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> Police "Thought Control", judgement on visiting people exercising right to free speech
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Popchartfreak
post Feb 14 2020, 11:37 AM
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specifically an ex-policeman visited at work for tweeting opinions that do not constitute a prosecutable offence, but are recorded as a "hate crime" because someone was offended by them.

Humberside Police have been told in no uncertain terms that we do not live in a society where people can be warned about viewpoints that MIGHT cause offence, this is not the "stasi" and we do not live in an Orwellian state where the police can visit you at work over your opinions and warn that you may get prosecuted for something you haven't done, and may have no intention of doing. The right to free speech has been supported.

About f***ing time. Now they can actually piss off and do some actual prevention of actual crimes instead with all the extra free time they'll have.

No doubt they will appeal about the decision, but hurting someone's feelings because you hold a different viewpoint is not a hate crime. If it was a hate crime you would be prosecuted. If you are not prosecuted it's not a hate crime, it's free speech.

That's from the judge's summary, and it's long and complex. I doubt the Supreme Court will overturn it as it'll open the floodgates to police being able to control people's opinions based on "cos I say so".
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post Feb 14 2020, 12:31 PM
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This seems unusually strong-willed, John. What was the controversial opinion?

Irrespective of police getting involved, which they possibly should do if mental health was involved or it's someone abusing a position of privilege to attack a minority group, Twitter is not a public space, and you can be banned from that no problem while still living in a state that has free speech.
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coi
post Feb 14 2020, 12:38 PM
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Here’s the BBC article on this, for context.

The controversy was over some tweets that were reported to police as transphobic. One tweet mentioned in there is one where he said: "I was assigned mammal at birth, but my orientation is fish. Don't mis-species me."
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post Feb 14 2020, 01:16 PM
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It's all one variation on the same joke, it's very tiring. And that's a horrible thing to be putting out there, I mean, it basically says to trans people that 'I don't acknowledge your identity as valid and feel what is more important is my right to make lame jokes about it'.

Britain has a huge problem with transphobia lately. You got Graham Linehan going off on it to the point where he's losing thousands of followers and I have to suspect he's not well, you have others like him dedicating their every waking hour to blind hatred based on their flawed understanding of biology.

And the thing is, in these cases, it isn't about free speech. It's just the only defense they have left, that this view is deliberately horrible to an often vulnerable group of people and the only justification they have left is that it is literally not illegal to say it.
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Popchartfreak
post Feb 14 2020, 08:17 PM
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Did the man say anything illegal?

No.

The police job is not to make people have identikit views on what they consider is "right-thinking" and enforce a police state. We live in a democracy with all that entails. Their job is to follow the law, NOT chase you up at work because one individual took offence with a tweet. This policy has been deeply flawed from day one, it's basically forcing people to shut up by threatening anyone exercising their democratic right to hold an opinion to risk a visit from The Bill. I work for a local Council and we have Equal Rights policies which staff have to work to. Some people on twitter (see heterosexual trans rights activists) are breaking the Equalities Act by denying that Lesbians have a complete right to same-sex attraction. It's the law. There is some appalling attempted gay-erasure going on, effectively saying that if you are same-sex attracted, not same-gender attracted, then you are transphobic. I've seen the tweets and I've seen gay organisations staying silent about this instead of condemning it outright.

Nobody is denying Trans Rights. It's the law. Anyone who breaks the law will be charged. Women's Rights are also the law, which are sex-based in the Equalities Act, and not as the police are being taught, gender-based. The police should treat everybody's rights as prescribed in the Equalities Act. They should be treating gay-rights deniers the same as they treat trans-rights deniers. And Women's rights deniers. Gay people are and always have been vulnerable to many things, including pressure to conform to other people's expectations and views of how they should present themselves. I support gay rights.

I suggest it wouldn't hurt for everyone to do what I have to do as part of my job, which is to be aware of what the Equalities Act states and what it doesn't state. Don't take second-hand propaganda as fact.

If anyone is implying that the judge was wrong and he must be a transphobe, then you may wish to reconsider your views given Humberside Police have unequivocably accepted the verdict and will be changing their policies, and the judge didn't say that recording someone's taking umbrage at someone else's views as a "hate incident" is illegal. I could take umbrage at someone saying that I don't have the right to same-sex attraction and ring the police about it. I don't, because I have a sense of proportion and gay rights weren't won by making enemies and attacking people, they were won by being right and fair.

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post Feb 15 2020, 12:46 AM
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Swallowing all the bullshit and hate in the meantime letting vulnerable and impressionable youth commit suicide waiting until the heteronormative majority decides that it's "right and fair" that we are all equal. At some point we have to demand things that we were supposed to have from the very beginning.

This post has been edited by *CENSORED*: Feb 15 2020, 12:47 AM
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post Feb 15 2020, 06:17 AM
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My experience with trans people has never been erasure of any kind. They just want to be accepted. And all the arguments that the bigots targeting them use, it's the exact same ones as those that targeted gays did decades ago. 'Gay panic' defense has become 'trans panic' to justify murder, the stereotype of the lonely gay man has become the lonely depressed trans person, and this faux-concern for other progressive issues that manages to ensnare some progressives into advocating bigotry is a chilling tactic, and not too far off an equivalent from old fears about gay men.

This thing about same-sex vs same-gender attraction, it's a great example. For one, it erases trans men from the equation, even though by the transphobe standards they should be women, so included in same-sex, except I don't believe that's the case. I mean these people can say they're attracted to cis women only and it's fine, but it's also not much different to saying 'I don't date outside my race'. I have never seen a pro-trans activist saying that people don't have a right to not be attracted to trans people.

If the law doesn't do enough to combat bigotry (for one area where it's lagging, the Equalities Act still refers to 'transsexual' rather than 'transgender'), then it's up to us to challenge the bigots.
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Popchartfreak
post Feb 16 2020, 05:19 PM
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No. What you're saying is, gay people who spent their entire life campaigning for the right to be gay, suffering decades of hate and abuse and discrimination, and having been successful and gotten into law the right to be gay are suddenly having to learn to be straight after all and we may as well not have bothered, just got married and learned to love vaginas or cock. So exactly what we were being told in 1970 by homophobes then.

I didn't want to be gay. I spent 30 years wishing I was straight. There is no "cure" for homosexuality, no matter what any cult has promised and sold along the way. I was born this way, it's not a lifestyle choice, and anyone who thinks that they can tell gay people to learn to be straight, and straight people to learn to be gay is in for a huge wake-up call. It's not a coincidence that the founder of Stonewall, who basically achieved all the advances for all gay and trans people, has washed his hands of the organisation he founded because it has stopped being a gay-rights organisation and started a new one that is what Stonewall started out as. Pink News doesn't even mention attacks on Lesbians anymore, it's down to the national press to carry out this service (FYI homobophobia is still a thing). What they are doing instead is admiring the policies of Pakistan, a society that imprisons gay people. Gay people there have 3 choices: stay in the closet and marry a woman; go to prison; become trans. This is not a policy that deserves any sort of admiration and any gay-rights organisation should be fighting and condemning them for imprisoning gay people. Gay people includes trans people who are same-sex attracted.

Go out into any street in the country and ask people for their views, from all walks of life. You'll find the vast majority share the same views. That no-one has the right to tell them who they should fancy, if that is even an actual conscious CHOICE for most people. You could argue that young people who refuse to have sex with 75 to 90-year olds are ageist, that people who fancy large people are thinnist and so on to infinity, as if the world is populated with people deliberately being hateful. You can love people non-sexually and any argument that not being able to have sex with some people demonstrates hate is just an appallingly blinkered attitude (and BTW contravenes the Equalities Act which you clearly seem to want to change while using fatuous arguments).

I've spent my whole life being attacked by homophobes and I have no intention of letting that start up all over again. For the record, not that it's anyone's business, I've had sex with loads of trans people. All of them male-bodied. I'm gay. I'm not straight, however much I wish I was. The route to happiness is accepting yourself for are what you are and telling society to f*** off if society is trying to put pressure on you to be something else. I don't tell other people what to do with their life, and support them in their choices. I expect the same in return.
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post Feb 16 2020, 07:23 PM
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Pinknews literally only reported about Pakistan providing free healthcare to trans people. Hardly "admiring" their policies overall... Way to exaggerate.

Yes, it's terrible that Pakistan is not doing anything for the LGB in the LGBTQ+ but it's still a positive change and a step forward which has a right to be celebrated. :| It shows you aren't living in an oppressed society where every little victory counts.


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post Feb 17 2020, 04:02 AM
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QUOTE(Popchartfreak @ Feb 16 2020, 05:19 PM) *
No. What you're saying is, gay people who spent their entire life campaigning for the right to be gay, suffering decades of hate and abuse and discrimination, and having been successful and gotten into law the right to be gay are suddenly having to learn to be straight after all and we may as well not have bothered, just got married and learned to love vaginas or cock. So exactly what we were being told in 1970 by homophobes then.


That is not in the least bit what I was saying. I am saying that now trans people are suffering that same hate, abuse and discrimination, some people who should be allies alongside them are suddenly falling back on the same traditional cisnormative paradigm that made it so difficult for them for so long when it was heteronormative. And that the people who were against gay marriage are now screaming bloody murder about 'men pretending to be women', and you're saying that should be accepted.

Your whole argument otherwise, on the attraction thing, is resting on the presupposition that it's a person's genitals that defines whether people are going to be attracted to them or not (and assuming that me or anyone else is telling you who you can be attracted to, which isn't the case). Something you're not going to find out about until you're already intimate. And not something that factors into my sexuality. Perhaps it's because I'm a bit pan but dating a trans woman as a straight man doesn't make you gay and dating a trans man as a gay man doesn't make you straight. Honestly at the point where genders and sexuality are cris-crossing in ways that may seem confusing, I think it's up to you to define what exactly your sexuality is because taking it the other way and defining what other people's genders are strikes deeper at the core of who they are and want to be.

That's why 'transsexual' should become 'transgender', because the T can be anywhere on the sexual spectrum, and TQ+ helps to cover for the gender spectrum.
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J00ps
post Feb 17 2020, 04:52 AM
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It seems its just a language difference between you guys' arguments.

I feel like you're on the same page really.

It just seems the case that gender in 2020 (and sexuality by extension) is going on gender presentation, rather than gender (assigned at birth by genitals) body.

Thus making someone attracted to (cis) men and transgender women gay for popchartfreak and bisexual for Iz, simply using the different terminology for the same concept. Correct?

As I see it no-one is pressuring anyone to do anything they don't want to do, its simply a terminology change. (And god knows as a community we've had those before!) I would also suspect given the history that this current conception of the state of play will only last for a few years before it in turn is replaced by something new and this is called out as somehow really behind the curve. In any case I just aim to treat people respectfully at least to their face and cross other bridges when we get to them rather than getting hung up in advance.


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post Feb 17 2020, 01:05 PM
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This debate veered way off course from the initial news article, which was about a guy being visited by the police for tweeting what was deemed offensive.

My thoughts are that his tweets can be potentially offensive to all trans people, their families and allies. Just because one person made a complaint does not negate their damaging potential. And now with national media attention, their potential to cause greater offence is amplified. I don't think it is right to accuse police of wasting time to address these issues, because as you acknowledged, trans people and all members of the LGBTQ+ are vulnerable members of the community, who have fought for decades to enjoy basic human rights and protections. To me, the status quo, and the acceptable opinion, should reinforce the steps society has taken to become more accepting and supportive of minority groups. It should reflect the laws and protections in place to facilitate the safety and acceptance for LGBTQ+ people within their communities.

Therefore the tweets, by indirectly challenging and contradicting these laws, despite allegedly not breaking them, have the potential to undo the social and legal steps taken to protect these vulnerable members of society. They indirectly speak to conservative people, who would ordinarily participate in respectful discourse, to encourage the use of hateful language and antagonising behaviour. They facilitate the perpetuation of trans stereotypes, the normalisation of trans bullying and offer no real benefit to social integration and harmony. Whether or not he can be charged with the offence is moot, but the opportunity for law enforcement and other authoritative figures to educate on the matter still exists. This provides the opportunity for lawmakers to look at what constitutes hate speech, and whether the publication of such views (if not hate speech) is beneficial to us as people.

Alas, opinions that transcend the status quo have caused some of the finest societal progressions we have seen. The suffragette movement, legalisation of same-sex marriage and the option to undergo gender reassignment surgery can be attributed to a few small voices that got louder and louder. So I agree that censoring views and revoking freedom of speech would be detrimental, as we can't revel in some divergent opinions and refuse to accept others. However, these views and the manner in which they are communicated should be assessed on a case by case basis, to determine their potential for harm and benefit to social reform. Personally, I believe these tweets and his opinions are not conducive to a healthy functioning society, and education is key.
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Popchartfreak
post Feb 18 2020, 12:46 PM
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QUOTE(I. :II: z @ Feb 17 2020, 04:02 AM) *
That is not in the least bit what I was saying. I am saying that now trans people are suffering that same hate, abuse and discrimination, some people who should be allies alongside them are suddenly falling back on the same traditional cisnormative paradigm that made it so difficult for them for so long when it was heteronormative. And that the people who were against gay marriage are now screaming bloody murder about 'men pretending to be women', and you're saying that should be accepted.

Your whole argument otherwise, on the attraction thing, is resting on the presupposition that it's a person's genitals that defines whether people are going to be attracted to them or not (and assuming that me or anyone else is telling you who you can be attracted to, which isn't the case). Something you're not going to find out about until you're already intimate. And not something that factors into my sexuality. Perhaps it's because I'm a bit pan but dating a trans woman as a straight man doesn't make you gay and dating a trans man as a gay man doesn't make you straight. Honestly at the point where genders and sexuality are cris-crossing in ways that may seem confusing, I think it's up to you to define what exactly your sexuality is because taking it the other way and defining what other people's genders are strikes deeper at the core of who they are and want to be.

That's why 'transsexual' should become 'transgender', because the T can be anywhere on the sexual spectrum, and TQ+ helps to cover for the gender spectrum.


I'm very glad to hear that Iz and I apologise if I misunderstood.

What is so frustrating to some people is the statement by SOME activists deliberately antagonising by saying gay people have to change their Equalities Act right to same sex attraction and be lectured at that that means they are bigots if they don't. And by implication all heterosexual people have to also change their sexuality. A clear steer from gay groups that "gay means gay" if you are gay, and tell those pushing this philosophy to sod off would go a long way to having a rational discussion.
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Popchartfreak
post Feb 18 2020, 12:50 PM
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QUOTE(J00ps @ Feb 17 2020, 04:52 AM) *
It seems its just a language difference between you guys' arguments.

I feel like you're on the same page really.

It just seems the case that gender in 2020 (and sexuality by extension) is going on gender presentation, rather than gender (assigned at birth by genitals) body.

Thus making someone attracted to (cis) men and transgender women gay for popchartfreak and bisexual for Iz, simply using the different terminology for the same concept. Correct?

As I see it no-one is pressuring anyone to do anything they don't want to do, its simply a terminology change. (And god knows as a community we've had those before!) I would also suspect given the history that this current conception of the state of play will only last for a few years before it in turn is replaced by something new and this is called out as somehow really behind the curve. In any case I just aim to treat people respectfully at least to their face and cross other bridges when we get to them rather than getting hung up in advance.


In a nutshell that's the perfect solution for everyone, but sadly there are some fakers using Trans Activistism to shit-stir and get at women who don't feel the organisations who should be involved are calling out the fakers, so you get escalating tension on both sides and more and more court cases to define who is overstepping the mark legally.
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