Norway’s government has now barred its citizens from speaking against transgender people even in their own homes. Norway’s parliament voted to expand its current law to include both private and public remarks designated as “hate speech” against trans-genders. Lawbreakers caught saying something in private about transgender people will get a fine or a year in jail. Others who say comments in the public arena can get up to three years in jail. Opponents of the expanded law argued that it could criminalize free speech for criticizing LGBT rights. Norway has become a key outpost of LGBT activism in Europe. Since 2016, transgender people can legally change their gender without a medical diagnosis. Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, noted that Norway has taken a “headlong plunge” into controlling free speech.
Turley said “This week the legislature adopted a criminal law that punishes people for saying anything deemed hate speech toward transgender people in their own home or in private conversations. The most chilling fact is that these European-style speech controls have also become a core value of the Democratic Party in the U.S.. Once a party that fought for free speech, it has become the party demanding Internet censorship and hate speech laws. Joe Biden has called for speech controls and recently appointed a head for agency media issues that is one of the most pronounced anti-free speech figures in the United States,” Turley explained. “It is a trend that seems to be finding support in the media, which celebrated the speech of French President Macron before Congress where he called on the United States to follow the model of Europe on hate speech.
Turley says “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.” Turley went on “Once we cross the Rubicon into speech criminalization and controls, Europe has shown that it is rarely possible to work back to liberties lost.”Turley reminds the reader. “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,” he concluded.
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