Norway Criminalizes Hate Speech Against Transgender People . . . In Private Homes or Conversations

We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in Europe. The move to criminalize speech has led to an insatiable appetite for new limitations and broader prosecutions. Norway is an example of this headlong plunge into speech controls and crimes in the West. This week the legislature adopted (without even a vote) a new criminal law that punishes people for saying anything deemed hate speech toward transgender people in their own home or private conversations.

Minister of Justice and Public Security Monica Maeland declared victory because speech regulation must be “adapted to the practical situations that arise.” The “practical situation” includes speaking to your own spouse or family.

Birna Rorslett, vice president of the Association of Transgender People in Norway added allowing people to speak out against transgender values or issues “has been an eyesore for trans people for many, many years.”

Such speech controls in Europe have led to a chilling effect on political and religious speech. In their homes, people will often share religious and political views that depart from majoritarian values or beliefs. This law would regulate those conversations and criminalize the expression of prohibited viewpoints.

As we recently discussed, a poll in Germany found only 18 percent of Germans feel free to express their views in public. Notably, over 31 percent of Germans did not even feel free expressing themselves in private among friends. Just 17 percent felt free to express themselves on the Internet and 35 percent said that freedom to speak is confined to the smallest of private circles.

The most chilling fact is that European-style speech controls have become a core value in the Democratic Party. Once a party that fought for free speech, it has become the party demanding Internet censorship and hate speech laws. President-Elect Joe Biden has called for speech controls and recently appointed a transition head for agency media issues that is one of the most pronounced anti-free speech figures in the United States. It is a trend that seems now to be find support in the media, which celebrated the speech of French President Emmanuel Macron before Congress where he called on the United States to follow the model of Europe on hate speech.

For free speech advocates, we need to educate the public on where this road leads in places like Norway. What is at stake is the very right that has long defined us as a nation. Once we cross the Rubicon into speech criminalization and controls, Europe has shown that it is rarely possible to work back to liberties lost.  We are moving into potentially the most anti-free speech period of American history — and possibly the most anti-free speech Administration. Many politicians are already arguing for citizens to give up their free speech rights in forums like the Internet. With the media echoing many of these anti-free speech sentiments, it will require a greater effort of those who value the First Amendment and its core place in our constitutional system.

134 thoughts on “Norway Criminalizes Hate Speech Against Transgender People . . . In Private Homes or Conversations”

    1. It’s already here.

      NB, the unambiguously leftist parties are a minority in the Norwegian legislature. The prime minister and the minister of justice are posing as conservatives, rather like Neil Gorsuch and Anthony Kennedy. What a corpse of a country.

  1. Who is to determine what hate speech it? It varies from person to person. For example, a 12 year old girl leaves a swimming pool to change in the bathhouse. She encounters a person, bald with hairy chest and male genitalia sitting naked on a bench in the women’s dressing room. If she asks the attendant if the person should be in that dressing room, is that hate speech because she assumes someone who looks very male might be there illegitimately? Do we jail the young girl? This situation is not hypothetical as something similar occurred in a New York City bathhouse a few years ago. A 14-15 year old female swim team entered their dressing room to find such a person (wearing nothing but a towel). They freaked out and complained only to find out the attendant was not allowed to ask the person if he/she identified as a female.

  2. If the Trans would just stay out of the Ladies Room, a time-honored sacred sanctuary reserved for old straight ladies, at Nordstrom’s (Macy’s, Dillard’s, etc), I’d be happy!
    And prithee, what are “trans values”?

  3. If you are unable to freely speak in your home, then we are well on the way to the elimination, in the U.S., of the ‘Castle Doctrine”. When we allow prosecution for thought and/or speech there is no high bar and we then live in a dictatorship. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. John Stuart Mill. Personally, I can think of nothing more evil than to have the right to freely think and speak.

    1. Personally, I can think of nothing more evil than to have the right to freely think and speak, banned.

      William,
      I suspect you meant to say this, or something like it, instead.

  4. Why does THE INQUISITION keep popping into my head? Where have I seen this behavior time and again at the behest of tyrannies? Qin Shi Huang first Emperor of China? Pravda? the KGB? Let me see your papers? Any of this ring a bell?

    1. Why does THE INQUISITION keep popping into my head?

      Dunno. Don’t think the Inquisition bothered with Joe Blow off the sidewalks of Salamanca.

  5. Heroin in the northwest-legal
    Cocaine in the northwest-legal
    Looting in the vast majority of liberal enclaves-non-prosecutorial
    Rioting in the vast majority of liberal cities and states-non-prosecutorial
    Having 10 members of your extended family over for a holiday-punishable by arrest and/or fines
    Questioning climate issues-soon to be a crime and for now banned

    Now ask yourself why Biden and the Democrats won fewer counties (by far) than Obama. Ask why Biden seems to have eked out a victory and yet his party lost at least 11 seats in the House.

    The left has become Joe McCarthy, even if the majority of the “highly (un)educated” don’t know who Joe McCarthy is. The left is the party of black lists, even if they don’t know the history of black lists.

    In our own life time we have gone from having the nations (once) premier free speech advocates, the ACLU, defending the Nazis right to march in Skokie, ILL, a Jewish enclave, to having one of their leaders declaring that he will die on the hill fighting to ban a book about trans issues. This is where we are today.

  6. These free-speech haters will eventually lose, but it will be painful. It is doomed because humans know and enjoy liberty, and instinctively turn against those who enforce limits meant “for their own good”. And, as usual, you’ll know it’s soon over when they start wielding their knives against themselves.

  7. CPI today means Consumer Price Index but an earlier CPI from WW1 was a completely different brand of information, Committee on Public Information … spy on your employee, brother, mother, father, children and neighbors. Wilson, a Progressive Democrat might be replaced by Biden as the most anti free speech administration in modern times.

    Liberty lost is hard to gain back. How many Biden supporters want to go down the road of lost liberty?

  8. “The move to criminalize speech has led to an insatiable appetite for new limitations and broader prosecutions. Norway is an example of this headlong plunge into speech controls and crimes in the West. This week the legislature adopted (without even a vote) a new criminal law that punishes people for saying anything deemed hate speech toward transgender people in their own home or private conversations.”

    This seems to be the path that most in the political left are leaning but holy shit, this shit is insane!

  9. Norway:. I hate to say it but Norway is too far north. The Norwegians hate to think what they can’t say. That’s why they don’t think. They might stink.

  10. Liberals fail to understand that before any of their other rights that they so cherish can be established, they must have the right to free speech. Once that is taken away, everything, including the things they cherish, ultimately must fail.

    1. The only ‘right’ they cherish is a franchise to harass normal people and confiscate their property.

  11. Proscriptions against something as mutable as speech simply present the Fuhrerprinzip in new guise. Those in power can turn the power of the state against any individual at whim. “But but but the Constitution” .. whimpers the frightened apologist. Sure, and who can afford to defend? Once you are in the system the punishment begins. The only question is how badly the individual will be savaged by the time it is over.

    The Orange Man may be bad but God save us from frothing progressives on the Damascene Road to “make things better”.

  12. The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance.
    It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false.

    —Paul Johnson

        1. True, true. Why else would he don the name of a unrepentant eugenicist, as was Oliver Wendell Holmes? At least in Germany the official position is to eschew Adolf.

    1. “The bar for prosecution is high, requiring direct incitement against people or language that dehumanises them, she said.”

      You make a great mark.

    2. It is an interesting sentence which suggests that the bar is set pretty low because “incitement against people” [sic=trans people?] and “language that dehumanises” are standards which invite subjective interpretation.
      This was the second reading of the law, not the first, which makes it even more disturbing that the measure was approved.
      We are a long way from Diderot and Beccaria. Or perhaps not; it seems that once more those who wish to speak freely must do so by hiding their persons, as many of the philosophes of the 1700s considered it prudent to do.

    3. The bar for prosecution is high,

      Guess what else had the highest bar possible: the criminalization of free speech. Now the roles have been reversed.

      1. Prosecution in the US is now officially by whim. We need to follow the lead of George Soros and start buying up District Attorneys. We have seen how effective that is, each community has it’s own little tin pot dictator.

  13. I hate : hate speech. I hate those who hate. What a minute. How can I hate? If it’s we ring to hate it then it’s wrong to criminalize hate speech or thoughts.
    But Germany may be different. Some of you may recall the Hitler days. After the war we prohibited free speech in occupied Germany to keep the Nazis from rising again.
    Here in America we need free speech. I may wish to speak or think.

    1. After the war we prohibited free speech in occupied Germany to keep the Nazis from rising again.

      The allied control commission ceased to govern Germany in 1949 and Austria in 1955. Not exactly topical.

  14. The liberal mentality is suffused with the impulse to play status games. The legislators are making it a criminal offense to refuse due deference to one of their mascot groups.

    Note, the abuse of dissidents will receive NO attention from the har-de-har ‘human rights’ lobby. Even Freedom House, long the least corrupt such organization, pretends that regulation of ‘hate speech’ is perfectly kosher.

    Everything liberals touch, they ruin.

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