As the government reviews hate speech laws, a poll released in January found that only one in ten New Zealanders think it should be a crime to publicly claim that sex is revealed at birth and is not not a matter of personal identity, or that it should be a crime to publicly declare that marriage is between a man and a woman only.
Both issues have been included in aspects of “hate speech” laws or proposals in other countries, including Scotland, Norway, Canada, the United Kingdom and the State of Tasmania, but this is clearly rejected by Kiwis according to the results of this poll.
In a survey of 1,000 New Zealanders surveyed late last year by Curia Market Research, respondents were asked: “Should it be a crime to publicly claim that sex is revealed at birth and not a matter of personal choice? “ Only 9% of those polled thought it should be a crime to publicly express this point of view, with 73% opposing it (and 17% unsure or refusing to say so). There was little difference in perspective based on age, gender or political allegiance (including strong opposition to this being treated as a crime by Labor and Green voters).
The most publicized target for voicing opinions in this area has been author JK Rowling, who challenged gender ideology, including the statement “menstruating”. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison came under fire in 2019 after saying transgender teens were under pressure over ‘identity politics’, as did a liberal Tasmanian senator who defended women’s sport against pro-transgender politics. UK broadcasting watchdog, Ofcom, has just broadened its definition of hate speech to include gender reassignment intolerance.
Respondents were also asked: “Should it be a crime to state publicly that marriage should only be between a man and a woman?” ” Only 12% of those polled think it should be a crime to express this point of view publicly, with 80% opposing it. The others were undecided or refused to comment. Once again, the opposition was strong across all political stripes.
Australian tennis great Margaret Court criticized Tennis Australia (TA) early last year after the Australian Open, saying the governing body had “discriminated” against her because of her opposition to same-sex marriage. And last year, a British Labor MP resigned his post as shadow party minister following comments on same-sex marriages and freedom of conscience for those who believe in the traditional definition.
“This latest poll confirms that despite the country’s horror of the Christchurch terrorist act and the ludicrous ideology behind it, the government lacks New Zealanders’ support for a transformation. radical and an expansion of “hate speech” laws, and in effect alienating the very base that put them in power. The importance of free speech and open debate in a civil society are ideals that every New Zealander has invested in – and will stand up for. Says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
The national survey commissioned by Family First NZ was conducted in December 2020 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.
READ THE FULL SURVEY RESULTS
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