Some people are so sensitive.
Gay Écoute (Gay Line), a Canadian gay rights group in Montreal, has started a registry where one may - anonymously - report "homophobic acts." What is a "homophobic act?"
"[A]ny word or act negatively toward a homosexual or homosexuality in general: physical abuse, verbal abuse, intimidation, harassment, graffiti offensive, abuse, mockery offensive,inappropriate media coverage and discrimination."
Any word? I do not condone homophobia, but I also do not stand for the notion that any criticism - including that which is unrelated to one's sexual orientation - can be tagged as "homophobic." Just as criticism of Obama has been subject to charges of racism.
"I disagree with your position on the new tax surcharges. And you've got soup on your tie."
While this new registry is not "official" and Gay Écoute will be advising the "anonymous" people calling in as to where they can take official action - such as filing a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission - it is being funded by the government.
In two years, the group will analyze the registry data and make recommendations to help stem homophobic acts. The registry is being funded with $60,000 from the Quebec Justice Department, which has set aside $7.1 million to battle homophobia over five years.
I don't like hate crimes because they require a determination as to what is in the mind of an alleged perpetrator and that means theya re really thought crimes, which is just too Orwellian for my tastes. It is a crime to assault someone, that is, to cause apprehension. It is a crime to then cause a touching upon the person, and that is a battery. However, it is not per se a crime to call someone a faggot.
I also have to wonder - if homophobia is such a problem, given the cultural diversity of Canada - common to former British colonies - are there other people requiring such a registry?
Or is it really more practical to enforce laws against crimes as is?
“Not all hurtful things that are said are illegal,” Gagnon said. “Some things may just be part of a person’s freedom of speech. But this registry will help (police) understand what is going on province-wide.”
Here is a question to ponder: when should a "hurtful thing" that is said be illegal? Bill Maher can call Sarah Palin a "c**t" which is the most egregious thing that can be said to a female - if I call a lesbian quebecoise the same thing, should that be illegal? And . . . what if she is a nasty enough person for it to be true? Can a gay man call a transgender woman a bitch - and get away with it?
Or should we just let crimes be crimes? And save taxpayers the money of chasing insults.