By John-Henry Westen

OTTAWA, December 15, 2005 ( – A law banning hate speech against homosexuals enacted in France last year has proved its criticisms valid by being pressed against a sitting MP for comments which cannot be considered hateful in any true sense. Christian Vanneste, a member of the UMP representing the Lille region faces up to six months’ imprisonment and a $30,000 fine after being taken to court by three homosexual activist groups – SOS Homophobie, Act Up-Paris and Sneg.

The Telegraph reports that the public prosecutor at the trial in Lille said Vanneste was guilty as charged but made no recommendation on how he should be punished. Judgment on the case will be given on Jan 24.

While the Telegraph reports that Vanneste offended homosexuals “by saying they represent a ‘threat to humanity’. Vanneste actually referred to homosexual behaviour as dangerous rather than homosexual persons.

Vanneste’s offensive comments were originally made in parliament during the debate on the hate speech law which Vanneste opposed, and more recently repeated to newspapers. In Parliament he said that the idea of making “homophobia” illegal was a “contradiction in terms … This will bolster the notion that homosexual behaviour has the same value as any other kind of behaviour, when, in fact, it is obvious that it is a threat to the survival of humanity.”

Criminalizing speech against homosexual acts would see persons stating the faith positions of major religions imprisoned.Â

Comments against homosexual acts are common from Christians who believe, as a matter of faith, that such acts are gravely immoral. Homosexual acts are portrayed in Scripture as a “grave depravity” and an “abomination.” Also, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that that such acts are “intrinsically disordered and contrary to the natural law,” adding that “they can never be approved.”

Similar hate speech laws were passed in Canada this year, and while there have been no prosecutions under the law thus far, human rights tribunals have heaped heavy fines on Canadian Christians for speaking out against homosexuality.


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