Thursday, October 04, 2018

Blasphemy repeal advances

Something I missed: the Justice Committee reported back on the Crimes Amendment Bill last Friday. The bill contains a few minor tweaks to the Crimes Act, including repeal of the archaic offence of "blasphemous libel", and the committee recommended unanimously that it be passed:

We heard concerns that the repeal would encourage hate speech against God, incite violence, and remove a safeguard for religious freedom. It was suggested that the repeal would disrupt the maintenance of wholesome boundaries in the media, and would insult God and the Christian foundations of New Zealand.

We consider it highly unlikely that the repeal of this little-known provision would result in any of these issues.

I'd also note that many of those issues are simply not the legitimate concern of government in a free and democratic society. what people think of other people's imaginary friends is simply no concern whatsoever of government.

Now that its back from committee, the bill should hopefully be passed by the end of the year.