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Insulting words

October 2012

Insulting words

A group of comedians, gay rights campaigners and Christians gathered outside Parliament in the name of free speech.
    Standing with Stonewall front-man Peter Tatchell was Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute. They were calling for the Government to amend the wording of Section Five of the 1986 Public Order Act.
    According to the campaign group, Reform Section Five, the offending section of law currently outlaws ‘insulting words or behaviour’. The Reform Section 5 campaign, which unites left and right, Christians and secularists, wants the law changed in the name of free speech.
    Mr Tatchell, as a veteran human rights campaigner, was himself arrested under Section 5 while protesting against Iran’s treatment of homosexuals.
    The campaign is led in Parliament by David Davis MP and has the support of more than 60 per cent of all members. According to a campaign spokesman, the Home Office is now six months overdue in responding to its own consultation on the matter.
    See www.reformsection5.org.uk for more case studies, and information on the law and the campaign.

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