RESPONSE TO CPS POLICY STATEMENT ON PROSECUTION OF OFFENCES INVOLVING HOSTILITY ON THE GROUNDS OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY
Unfortunately, whatever the intent of this policy, it undermines the principle that we should all be treated equally before the law regardless of age, sex, race, religion etc, and severely limits freedom. It could have a draconian effect on anyone who is critical of transgender ideology or of the concept of same-sex marriage or even Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) ideology in general. In practice, this kind of policy is likely to target Christians and others who are most outspoken about these things.
Their policy can be read HERE and our response to the questions in this consultation can be read on the right of this page.
The deadline for this consultation is 9th January so sign now.
The Policy states:
• “Stirring up hatred in this context is committed when someone says or does something which is threatening, abusive or insulting and the person either intends to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, or makes it likely that such hatred will be stirred up.”
• “We accept that many suspects act in an opportunistic way. Hate crime is not always considered or methodical, although such offences certainly exist. Derogatory language and disrespect towards personal characteristics can be hurtful and unsettling but often incidental.”
• “[The CPS aim to w]ork closely with the police, criminal justice agencies and community stakeholders to continuously refresh our understanding of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic crime”
1. As can be seen, “crimes of stirring up hatred” could amount to saying or doing something which is perceived by the victim to be “insulting”. But obviously there are all kinds of things that we might find insulting.
Saying “I believe marriage exists only between one man and one woman so long as both people live” might insult not only some who endorse LGBT ideology, but also people who are divorced.
Saying, “I believe it is dangerous and immoral to endorse a child’s gender confusion” might insult people who support transgender ideology or parents who do endorse their child’s gender confusion.
The point is though, that both of these, at least as far as the person who says them and certainly from a Christian perspective, are true, and it is utterly wrong for an individual to be punished for believing and saying these things.
2. As well as having a serious negative effect of the freedom of speech and conscience of individuals, this policy further undermines any notion of equality before the law. Rather, because some people fall into special protected groups, in this case, people who experience other than heterosexual sexual attraction and people who identify as transgender, the law treats them differently. It appears that whilst it is perfectly lawful to make off-colour jokes about Christians, for example, it might not be lawful to make similar jokes about person who experience same-sex attraction or persons who identify as transgender.
It is not the case that I or anyone else who is reading this wants to make jokes about these groups of people, but rather the law should not have any special protections regarding who can and cannot be mocked.
3. Mainstreaming the idea that the moral opposition to same-sex attraction or gender ideology is hateful and therefore criminal, further limits the freedom of parents to bring their children up in conformity with their own beliefs, religious or otherwise. Where children experience gender confusion, for example, parents might be placed under increased pressure to affirm their child’s ‘new’ gender – even though this conflicts with the child’s biological sex, the parents’ beliefs, and research showing that up to 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls accept their gender after naturally passng through puberty.
If moral opposition to gender ideology is a hate crime, why should the state let parents continue to “hate” (and therefore presumably, “abuse”) their own children?
4. The idea that what counts as homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime will be “continuously refreshed” is alarming as it not only suggests that what is not a hate crime today could be considered a hate crime tomorrow, but also that the public will not know whether what they’re saying constitutes a hate crime until after they’ve said it. After all, how will they know what has been removed from the realm of state approved discourse or the ever shrinking lists of things which are inoffensive?
In short, the terminology used throughout this policy as well as the concepts it employs are so vague and ill thought-out, that they pose a serious threat to the freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of family from (unnecessary) state intrusion and the freedom of religion.
The deadline for the consultation is 9th January. This issue effects all of us. If you are a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Atheist, Humanist, or respect freedom and wish to limit the power of the judiciary, make sure you sign and share this urgent petition.
We are grateful to Christian Concern for their excellent legal analysis.
This petition is...
RESPONSE TO CPS POLICY STATEMENT ON PROSECUTION OF OFFENCES INVOLVING HOSTILITY ON GROUNDS OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION/GENDER IDENTITY