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ACTION REQUIRED: New Homosexual Hatred Offence

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As you will know from our previous briefings (see links below), the Government has proposed amending the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill to introduce an offence of inciting hatred on the grounds of sexuality. This Bill will affect the law in England and Wales. We are very concerned about the effect this will have on the freedom of Christians and others to openly express their views and beliefs about sexuality. We are also convinced that such a law is unnecessary, as homosexuals are already adequately protected from abuse by the criminal law, in the same way that we all benefit from such protection.

The next stage of proceedings is that the House of Commons have convened a Committee to discuss the Bill and decide what amendments should be put to Parliament. This Committee will be considering a whole raft of provisions, but one of the issues they will consider is whether to include this amendment.

The Committee will begin meeting on Tuesday 16th October, and on that day they will be hearing evidence from Stonewall, the homosexual rights lobbyist group which has been advocating this change in the law. So far no religious groups have been announced as one of the groups being asked to give evidence to the Committee.

We would urge you to email/ phone / write to the members of the Committee List of members of the Committee, preferably before Tuesday, to stress your concerns about whether this amendment is needed, and the negative effect it would have on freedom of speech and freedom of religion in this country. If you cannot submit the evidence before Tuesday, it will still be read and considered if it is received by the end of next week. Written evidence can be submitted to, and it will be circulated to all members of the committee and published on the committee website.

Below is an email template which can be used as a guide for how to write to the committee. The points included are for guidance only, and can be added to or embellished upon:

FAO: Public Bill Committee – Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill

Dear Members of the Committee,

I am writing to express my deep concern about the proposed amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, which would make it a criminal offence to ‘incite hatred on the grounds of sexuality’. As a committed Christian I firmly believe that we should love and show love to all people, irrespective of their lifestyle, beliefs and sexual practices. However, I also feel that the introduction of this proposed law is ill advised and poses a considerable danger to freedom of speech and freedom of religion in our nation.

[Potential points to raise:

  • The law is unnecessary. All people are protected from assault and threatening words or behaviour under the current criminal law. In addition, the law concerning incitement to commit a criminal offence would make it an offence for any person to incite an act of violence against another person, for whatever reason.

  • Although it is not good to hate another person, nor is it a criminal offence to hate somebody – for reason of their sexuality or for any other reason. This law is another step towards ‘thought crime’, as it outlaws the act of trying to make someone hate something or someone else.

  • Although Christians do not hate homosexuals but are commanded to love them, they are instructed in the bible to hate sin. The bible is also clear that God intended sex to be kept in a marriage relationship between one man and one woman. Many people may find such teaching offensive. They may even find it threatening. But it is an orthodox belief of the Christian Church, and the propagation of such teaching should not be criminalised. Many advocates of free speech would ascribe to the motto ‘I disagree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it’.

  • Christians and others are already living in an atmosphere of fear when it comes to being allowed to speak openly about their beliefs regarding sexuality. There have been a number of examples in the media where people have been reported to the police, interviewed by police, taken to court and even prosecuted for speaking openly about sexuality, lost their positions at work. For more details of these cases see our previous briefings, or go to the CCFON cases briefing – see in particular cases numbers 2, 10, 11, 12, and 17 -

  • It might be good to include some of the details of these cases as the members of the committee may not know about them.

In light of these above concerns I would urge the Committee to uphold freedom of speech and to recognise that the proposed amendment is not only an unnecessary measure, but that it would endanger the freedoms that we now enjoy.

Thank you for taking the time to read my submission.

Yours faithfully,



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