This attempt to criminalize free speech is a response to the white supremacist atrocity committed by an Australian in Christchurch.
Some would argue that event was squarely on the shoulders of the $200million+ per year Intelligence Apparatus who are tasked with ensuring these types of mass violence events do not occur.
Criminalizing the misuse of pronouns and a blasphemy law is not a serious response to the Christchurch terrorist attack.
Everyone deserves the same agency and protection in a liberal progressive democracy, but criminalizing speech won’t do that.
It will instead open a tsunami of complaints to the Police, the process of investigation of which will instigate a chilling effect on free speech that is simply too oppressive in a democracy.
The protection of minorities in a democratic society is far better provided by strengthening anti-discrimination laws and anti-harassment laws.
I agree with the expanded groups that can’t be discriminated against and urge an increase in funding to the HRC to be able to facilitate, educate and where necessary punish those discrimination cases that can’t be resolved.
Anti-harassment laws already exist and need to be beefed up and implemented more alongside better education to ensure New Zealanders know their rights and the remedies for solutions that are open to them.
To criminalize speech and allow the Police to define hate for a crime punishable by 3 years is an Orwellian disaster waiting to happen.
We have obligations to ensure people are not discriminated against and or harassed, but to give the police the power to define hate speech is a terrible response to a white supremacists terror attack and will do little to prevent the next one.
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