The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
MistahKurtz
Con (against)
Winning
37 Points

We must resist the attempts of gay activists to restrict our freedom of expression

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/12/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,995 times Debate No: 10090
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (14)
Votes (7)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

Today, under intense pressure from the House of Lords, the British Government finally backed down and agreed to retain the "freedom of expression" clause in new legislation intended to prevent criticism of homosexuality.

It was a very close call though and the only reason the Government did not use the Parliament Act to force the legislation through was because tomorrow marks the end of the current Parliamentary Session.

Nevertheless, they intend to impose these new restrictions on our freedom of speech "as soon as possible" and they are supported by peers such as the openly gay Lord Smith who claimed that "free speech could lead to more homophobic attacks".

Had the Bill passed and received Royal Assent, I could have been liable to arrest and prosecution under the Coroners and Justice Bill (2009) had I chosen to repeat the debate entitled "A ban on sex between men should be introduced in order to help prevent the spread of AIDS" that I recently posted on this site.

Many comedians are also concerned that a law banning jokes involving gays "could stifle creativity and even lead to the threat of people being arrested."

Let's be clear about this: militant gay activists and their supporters in Parliament are doing their level best to deny the general public their fundamental right to express their opinions on sexual practices. Even as the law stands, people who question homosexual behaviour face being interrogated by the police and are even liable to prosecution.

For example, during the Lords debate, one peer cited the example of a grandmother who was visited by police after writing a letter to Norwich Council to complain about a gay pride march.

Do we really want to see our freedom of expression curtailed even further than it already is? I think not and that is why I am calling for the British public to stand up to these gay rights extremists and their apologists in Parliament and protest against their draconian and anti-democratic proposals and I further urge this House to support me in this endeavour.

Thank you.

Sources:

http://news.bbc.co.uk...
http://www.debate.org...
http://services.parliament.uk...
MistahKurtz

Con

It saddens me to see this resolution today and it saddens me more to know that this section of the bill was not passed.

Let me begin by destroying my opponent's case with language from the bill itself;

"In this Part, for the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred."

http://www.opsi.gov.uk...

My opponent's fallacious argument relies on the opinions and worries of those who have not read the bill. Frankly I do not appreciate that my opponent is trying to sabotage this bill with the opinion's of comedians.

I would like to begin by talking about the immediate need for action to protect the gay community. The only countries that identify hate crimes based on sexual orientation are Canada, the US and Sweden. In Sweden, hate crimes based on sexual orientations are the second most common in the country, accounting for 21% compared to the 12% of hate crimes spurred by religious discrimination. Perhaps one of the most terrifying statistics come from the United States, where a homosexual is 850 times more likely to the victim of a hate crime than a heterosexual person. The United States is one of the worst places in the the Western to live if you are a homosexual, second only maybe to the United Kingdom. This evidence is a shocking illustration of why action must be taken -now.-

I think it is immediately apparent as soon as one reads the bill that my opponent is, in fact, opposing these same rights that are already in place for minorities and religious groups. My opponent's argument therefore reads, incorrectly, that it is okay to give up free speech to protect religious denominations and ethnic minorities, but not homosexuals. That, in my opinion, is nothing short of disgusting. To have someone say that every single majority and minority in the nation is better than the gay community makes me nauseous. What's more is that my opponent is basing this on a faulty presupposition. He is making the claim that our free speech must be sacrificed for this bill to pass, which is inherently false.

With the forgiveness of everyone reading this debate, I will illustrate an important point;

Nigger.

It's a foul, dirty and unpleasant word that demeans every person in the world. It is one of the last remaining phrases on earth that inspires cringing amongst the general public. That being said; IT IS NOT ILLEGAL. One is well within their rights to say it. What's more, one is permitted to use it in even more horrible contexts. One may say that ethnic minorities deserved to be deported or punished, which is the type of vitriol that the insufferable Nick Grffin has spewed. However, he is not imprisoned right now. Why is that? It is because he still has freedom of speech, despite hate crime legislation that, by opponent's definition, should make his platform illegal. However, he makes sure to never directly incite violence against minorities or immigrants. That is to say that if he got up in front of his supporters and instructed them to lynch every immigrant, he would be tried with the hate crimes bill. It is a brilliant way to stop atrocities before they begin.

I refuse to see exactly how this will infringe on my opponent's free speech, unless of course he intends to instruct people to attack homosexuals. Considering that my opponent is a well-intentions, if misguided, person, I sincerely doubt he would incite violence. Furthermore, since my opponent's debate that is in question merely is discussing an issue and not inciting violence, it would be not only permissible by British law but encouraged as a means of public discussion.

I would also wonder about the anecdotal evidence of one Lord's grandmummy be visited by the big bad police in regards to the hate crimes bill, even when my opponent has admitted that it is not now, nor will it be in the foreseeable future, made into law. So were the police investigating the crime with the assumption that it would become law? I think this is a little misdirection on the part of my opponent.

Let me put these ideas in context. Here in Canada, we have arguably more anti- hate speech legislation than anywhere else in the world. This includes anyone who can be distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. This has led to a protection of all of these equally. We do not try people more for advocating violence against gays as we would try someone who is suggesting violence against Jews.

I would like to conclude my remarks by imploring my opponent to drop the childish term 'militant gay activist.' With all due respect, of which you have not given me, you sound like a child. A person of you intellect should know not to create hyperbolic scarecrows to conjure up the image of the big bad gays, coming to steal all your freedoms. While many of us due look rather cute in uniform, I assure you we have no plans to take over the United Kingdom other than to ensure that we receive the same rights that you do.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.opsi.gov.uk...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.statcan.gc.ca... (pdf)
http://www.religioustolerance.org...
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

I would like to thank my MistahKurtz for his impassioned and highly eloquent response, but before I address the issues he raised, I think it would be useful to put the matter of homosexuality into perspective.

Some less enlightened people, particularly the devoutly religious, consider homosexuality to be a medical condition, implying that one day someone might discover a ‘cure' for it.

The truth is, of course, that people aren't born as homosexuals, and homosexuality certainly cannot be contracted like some sort of disease! Instead, the reality is that people develop their sexual preferences as they grow up. Most reach adulthood conforming to the sexual norm, but others follow alternative paths. Just as is the case with paedophilia, homosexuality is the result of emotional predispositions which are modified by life experiences, both positive and negative.

Nevertheless, although neither homosexuality nor paedophilia are "illnesses" that can be ‘treated' as such, counselling and psychological therapies are available to both homosexuals and paedophiles whose sexual preferences are unwanted.

http://www.narth.com...
http://www.helping-people.info...

From a global point of view, sexual intercourse between two men is illegal in many countries, while the age of consent for heterosexual sex also varies widely.

http://www.avert.org...

For example, if a gay man from Idaho relocated to Angola with his boyfriend they would be well advised to become celibate as homosexuality there is illegal and the punishment meted out to offenders is severe.

By the same token, if a straight man from Angola relocated to Idaho with his 12-year old girlfriend, he too would face prosecution if he continued to have sex with her as he had done quite legally in his own country.

Now, most people reading this live in the West and would agree with me when I say that homosexuality should not be considered a crime but paedophilia should, but there are hundreds of millions of people around the world from various cultures that would disagree, including some of the many millions of people with non-European ethnic backgrounds that live in the West.

I believe in free speech and I, therefore, believe that their voices deserve to be heard. They should not be silenced, much less criminalised, just because their opinions might offend homosexuals, or their rhetoric might convince others to adopt their stance on the matter. Similarly, their arguments in defence of arranged marriages between minors must be heard, no matter how unpalatable many of us may find them.

So, with that in mind, I will counter my opponent's arguments who wrote:

"Let me begin by destroying my opponent's case with language from the bill {sic} itself; ‘In this Part, for the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred.'"

This is the "Protection of freedom of expression" provision that exists in the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 (on which this new legislation is based) that the gay activists wanted REMOVED. That is to say they wanted gays to have more rights than people from ethnic minorities or people of faith, and that really is the crux of my argument.

http://www.opsi.gov.uk...

What the gay rights extremists are in effect saying is, while it is legally acceptable to insult an Afro-Caribbean or Asian person or a devout Christian, Jew or Moslem, insulting a homosexual should become a criminal offence.

By the way, I make no apologies for using emotive words such as "militant" and "extremist" in my debates. It is perfectly legitimate to colour one's arguments with such terms and it is a device commonly used by respected politicians and journalists to emphasise their points. In no way should this tactic be considered insulting, much less "childish" as my opponent claimed.

With regard to physical homophobic attacks, I'm sure all decent people would agree that these should be condemned unreservedly. Nevertheless, the perpetrators of such offences are already liable for prosecution under the Offences Against the Person Act (1861). The victim's sexual orientation should be irrelevant – a violent thug should not receive a lighter sentence for attacking a straight man than he would if his victim happened to be gay.

Finally, I am relieved to learn that my opponent is not mustering a militia of Canadian homosexuals as a part of a planned invasion of the UK, but I can assure him that he would be warmly welcomed should he decide to visit Britain - provided he comes unarmed of course! As it happens, the British are highly tolerant of homosexuality and I am pleased to report that this country has become home to a large number gay people from all over the world - people who make an enormous contribution to both our culture and our economy.

In conclusion, being able to participate in debates such as this is important to me but if the proposed legislation banning the criticism of homosexuality had been passed, I would face prosecution for.posting this argument because in the course of the debate I deliberately equated homosexuality with paedophilia and thereby, in the eyes of the proposed law, committed the crime of insulting gay people.

Thank you.
MistahKurtz

Con

Before I begin refuting my opponent's misguided and misinformed points, it should be acknowledged that my opponent has already lost the debate. He has gone to great lengths to explain why the big bad queers are going to steal all our rights, but he not proven at all that they are. When I pointed out that the bill he is talking about says no such thing, he merely disagreed and said the opposite. He has shown no hansard evidence that this bill will curtail any free speech, and I find it exceedingly difficult to debate over something that does not exist, so I will tackle the points that my opponent rather than the one he should have.

My opponent begins with the outrageous ideas that homosexuality is not biological and is on par with pedophilia. I can not sum up my unbridled anger at these ideas in words, so I will employ the voices of the scientific community to make my argument for me.

"the APA currently states that sexual orientation is not a choice, rather that '...it emerges from most people in early adolescence with no prior sexual experience'"[1]

"D.F. Swaab conducted the next noteworthy experiment in 1990. This experiment became the first to document a physiological difference in the anatomical structure of a gay man's brain. Swaab found in his post-mortem examination of homosexual males' brains that a portion of the hypothalamus of the brain was structurally different than a heterosexual brain. The hypothalamus is the portion of the human brain directly related to sexual drive and function. In the homosexual brains examined, a small portion of the hypothalamus, termed the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), was found to be twice the size of its heterosexual counterpart." [2]

"Simon LeVay conducted another experiment regarding the hypothalamus of the human brain in 1991. LeVay, like Swaab and Allen also did a post-mortem examination on human brains...LeVay discovered that within the hypothalamus...was two to three times smaller in homosexual men then in heterosexual men. The women examined also exhibited this phenomenon. LeVay concluded the "homosexual and heterosexual men differ in the central neuronal mechanisms that control sexual behavior", and like Allen and Swaab, agreed that this difference in anatomy was no product of upbringing or environment, but rather prenatal cerebral development and structural differentiation" [3]

"There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation." [4]

There are countless other sources and studies that I can cite, but it will all be in vain because my opponent's crackpot theories will be infinitely preferred by those who are striving to come to their comfortable conclusion, such as my opponent's pre-determined decision that homosexuality is wrong. He may not say it, but it certainly backs up his belief that homosexuals are not entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals. He tries to discretely tie homosexuality in with pedophilia, but he must recognize that this is disingenuous and wrong. Homosexuality is the -consensual- relationship between two adults of the same sex, whom society deems to be in control of their bodies and minds, whereas pedophilia is the attraction to one whom society defines as to be not in control of their bodies and minds insofar as they cannot comprehend the ramification and implications of their actions by one one adult who understands that the child cannot understand the situation. Homosexuality is a natural occurrence whereas pedophilia is a form of child abuse, but both are neurological characteristics.

My opponent's further equating of homosexuality and pedophilia is transparent to any intelligent person reading it, or so I would hope. He does not seem to comprehend that it morally wrong for a government to infringe on the sexual affairs of two consenting adults. Countries may define 'adult' differently, and that is their prerogative, but there is absolutely no justification for disallowing two adults who are in complete control of their natural functions not to do as they please, so long as there is consent. The same cannot be said for pedophilia. It is disgraceful that my opponent is effectively defending those who criminalize homosexuality, despite saying the contrary.

Furthermore, he continues to harp on the idea that homosexuals have a secret agenda to criminalize those who say we are naturally wrong. He has shown -absolutely no- proof of this. If it were so, I would join him in opposing it, but the fact remains that he cannot back up his claims and he is merely making them in an effort to demonize the gay community and stop the natural realization of our equal rights. He may say that homosexuals are advocating to have more rights than religious and ethnic minorities but he has simply not proven it. He merely says it and hopes that no one will ask him for a source.

My opponent then went on to distort and deflect my argument that immediate action needs to be taken to stop the flow of violent attacks against homosexuals. He has not acknowledged that no hate speech legislation is in place to protect inflammatory rhetoric against homosexuals. I am at no point saying that homosexuals are a protected class who deserve more rights, but rather I am saying that we are an under protected minority that deserves THE SAME rights. Nothing more. If one were to go on the BBC tonight and demand that every gun owner in England should go out and shoot one homosexual (hopefully not the same one), he would not be prosecuted to the same extent as one who would advocate the same horrendous act against, say, Christians. How is this acceptable? Why is this so? This dreadful inequality is exactly what I am fighting against because it leads to people dying.

My opponent speaks well of Britain's openness to homosexuality, yet perhaps he is unaware of the statistics.

"In London, recorded homophobic attacks are up by 20 per cent [in 2009]. In Glasgow it's 32 per cent; in Liverpool it's 40 per cent; in Greater Manchester it's 63 per cent...last week, the off-duty police officer left a club in Liverpool with his boyfriend and was lynched by a group of 20 teenagers who smashed his skull and left him close to death...

...A study by Stonewall found 41 per cent of gay children are beaten up, and 17 per cent have been told they're going to be killed (it's 10 per cent higher still in faith schools)...

...The Stonewall study found that in schools with a consistent policy of punishing homophobic language, gay children were 60 per cent less likely to be attacked. That fall in violence could ripple out from the school gates - but today, only 6 per cent of schools adopt this policy." [5]

So when my opponent says that homosexuals do not deserve the right to be fully protected by the government, remember those who are being beaten and killed because of it.

I am going to break from tradition and not thank my opponent for his debate. Not because I find his opinion and freedom of speech invaluable, but rather because I think he is doing a great disservice for humanity by trying to distort this debate for his own self-satisfaction, at the cost of human life.

[1] http://allpsych.com...
[2] ibid
[3] ibid
[4] http://www.apa.org...
[5] http://www.independent.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 2
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MistahKurtz 7 years ago
MistahKurtz
It's irrelevent if I agreed that it's a restriction of speech, Roy, because the resolution is that we must -resists- the attempts of gay activists. It was a bad resolution, for sure, because it takes the presupposition that gay activists are trying to restrict freedom of expression, so that was just one tier of the debate.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Too bad neither side had much to say about the resolution. Con seemed to agree in R2 that the legislation, never well explained, restricts free speech. Pro wins.

I am supposing that the Pro's notion of homosexuality being a disease was some sort of "let's yank your chain" humor. It was ridiculous but irrelevant to the debate, so it doesn't really matter.
Posted by johngriswald 7 years ago
johngriswald
This wasn't a debate, this was a conversation with blindness.
Posted by MistahKurtz 7 years ago
MistahKurtz
Korashk, that is only because I was working with what I was given. I couldn't start arguing about what pro wasn't talking about. I outlined my basic case without turning around and starting advocate for his strawman. That left me to debate the emotion and refute what he had to say.

Perhaps if it were 3 or 4 rounds long, we would have had more of a chance to address the resolution itself.

Furthermore, Brian, you're no socialist. Maybe economically, but you appear to be pro-war, anti-civil liberties and anti-privacy. If you really believed in equality, you wouldn't have created this topic.
Posted by Korashk 7 years ago
Korashk
This debate was a bit hard to read for me. It may have been because both debaters got off topic in the second round. Many of the points expressed here should have been addressed in different debates.
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
*Reads Con's argument, gasps in utter horror, and fumbles for shotgun*
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
This must be the first time that two socialists have debated each other on this site. As is customary with meetings between fellow comrades, our encounter ended in acrimony! No wonder we never achieve power!
Posted by MistahKurtz 7 years ago
MistahKurtz
I ain't nobody's MistahKurtz, I am an independent black woman.
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
Sorry for the typo...

For "I would like to thank my MistahKurtz" please read: "I would like to thank MistahKurtz".
Posted by MistahKurtz 7 years ago
MistahKurtz
Oh, I am so prepared to dance on this one.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by kingofslash5 7 years ago
kingofslash5
brian_egglestonMistahKurtzTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
brian_egglestonMistahKurtzTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by The_Anarchist_Opposition 7 years ago
The_Anarchist_Opposition
brian_egglestonMistahKurtzTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:15 
Vote Placed by mcc1789 7 years ago
mcc1789
brian_egglestonMistahKurtzTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Vote Placed by MistahKurtz 7 years ago
MistahKurtz
brian_egglestonMistahKurtzTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
brian_egglestonMistahKurtzTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Korashk 7 years ago
Korashk
brian_egglestonMistahKurtzTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05