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Sunday, 18 September 2011

No freedom of speech

Published in Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, Vol 175, September 10, 2011, p 527

When discussing religion and the law in this journal and elsewhere, I have consistently argued for free speech and for a complete separation of church and state. The counterpoint that others have expressed is that religion has been subordinated to other rights such as gender and sexual orientation.

I would maintain that the approach I have advocated is equally applicable to defending religion. I have been asked for some examples in support of that proposition. One obvious one concerns the sad tale of Harry Hammond’s street protest in Bournemouth in October 2001. It also provides a classic illustration of freedom of speech in the context of religion.

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