Below is the intervention read by Dave Petteys, representing the ACT For America 5280 Coalition at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 12 “Combating Hate Crimes and Ensuring Effective Protection against Discrimination”, Warsaw, September 29, 2015.
OSCE 2015 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting
Working Session 12: Combating hate crimes and ensuring effective protection against discrimination
Mr/Ms. Moderator, ladies and gentlemen, thank you.
By the OSCE definition, the act of a “hate crime” must be a crime under the criminal code of the legal jurisdiction in which it is committed.
But what we see, ladies and gentlemen, is the tendency to label “hurt feelings” and so called “insult” as “hate crimes”. In the rough and tumble politics of free societies, there is no right or guarantee to be “hurt feelings and insult free”.
Too often, it is special interest groups or incumbent politicians who label the remarks of their opposition as “hate speech” and “discrimination” only in an effort to silence them.
The Act for America 5280 Coalition would like to remind the member states that free discussion is an integral part of the political process and must be preserved from any and all restrictions, no matter how well intentioned.
The ACT for America 5280 Coalition also would like to remind member states that no group, especially religious groups that venture onto the political stage, are immune from nor deserve a free pass from criticism or critical examination.
Thank you, Mr/Ms. Moderator and ladies and gentlemen.
For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.