Law on Hate Crimes in Canada Affects Freedom of Speech

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 19, 1998 | Go to article overview

Law on Hate Crimes in Canada Affects Freedom of Speech


In the waning hours of the 105th Congress, quiet efforts to pass controversial legislation are under way. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a joint resolution that was approved by voice vote in the House on Oct. 15, cites violence based on sexual orientation as a hate crime.

Hate crimes have commonly been racially motivated. Only in Canada has sexual orientation been included in anti-hate and human rights legislation. The Canadian model does not focus exclusively on physical violence. It includes all forms of communication as well.

If there is any difference between the joint resolution and Canadian law, it exists in the restrictions on freedom of speech. Should the Hate Crimes Prevention Act become the law of the land, I believe Americans will see a similar challenge to free speech during the next session of Congress.

As a Canadian living in the United States, I fear for your freedom, mainly because you take it for granted. Too often I have watched Canadian politicians tripping over themselves to appease and appeal to homosexual rights lobbyists. Now, it seems that Congress and the Senate are in the same position.

If my words were published in a Canadian newspaper or newsletter, I would be charged with inciting hate under the criminal code. Freedom of speech no longer exists in Canada. I could not state that AIDS is largely found within the homosexual community, nor quote statistics to back up my assertion. …

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