Whose rights are they anyway?

Chris Stalford picks up on a theme that has so far not raised its head in the E-debate on a Charter of Rights e-debate: the issue of overly prescriptive legislation. He’s fearful that under a full and rigourous rights culture some political attitudes are likely to be considered more right than others.

By Christopher Stalford

Question: when is a prisoner of conscience not a prisoner of conscience? Answer: when he or she makes a statement that offends the cosy liberal consensus. That is the conclusion I reached on hearing of the case of Swedish Pentecostal minister, Ake Green who was recently convicted and sentenced to four weeks in jail. His crime? Daring to preach a sermon against a homosexual lifestyle.

He was denounced to the public prosecutors by gay rights activists who had smuggled dictaphones into his church and taped his sermon and charged under a 2002 law that makes it a criminal offence to make comments against any of the usual groups. This apparently constitutes

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