Thursday, March 06, 2008

Free speech 2 : Jeebus 0

March 5th proved a fruitful day for human rights and freedom of speech. First, the House of Lords threw out a petition to appeal brought by religious zealots Christian Voice, who had tried to prosecute the BBC for screening Jerry Springer - The Opera. The appeal was rejected on the grounds that the case did "not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance". Simply put, the law in this case was an ass and irrelevant in a modern liberal society.

Then, in another small victory for reason and common sense, the House of Lords voted 148 to 87 to accept an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill that will abolish the common law of blasphemy and blasphemous libel.

However, in a society where religious fundamentalists are never far away, there remains the risk of scary new laws to allow the faith lobby to try and stifle free speech.

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