“The Government’s proposed Hate Speech Laws mean
someone could spend longer in jail for having an unpopular
opinion than assaulting a child, male assaults female,
participating in a riot and common assault,” says ACT Leader
“A cabinet paper released last week
shows that speech would go into the Crimes Act, with a three
“The Government needs to get its
priorities right. We have gangs shooting at each other in
public and children being murdered in their homes but the
Government is more interested in putting people in jail for
exercising freedom of speech.
“Some say that there
is little chance of a prosecution under hate speech laws.
Whether they are right or wrong, these hate speech laws
should not progress. If they are right there’s no point,
if they’re wrong, people are going to be jailed for having
an unpopular opinion.
“These laws are divisive and
dangerous, turning debate into a popularity contest where
the majority can silence unpopular
“Threatening others or inciting violence
should be illegal, but something as subjective as
‘offensive’ language should never be
“Freedom of expression is one of the most
important values our society has.
“We should go back
to one of life’s earliest lessons. Sticks and stones may
break my bones but names will never hurt