El predicador contra la homosexualidad

En Octubre del 2001, un predicador Cristiano Evangélico llamado Harry Hammond sostuvo un cartel diciendo “Paren la Inmoralidad, Paren la Homosexualidad, Paren el Lesbianismo.” Cuando Hammond se rehusó a detenerse, un policía lo arrestó. Timothy Garton Ash discute un caso ilustrativo.

El caso

En Octubre de 2001, un predicador Cristiano Evangélico llamado Harry Hammond empezó a predicar en una plaza en Bournemouth, Inglaterra. Alzó un cartel diciendo “Paren la Inmoralidad, Paren la Homosexualidad, Paren el Lesbianismo.” Las palabras “Jesús es el Señor” estaban escritas en cada esquina. Una multitud molesta se reunió a su alrededor, discutiendo, gritando e incluso lanzándole tierra. En un momento alguien trató de quitarle el cartel, haciendo que él se cayera hacia atrás.

Cuando Hammond se rehusó a parar un policía lo arrestó. Posteriormente fue condenado por una ofensa bajo la Sección 5 del Acta de Orden Público de Gran Bretaña de 1986 que prohíbe la exposición de “cualquier escrito, signo o cualquier otra representación visual que sea amenazante, abusiva o insultante dentro del campo de visión o auditivo de una persona que sea probable que se sienta acosada, alarmada o angustiada por ello.” La condena fue confirmada en la apelación, considerando que las palabras de Hammond fueron “insultantes”, aunque la corte de apelación señaló que el mensaje del cartel “no estaba expresado en lenguaje intemperante”.

Opinión del Autor

Esta condena fue muy equivocada. Hammond estaba expresando sus creencias. Estas son ofensivas para muchos de nosotros, pero en una sociedad libre y diversa, nadie tiene derecho a no ser ofendido. Él no estaba incitando violencia. El policía debió haberle advertido y de ser necesario arrestar a la persona usando la fuerza para quitarle el cartel al predicador – no al predicador. Al atacar al hombre equivocado el oficial de policía estaba promoviendo lo que en los Estados Unidos es llamado “el veto de quien objeta”. Grita lo suficientemente fuerte, de forma amenazante, y puedes cerrar debates legítimos. Este es un ejemplo de libro de texto sobre cómo la ley no debería ser usada.

- Timothy Garton Ash

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Comentarios (11)

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  1. it is absurd that gay people demand equality because they are one of the most protected groups. there are so many people whose rights are even more treathened, who suffer various dictatorship and torture, hunger… and we are doomed to listen to those stupid sick ones who celebrate their sickness and emphasise it. had the story been reversed, straight huligans would be in jail, and a hero would be twisted and discriminated gay

  2. Apsurdno i beskrupulozno je da se gejevi zale i zahtevaju neku ravnopravnost,dok su oni evidentno najzasticeniji. Toliko je ljudi koji su svakodnevno diskriminisani,cija su ljudska prava zaista ugrozena,koji trpe razne diktature,glad i nasilje. A mi konstantno slusamo o izopacenim ljudima koji svoju bolest slave i stavljaju na pijedastal.
    Da je prica bila obrnuta,uhapseni bi bili strejt huligani,a heroj nezasticeni i diskriminisani gej.

  3. Tu comentario está pendiente de moderación

    I agree with the author’s opinion. It is true that everyone can have opinion and make a choice,and I think that Harry had every right to do that. Homosexuality is one of the biggest problems today,and we should be against it. Would you like to live in a world where it will be COMPLETELY approved? I would not. And that is a reason,’cuz Harry should not to be arrested. Even more,violence is not emphasized.

  4. As much as I disagree with his sentiment, he was expressing his opinion in a non-violent manner. He should not have been convicted for exercising his right to free speech.

  5. In my humble opnion I think they’re doing the right thing , because we should like animals respect for once how the nature is .

  6. I am neither for homosexuality, nor against it. In my opinion, it’s the choice of every person how to behave. There is freedom of speech, that’s why the preacher has his own right to write on a placard, what he wanted, moreover, the phrase which was written was rather neutral and the words were not so insulting, as policeman thought. To my mind, if sexual minorities feel better and more happy being together, then why not? As for me, it would be better for policemen to discuss and solve more vital and serious problems than accuse a person in expressing his point of view.

  7. As a man of science rather than a man of religion, I find any allusions to the ‘Lord’ and his opposition to homosexuality offending and provoking. But, in this case, I believe that the preacher had the right to express his beliefs and to call for opposition to homosexuality. Free speech is free speech and this conviction makes me think that recently there has been a growth of double standards in the judicial branch.

  8. What if a priest was holding up a sign “Stop Blacks, Jews and Muslims”? If that were the case, I highly doubt that this would even be contoversial in the least. Of course some might argue (like the priest) that that is different between the two since homosexuality is a choice whereas race is not, however as many homosexuals will argue the choice was not theirs. Therefore I do no see a distinction between the two.
    Moreover, the priest was calling to “stop” homosexuality. And although he did not specifically incite violence he did so indirectly. What does is mean to “stop” homosexuality? I have yet to read of a case when a man or a woman were civilly taught how to not be homosexual. Therefore what the priest was actually calling for was for the persecution of gays or outlawing homosexuality in Britain, both of which would infringe the Human Rights of those with the “wrong” sexual orientation.
    His conviction in my opinon should not be criticized, but rather celebrated as a victory FOR the human rights and the freedom of speech as it was merely another step towards achieving the world where one will not be judged for being different.

    • If the man cannot tell the difference between an act or a choice, viz. homosexuality, and a state of nature or religion, he has no business entering into the debate.
      Jack Dixon

  9. I believe that anyone is free to express themselves, but freedom of speech also means confronting those who think differently from us and, more importantly, predict the impact that words have on the hearer, free to participate. Secondly, the message that I send, as the vehicle? Phrases such as “Stop this” or “That banish” when impacting with a way of being, automatically lead to a strong reaction and dangerous. That is, in my opinion strikes against the rejection or acceptance of the onlookers find? This GAP is the key to the problem. That is, a communication management will be aware from the outset the success of the posts … and then, the fundamental error that has engulfed the poor priest is as follows: If I propose a censure, I will come to 99% censored.

  10. This is undoubtedly correct. The preacher was pacifically exercising his right of free speech. The court was wrong in yielding to the mob. The case is at odds with Beatty v Gillbanks, and Redmond-Bate v DPP.

    More importantly, this case opens the way to the tyranny of the mob.

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Debate sobre la Libertad de Expresión es un proyecto de investigación del Programa Dahrendorf de Estudios para la Libertad en el St Antony's College de la Universidad de Oxford. www.freespeechdebate.ox.ac.uk

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