A year in jail for private comments

I guess I’d better never go to Norway.

Bi, trans, and nonbinary folks in Norway are celebrating a huge win after the country recently expanded its penal code that previously only protected lesbian and gay people from hate speech to include gender identity and all forms of “sexual orientation.”

The penal code states that those who are guilty of hate speech face a fine or up to a year in jail for private comments, and a maximum of three years in jail for public remarks. Furthermore, those charged with violent crimes that are motivated by a victim’s orientation or gender identity will receive harsher sentences.

Since all disputing the dogma around what “trans” means is treated as “transphobic” that means gender critical feminists will be forced to shut up, even in private.

Or will it.

Still, not everyone is happy about the aggressive approach Norway is taking when it comes to LGBTQ+ protections. Some opponents believes the amendments threaten free speech. But as Anine Kierulf, an assistant professor of law at the University of Oslo, explained to Reuters, the statements have to hit a lot of benchmarks to be prosecuted.

“There are a lot of very hateful things you can say about the protected groups,” she said. For prosecution comments must be direct attacks against LGBTQ+ people or include language that intentionally dehumanizes them to the public.

How can remarks in private include language that intentionally dehumanizes people to the public? And who decides what “direct attacks against LGBTQ+ people” means?

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