Friday, November 26, 2004

Tribunals and hate speech

DPF and Big News want Jacqui Grant removed from the Human Rights Review Tribunal for her letter to the Campaign Against Civil Unions. And sadly, I agree. While CACU are bigots of the first order (check out Hard News for the details), members of quasi-judicial bodies such as the Human Rights Review Tribunal must be seen to be neutral and impartial. Grant fails that test, just as Laurie Grieg did, and should resign.

At the same time, it's difficult to see how anyone who cares about human rights could be seen as neutral by people who are as implacably opposed to them as the Campaign Against Civil Unions. But Grant didn't fail by their standards - she failed by ours, and that is why she must go.

I also agree fully on the undesirability of hate speech legislation. While I deplore Christian bigots waging a campaign of hatred against gays, unless they cross the line into threats against specific individuals or incitement to immediate violence, there is absolutely no justification for suppression. The answer to undesirable speech is more speech, not less.