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. What makes you think that fanatical liberals and their Marxist cronies will bother with trials……..arrests in the middle of the night and secret executions are so much simpler and faster?

  1. Jonathan is a defender of free speech and yet comments are deleted — and pretty innocuous ones, at that.

    Free speech, sure. But not on my blog!!

  2. In the land of Edvard Munsch, the insane painter of “The Scream”, and now Anders Behring Breivik, anti-hate measures outweigh any silliness about “free speech”, JT.

    Norway is outside your domain of competence.

    1. Norway is outside your domain of competence.

      In re some of your remarks, no one can figure if audacity or senility is the driver.

  3. There was a day that we could stand up for Free Speech and expect a response from our fellow Americans. But it might be more practical to use the same cheat sheet that that Soros focused on when he undertook to buy up District Attorney offices all over America. No prosecution, for what now passes for “law” can get past the gate keepers, who currently pick and choose like any tin-pot dictator, and feel no particular mandate from either the electorate or the legislature. It may be that we have made all the “stands” we are going to be allowed to make on any enlightenment standards, as we proceed into the dark, with Captain Biden.

  4. I think the focus on hate speech is a waste of time. But, I favor drawing more visible red lines around the issuing of threats, especially done anonymously and against a specific person. Or, facilitating the process of directing threats toward a specific person (Doxing).
    Threats already are quashing freedom of speech by way of intimidation/self-censorship.

    We have not been serious enough about deterring threat making and facilitation. It goes on every day millions of times with impunity.

    1. I think the focus on hate speech is a waste of time. But, I favor drawing more visible red lines around the issuing of threats, especially done anonymously and against a specific person. Or, facilitating the process of directing threats toward a specific person (Doxing).

      Criminal solicitation, harassment, and menacing are already crimes. They’re not punished severely, at least in New York. Again, this mess about hate speech has nothing to do with anything resembling crime conventionally understood. It has to do with status-complaints. Namely, that ordinary people are tossing darts at a liberal mascot group and liberals haven’t given them permission to do that. The usual dyad between patron-and-mascot is more intense here because the client population is peculiarly damaged.

  5. This started when we started increasing sentencing for crimes considered “hate crimes.” The moment that criminal sentencing was enhanced by thoughts in the head of the convicted, presumed or admitted to, was the moment that a major shovel of dirt steepened this slippery slope. Germany’s current Nazis prove that we can’t legislate away hate. Hate can only be mitigated with better stronger ideas. The fallacy, the lie, is that hate can be eliminated. It can only be diminished and that effort will be ongoing for generations to come.

  6. Jonathan: What goes on in Norway will probably stay in Norway. It is highly improbable the Biden administration will criminalize “hate speech” toward transgender people any time soon. What you fail to acknowledge is that the real threats to free speech have gone on right under your nose for the past four years under the Trump administration. We all know Trump does not take criticism well. Since stepping into the White House Trump has attacked the press and his many critics. Trump has perfected the art of “hate speech” in personal attacks on Democrats and other critics. He sued the NY Times and Washington Post for articles he didn’t like. He has banished reporters from press conferences because of difficult questions he didn’t want to answer. At his Thanksgiving press conference on Thursday Trump shouted down a reporter who had the temerity to push back against Trump’s false claims about “election fraud”. “Don’t talk to me that way”, Trump shouted. “I’m the president of the United States. Don’t ever talk to the president that way”. So much for the free speech rights of reporters at the White House.

    Trump has also used the state apparatus to impose speech codes on government agencies. He told the CDC not to use words like “fetus”, “transgender”, “diversity”, “evidence-based” and “science-based” in official documents. Trump also imposed similar restrictions on other agencies .Seventy-one years after the publication of his seminal work “1984” George Orwell would be rolling over in his grave to see that Trump has actually created a “Ministry of Truth”.

    Truth has shown what he thinks of free speech in other ways. After Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered and his body dismembered in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul Trump defended Crown Prince bin Salman who was charged by intelligence agencies, including the CIA, of being the mastermind behind the assassination. Trump likes authoritarian leaders who really know how to deal with criticism!

    In our country the ultimate form of “free speech” is the right to vote. In his over 40 unsuccessful lawsuits in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan Trump tried to take that right away from millions of African-American and other minority voters simply because they voted Democratic. Apparently, Trump thinks only white Republicans should have the right to vote. Trump crossed the “Rubicon”, to use your term, in his four years of attacks on free speech. Nothing that President-elect Biden may do can compare with the damage Trump has inflicted on the First Amendment!

    1. Let’s take your claims one by one:

      “Since stepping into the White House Trump has attacked the press and his many critics.” ALL PRESIDENTS ATTACK THE PRESS. BILL CLINTON SCAPEGOATED TALK RADIO FOR THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING. PRESIDENTS HAVE FREE SPEECH, TOO.

      “Trump has perfected the art of ‘hate speech’ in personal attacks on Democrats and other critics.” SO WHAT? THEY ALL DO IT. OBAMA HATES ON BITTER CLINGERS AND SO-CALLED “RACISTS” WHO VOTED FOR TRUMP (WHO ARE NOT ACTUALLY RACISTS, BTW). HILLARY DESPISES HER DEPLORABLES. HATE SPEECH, INCLUDING BY PROMINENT DEMOCRATS, IS PROTECTED.

      “He sued the NY Times and Washington Post for articles he didn’t like.” SO WHAT? THE CASES WILL BE DISMISSED ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS GROUNDS. TRUMP IS JUST EMPHASIZING HIS DISLIKE FOR THEIR PROPAGANDA BY FECKLESSLY SUING THEM.

      “He has banished reporters from press conferences because of difficult questions he didn’t want to answer.” FREEDOM OF THE PRESS DOES NOT INCLUDE DISORDERLY CONDUCT BY REPORTERS IN PRESS BRIEFINGS. CNN WAS FREE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT IT ON NATIONAL TV, ANYWAY. FREE SPEECH WAS IN NO REAL SENSE INTERFERED. YOU MIGHT ASK JERK DORSEY IF HE USED HIS TECH MONOPOLY TO INTERFERE WITH FREE SPEECH.

      “At his Thanksgiving press conference on Thursday Trump shouted down a reporter who had the temerity to push back against Trump’s false claims about ‘election fraud.’ ‘Don’t talk to me that way’, Trump shouted. ‘I’m the president of the United States. Don’t ever talk to the president that way.’ So much for the free speech rights of reporters at the White House.” SO WHAT FOR PETE’S SAKE? HOW’S THAT ATTACKING FREE SPEECH IN ANY SENSE? IT’S TRUMP EXERCISING HIS FREE SPEECH BY COMPLAINING ABOUT THEIR BEHAVIOR. THEY STILL HAVE THE MEDIA TO FIRE BACK AND THEY USED IT.

      “Trump has also used the state apparatus to impose speech codes on government agencies.” NO EMPLOYER, INCLUDING THE US GOVERNMENT, ALLOWS ITS EMPLOYEES TO OPENLY CONTRADICT COMPANY POLICY. IF A GOVERNMENT AGENCY WAS TAKEN OVER THE THE KLAN, WOULD YOU SUGGEST THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO USE THE AGENCY AS A PLATFORM FOR KLAN PROPAGANDA?

      “After Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered and his body dismembered in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul Trump defended Crown Prince bin Salman who was charged by intelligence agencies, including the CIA, of being the mastermind behind the assassination. Trump likes authoritarian leaders who really know how to deal with criticism!” TRUMP DIDN’T KILL KHASHOGGI, BUT YOU’RE GUYS KILLED KHADAFFI. HOW ARE THOSE UNINTEDED CONSEQUENCES WORKING FOR YA? LET’S ASK ISIS.

      “In his over 40 unsuccessful lawsuits in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan Trump tried to take that right away from millions of African-American and other minority voters simply because they voted Democratic.” THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE. FREE SPEECH DOES NOT INCLUDE THE RIGHT TO DEFRAUD ELECTIONS ON BEHALF DEMOCRATS.

      Protect free speech. Don’t blame the rest of us for your bad ideas.

    2. It’s quite interesting you can, with great vehemence, cite all the horrible wrong-doings of evil Trump, but fail to notice the eight year assault on conservatives under war mongering, Nobel peace prize winning, Obama. But . . . conservatives don’t deserve any rights. They are simply deplorable. Your are the enlightened one.

  7. The American Founders said that the rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities provided to Americans were natural and God-given; that they are universal, which includes every nation on Earth.

    Someday all people will grasp the scope and breadth, the purpose, of the maximal freedom provided to individual Americans and the severe limitations and restrictions imposed on government/Congress by the American Founders and their Constitution.

    Hopefully it won’t be too late to preclude enslavement by the communist “dictatorship of the proletariat” in the form of the burgeoning, impending global hegemon, megalomaniacal China.

        1. If you used your brain you could figure it out. I said: “in many of those deaths the killer was likely on the left side of the spectrum”.

          What side of the spectrum do you think transgenders are on? Likely the left. Fatal violence against transgender et al. come from partners and acquaintances along with an occasional stranger. What side of the spectrum do you think their partners and associates are likely on? The left. There are groups on the left that are known to throw gays off roofs and other groups on the left that do not tolerate gays and transgenders. That happens to some extent on the rights well but when you add up all the odds chances of fatal violence to transgenders et. al come mostly from the left side of the spectrum.

          Use your brain.

            1. I already proved it in an indirect fashion, but apparently your brain is unable to compute.

              If transgenders are on the left of the spectrum and their partners and associates are frequently involved in fatal violence against them then one could conclude that likely fatal violence against transgenders is due more from those on the left side of the spectrum.

              If you can’t understand that simple concept then no one can help you.

  8. These trolls are talking about silencing dissent, and they expect me to believe they didn’t steal an election?

  9. Not to worry, Jonathan. Free speech is quite safe in the U.S., in spite of your unfounded fears.

    ‘‘We will exterminate you’: Proud Boys and other right-wing Trump diehards confront counter-protesters at Raleigh rally’

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/11/we-will-exterminate-you-proud-boys-and-other-right-wing-trump-diehards-clash-with-counter-protesters-at-raleigh-rally/

    ‘“America will never be a communist nation — never!” Bertino said as fellow Proud Boys lined the sidewalk wearing tactical vests and trademark yellow and black gear. “Your side will lose. We will exterminate you like the rats you are…. Exterminate you!”’

  10. “Norway

    Norway prohibits hate speech, and defines it as publicly making statements that threaten or show contempt towards someone or that incite hatred, persecution or contempt for someone due to their skin colour, ethnic origin, homosexual orientation, religion or philosophy of life.[58] At the same time, the Norwegian Constitution guarantees the right to free speech, and there has been an ongoing public and judicial debate over where the right balance between the ban against hate speech and the right to free speech lies. Norwegian courts have been restrictive in the use of the hate speech law and only a few persons have been sentenced for violating the law since its implementation in 1970. A public Free Speech committee (1996–1999) recommended to abolish the hate speech law but the Norwegian Parliament instead voted to slightly strengthen it.[59]” -Wikipedia

    Highlighting this:

    “Norwegian courts have been restrictive in the use of the hate speech law and only a few persons have been sentenced for violating the law since its implementation in 1970.”

    And if it was 1970, then it’s been almost 50 years since the law was enacted.

    Here’s the code:

    https://lovdata.no/dokument/NLO/lov/1902-05-22-10/KAPITTEL_2-6#KAPITTEL_2-6

    https://snl.no/diskriminerende_ytringer

  11. “Norway’s parliament outlawed hate speech against transgender people on Tuesday, expanding its penal code which has protected gay and lesbian people since 1981.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/norway-lgbt-lawmaking/norway-outlaws-hate-speech-against-trans-people-idUSKBN2852DL

    So, evidently, the same law has been in place with regard to gays and lesbians for almost 40 years. Nothing to see here, Jonathan. You seem to have blown this out of proportion.

    1. We’ve been harassing the opposition for 40 years, so it’s all good. That’s a great argument.

      1. The opposition hasn’t been harassed, as you say. Let’s see your proof of that, Arty.

        “Norwegian courts have been restrictive in the use of the hate speech law and only a few persons have been sentenced for violating the law since its implementation in 1970.”

        1. Sentenced? How many have been reported to authorities? How many were charged? How many went to trial?

          Let’s see your data, because no rational person defends an infringement of rights without knowing the details.

          1. “Sentenced? How many have been reported to authorities? How many were charged? How many went to trial?”

            Get back to us with that information, OLLY.

            Here’s something else for you to chew on:

            ‘‘We will exterminate you’: Proud Boys and other right-wing Trump diehards confront counter-protesters at Raleigh rally’

            https://www.rawstory.com/2020/11/we-will-exterminate-you-proud-boys-and-other-right-wing-trump-diehards-clash-with-counter-protesters-at-raleigh-rally/

            ‘“America will never be a communist nation — never!” Bertino said as fellow Proud Boys lined the sidewalk wearing tactical vests and trademark yellow and black gear. “Your side will lose. We will exterminate you like the rats you are…. Exterminate you!”’

            1. Get back to us with that information, OLLY.

              Don’t be such a useful idiot. That’s on you Paint Chips. You’re the one defending this violation of free speech rights.

            2. Funny that we don’t see videos of the Proud Boys burning and looting neighborhoods like we did with Antifa. We don’t see them taking over portions of cities or making threats.

              That some people are crazy is true, but we saw the damage done by the left. We don’t see films of such carnage from the right. Not only that but the left likes to blame white nationalism on the right but some of the best known ones are actually from the left.

              Take note, there wasn’t any significant violence. If you want to see violence look at the left.

        2. “. . . only a few persons have been sentenced . . .”

          That’s all it takes. Everyone else self-censors. It’s called a “chilling effect.”

  12. What will those Wegians tell Saint Peter is at The Holy Gates when they get their interview?
    Saint Peter will ask:. Are you a fag?
    Some will go straight to hell in the handbasket.

  13. There is a sign on the center of the door to the women’s so called “rest room” at our marina. It says” NO DONGS ALLOWED!
    That means that a male who dresses u as a female but never had a surgery to remove his male genital cannot enter.
    In Norway they have a sign on male and female restrooms which says:. No Friggin Russians.

  14. Yeah, slow news day Jonathan. All we have is the President accusing the FBI and the DOJ of helping to rig the election he lost and calling the Sec of State of Georgia – a Republican who has received death threats – an “enemy of the people”. We know your Miss Manners routine and concern about harsh language only applies to Democrats, but could you manage even a sentence – we know you’ll never write that column – about the destructive temper tantrum your guy is throwing in the WH?

    Guess not.

  15. Joe Biden went from stealing someone’s wife, to stealing speeches, to stealing money, to stealing an election.
    He has really grown as a politician.

    — Michael Moore (@mbracemoore) November 28, 2020

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