preach the teachings of the bible.

Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws

Christian Councillor Removed for Refusing Funds For Pride Event Was Vindicated

November 10, 2020, United Kingdom

Mary Douglas, a Christian councillor at Wiltshire, was forced to step down from her role in November 2019, as she expressed her disapproval of the use of public funds to promote the "gay pride" event, as she did not agree with this "ideology and worldview". Accused of homophobia, she had to leave her role, but after an investigation the Wiltshire Council reversed the decision. The council admitted that her removal was an infringement of her "right to freedom of expression".

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws

St. Pantaleon Church in Cologne Threatened and Vandalized for Planing a Screening of a Pro-life Film

October 23, 2020, Germany

The wall of the St. Pantaleon church in Cologne was vandalized with pink graffiti by unknown pro-choice activists stating threats and symbols. It is assumed that this is linked to the churchs' announced screening of the feature film "Unplanned", a pro-life film. The vandalism happened during the night of October 23rd, which was the evening when "Youth for Life" wanted to screen the film in the parish hall. The threatening graffiti reads:" Abortion opponents we will get you all". The event was cancelled because of the current COVID-19 situation.

Freedom of Expression Vandalism (form of hate crime)

Students Seek to Oust Porter Over Views on Gender Ideology

October 22, 2020, United Kingdom

The Union of Clare Students (UCS) of the Cambridge Clare University are trying to remove the city councilor Kevin Price, for refusing to vote on a motion that contained a statement affirming that trans-women are women, trans-men are men and non-binary individuals are also non-binary. Price resigned his role to vote as a matter of conscience on the 22nd of October. The UCS considers Price "Unfit" and demand not only a safe environment for trans-people, but also that they feel "celebrated".

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Negative Stereotyping

March for Life Interrupted by Counter-Demonstrators Insulting and Stereotyping Christians

October 17, 2020, Austria

On October 17th, counter-demonstrators interrupted the March for Life in Vienna by blocking streets, which led to serval changes of the originally planned route. The counter-demonstrators also verbally and physically insulted the participants of the march with vulgar expressions and gestures. They also held up highly insulting banners like:"If Mary would have aborted, we would have been spared of you." Additionally, the counter-demonstrators held up flags against homophobia, stereotyping Christians as homophobic, despite the fact that the march was not about LGBTQ+ issues but the protection of the unborn life.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Insult or Incitement Negative Stereotyping

Pro-Life Campaigners Banned Outside Abortion Clinic in Manchester

October 7, 2020, United Kingdom

On October 7th, a 'buffer zone' was introduced outside the Marie Stopes Abortion Clinic in Manchester. According to the BBC, the people visiting the clinic felt harassed by the pro-life campaigners. On the other side, the campaigners assured the clinic to be peaceful and stand outside with banners. After the case in Fallowfield, Pro-Choice groups seek to get the same PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) for other abortion clinics.

Defamation Freedom of Expression

Threats Against Pro-Life Supporters and "March For Life" Banned in Switzerland 2019, 2020 and 2021

October 2, 2020, Switzerland

In the city of Zürich, the March for Life was opposed by extreme left activists, as it also occurred in Austria and Germany, which led the local government to ban the march. The march has already been banned in 2019 and also for 2020 and 2021 with no consistent reason. The official reason for the ban are safety concerns for the participants of the march, due to violent counter-protests and possible riots. As an alternative to the march, there would have been a smaller gathering of the pro-life supporters, but the Congress Center Winterthur, where the event would have taken place in a smaller form, has denied access. The organizers of the march announced that they will pursue legal action against this decision.

Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression

University of Edinburgh and University of Stirling Accused of Restricting Free Speech by Refusing to Affiliate Pro-Life Societies

September 28, 2020, United Kingdom

The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Children (SPUC) and the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS) published a report called Free2Speak on September 28, which analyzed campus censorship in Scotland. Each university was scored according to their policies towards pro-life students, societies and outside speakers and the students' experiences. Both Edinburgh and Stirling university were marked as "fails" in the survey because their students' unions refused to affiliate pro-life societies.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Podcast With Christian Journalist Birgit Kelle Deleted from Spotify

September 28, 2020, Germany

The sequence number 61 of the podcast "indubio" was deleted by Spotify, where the journalist Birgit Kelle was invited to speak about her book "Noch Normal? Das lässt sich gendern!" (Still Normal? That can be gendered!), which criticizes the gender movement. Spotify did not give any precise reason for the deletion, it simply said "content policy violations". Birgit Kelle has accused the streaming service of censorship functioning under the umbrella of the theme of "cancel culture". The Podcast "Indubio" has never used hate speech or any form of insulting behavior. The makers of the podcast have also filed a protest to Spotify for the unfair deletion, which was forwarded to the technical support.

Defamation Freedom of Expression Negative Stereotyping

School Worker Lost Discrimination Case for Her Dismissal After Posting Christian Views on LGBT on Facebook

September 25, 2020, United Kingdom

On January 7th 2019, the Farmor's School in Fairford dismissed Mrs Kristie Higgs for committing gross misconduct. The school directive received a complaint about the teacher's posts on her private Facebook disagreeing with LGBT+ agenda (On the 26th October 2018). Mrs. Higgs appealed against the dismissal on January 14th 2019 for discrimination against her religious beliefs. The court concluded on September 25th, that her dismissal was not a discriminating act against her beliefs, but about "gross misconduct" understood by the school directive. During the whole process, Kristie Higgs received commentaries like "Keep your religion out of it" and was called a ‘Pro-Nazi right-wing extremist’. The court ruled against her, even though the government has restricted the Relationships and sex education (RSE) guidelines, to protect religious freedom and although the court acknowledged that Mrs. Higgs behavior was not homophobic or transphobic. Higgs is appealing the court decision.

Defamation Freedom of Expression

After Facebook Post Pastor Threatened by LGBT Activists with Arson and Physical Assault

September 8, 2020, United Kingdom

Since the 8th of August, Pastor Josh Williamson and his wife experienced several threats and verbal abuse by the LGBT community, because of posting his belief about homosexuality on Facebook. Among them are the threats to burn his church, to perform sexual acts and protests in front of his church and physical assault. His image was also used on pornographic content and shared online, among other misleading information about him. In his conversation with the Police, Williamson was told to be careful not to break the law by insulting the LGBT community and being charged for hate speech. The threats towards him and his church were not investigated, neither the acts of defamation.

Defamation Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Hate Incident Insult or Incitement

Increasing Attacks on German Street Preacher

August 10, 2020, Germany

Street preacher Henning Heinrich Westrup reported that attacks against him increased in July. He calls on people to repent and follow Jesus Christ in the pedestrian zones in Bielefeld, Dortmund and Gütersloh, among others. He reported that attacks against him by people who reject his message have increased. He said he experienced insults, vulgarities, and threats -- along with an assault in July.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Hate Crime

Proposed Scottish Hate Crime Bill Threatens Freedom of Speech and Worship

July 23, 2020, United Kingdom

The Scottish Justice Committee has proposed a new hate crime bill, which extends the current hate crime law covering race, to include other "protected characteristics" such as religion, sexual orientation, and transgender identity. Christian and secular groups have criticized the bill as too broad and subjective, potentially interfering with freedom of speech and worship. The Parliament has accepted to re-draft the Bill, to protect Freedom of Speech. The new amendment should be known in December 2020.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws

Equality Legislation in Malta Threatens Freedom of Religion; Conscience; Expression

July 22, 2020, Malta

Proposed Equality Bills 96 and 97 are ostensibly aimed at protecting an extensive group of people from discrimination and cover areas such as schools, public religious symbols, and services and employment. The Bills would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, religious belief, state of health, and other “protected characteristics.” However, many sectors of society, including educators, professionals, business owners, health workers, parents, faith-based groups, and believers are concerned about the laws' overreach.

Access to Justice and Legal Services Equality Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Militant Equality Laws Rights of Parents

Christian Actress in the UK Dismissed From Leading Roll After Facebook Post About Same-Sex Marriage

March 15, 2020, United Kingdom

On March 15th actress Seyi Omooba got dismissed from her leading roll for a Facebook post, citing the Bibel. The actress was supposed to play a LGBTQ character in a musical at the Leicester Curve Theatre, when she was not only accused of homophobia but verbally abused online. She was called "ni**er" because of a post on Facebook four years ago, about her Christian view on same-sex marriage. After being removed from the roll, Seyi Omooba is suing Leicester Curve Theatre and Global Artists Agency supported by the Christian Legal Centre. On November 25th, the judge rejected arguments from Seyi Omoobas lawyers that the theatre critic, Lloyd Evans should be allowed to give evidence in her claim. It was ruled that the theatre critic could not support Omooba in court with an expert evidnece report. The trail of Omooba's religious discrimination and breach of contract claim is scheduled to run for 11 days next February.

Defamation Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Insult or Incitement Militant Equality Laws Negative Stereotyping

MP Interviewed by Police for Questioning Church Leadership

March 2, 2020, Finland

On March 2nd, member of the Finnish Parliament Päivi Räsänen faced a police interrogation because of a tweet she posted in June 2019. The tweet was directed at the leadership of her church and questioned its official sponsorship of the LGBT event “Pride 2019”, accompanied by an image of a bible text.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

Catholic Speaker Cancelled at Irish Schools

January 12, 2020, Ireland

Four talks by US Catholic speaker Jason Evert were cancelled due to pressure by campus LGBT groups and media reports referring to the well-known chastity speaker as "homophobic and anti-contraceptive." Presentations at two Dublin colleges, a Catholic conference called ‘Ignite 2020,’ and a talk at hotel were cancelled. According to reports, the University College Dublin LGBT Society called on the university authorities to stop Mr Evert from speaking, saying in a statement that his proposed visit to the university was “putting the safety of UCD’s LGBTQ+ community at risk” and his words could have “lasting and damaging effects on the mental wellbeing of LGHBTQ+ students.”

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Researcher Who Lost job for Tweeting ‘Men Cannot Change into Women’ Loses Employment Tribunal

December 18, 2019, United Kingdom

On December 18th, a judge in an employment tribunal ruled against Maya Forstater, a tax expert at the Centre for Global Development, who defended her right to say on social media that men cannot become ‘women’ by undergoing gender reassignment treatment. Employment Judge Taylor ruled that her belief that biological sex cannot be changed “did not have the protected characteristic of a philosophical belief.” She had tweeted that “men cannot change into women” as part of an argument about the government’s proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. This was not deemed a "protected belief" under the Equality Act 2010.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Expression

Pastor Sues After Being Forced out of job and Harassed over Pride Tweet

December 1, 2019, United Kingdom

A Christian pastor and school caretaker, who received abuse and threats for a June 2019 tweet about LGBTQ Pride has taken legal action against the school which he felt forced to leave.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion

High Court Permanently Bans Protests against "No Outsiders" School Programme

November 26, 2019, United Kingdom

A High Court judge ruled in favor of an exclusion zone around a school in Birmingham permanent, preventing parents from protesting outside the grounds against the "No Outsiders" primary school programme that teaches about LGBT relationships. Many parents and activists claim the programme contradicts their faith and is not "age appropriate." A temporary exclusion zone was first imposed by the courts in the summer after months of protests outside Anderton Park Primary School by mostly Muslim parents. Birmingham City Council claimed that the order was sought from the courts over safety concerns.

Exclusion (of individuals or ideas) Freedom of Association and Assembly Freedom of Conscience Freedom of Expression Freedom of Religion Rights of Parents