Is there freedom in freedom of speech?
With the mass of hate crimes on the rise, it’s no wonder the term ‘freedom of speech’ is becoming a more common phrase. Does discrimination count of freedom of speech? Is England too picky regarding freedom of speech? Do other countries have it better? Or worse? Depends on your definition.
Homosexuals have been outcasts in the Western World for centuries. The constant target of hate crimes and shootings, the most recent being the shooting at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida in June of this year.
But what about in the East? Some think that the West is Best, especially regarding acceptance of others that are ‘different.’ But what if the East is more accepting?
Well, if you’ve been wondering, the West is far more accepting regarding homosexuality than its Eastern counterparts.
At least that’s what most people think.
In the West, hate crimes are still a rising problem yet in many Eastern countries such as India, Somalia and Mauritania, to say a few, it is illegal to be homosexual. That’s not even mentioning Sudan, Nigeria and Afghanistan where homosexuality is punishable by death.
So if you were planning on going to any of these countries as a gay man or lesbian, you might want to rebook your holiday. I hear Spain’s nice this time of year.
But what do you think?
Why do different countries differ so much in their views on homosexuality?
‘I think that in places like Saudi Arabia, it’s a very religious country and they feel how they do due to religion.’- Holly Spinner, 17.
‘They’re very orientated around religion so I think that has a big impact.’ – Amber Ingleton, 16.
However, some disagree.
‘I think, really, one person makes the law and if one person does not like the way something is, people are controlled by fear. It draws them to one way of thinking.’ Joanna Marshall, 16.
After talking to several other people, it was decided to create a survey to gather people’s opinions on a larger scale.
Out of the participants, 84% believe that the West were more accepting than the East. 80% also said that they believe England is more accepting than other countries regarding homosexuality.
Yet, homophobic hate crimes rose 147% in the three months following the Brexit vote compared to the former years figures for those months.
Well done, England.
For a country belonging in Great Britain, we’re not very deserving of it.
With people’s minds changing everyday on once taboo subjects, generations to come will hopefully have less of a mould to fill and be more accepting of those who were once seen as ‘stains of society.’
One day, the phrase ‘freedom of speech’ will not be used when someone is being called out for being discriminatory.
May that day be soon.
(Adam Lusher, 2016. Independent UK. ‘Homophobic attacks rose 147 per cent after Brexit vote.’ Last accessed: 08.12.16.)
Max Bearak, Darla Cameron, 2016. WashingtonPost. ‘Here are the 10 countries where homosexuality may be punished by death.’ Last accessed: 07.12.16