- See also: Hate crime
Hate speech is speech or writing which is critical of a legally protected class or group of citizens defined by legislation. Under some legal codes, hate speech can be considered a hate crime. Hate speech codes typically justify this immunity from criticism by labeling it "provocative speech used to denigrate" members of the group. These protected groups can include gender, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, disability, and sometimes age.
Hate speech, even when legally defined as such, is not a crime in the United States because speech is protected under the First Amendment. In some instances, however, hate speech may be entered as evidence that a separate crime, such as assault, should qualify as a hate crime.
Many speech codes cover comments about homosexuals. The primary purposed of these "hate speech" codes and "hate crime" legislation in the U.S. and Europe is to end all criticism of homosexuality or homosexual persons by classifying it as "Homophobia." Thus, it is difficult to criticize that lifestyle. In countries that ban "hate speech," such laws have failed to deter extremism.
Use of Term to Censor Religious Speech
Under a new Swedish law, any person who demonstrates disrespect (Swedish: "missaktning") for people's sexual orientation may be sentenced to up to four years in prison. Needless to say, although the Bible is clear about God's love for fallen mankind and that "God so loved the world…." there are many passages in the Bible that warn about sodomy and its dangers to both individuals and society at large. Those passages – although expressing disrespect for the depraved act of sodomy – may erroneously be interpreted by some people to express disrespect for the people who engage in such activity. Or as the Kalmar Court verdict against Pastor Green reads: "It is the opinion of this Court that Åke Green, through his statements, has deeply offended the homosexuals as a group and the purpose of his sermon was clearly aimed at showing disrespect for the homosexuals as a group." 
Similar hate speech laws exist in Canada, in the form of a provision in the Canadian Human Rights Act. Luckily, attempts to use these provisions to silence religious freedom have been unsuccessful. Muslim attempts to accuse Maclean's magazine of hate speech for merely criticizing the religion were rejected.
The gay rights movement currently attempts to equate racism or anti-Semitism with the condemnation of homosexual lifestyles. They claim that, like race, sexual orientation is 100% inherited and immutable but there are studies that question this claim.
Nonetheless, the strategy of activists is to insist that condemnation of sin is a type of "prejudice" equivalent to a civil rights violation. They want people of conscience, who already condemn antisemitism and racism, to regard any critique of homosexuality as an expression of "hate".
There is a misinterpretation of a sermon by Jesus, who told people not to "hate" their enemies used in favor of the argument. What hate crimes legislation ignores is that Jesus never hesitated to condemn sin and frequently criticized wrongdoers.
In a U.S. government report released in 2016, Martin R. Castro, the chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, stated that "The phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance."
A pastor in Northern Ireland was charged and tried for making comments in one of his sermons against Islam that were considered "grossly offensive." Although he was found not guilty, he should have never been tried in the first place, as Christians should be able to freely express and advocate their biblically-based theological positions.
Attempts to censor conservative and right-wing views
Numerous mainstream American conservative organizations have been labeled "hate groups" by the Left.
In 2016, Geert Wilders was convicted of making statements against Moroccan immigrants that were supposedly offensive (it was not a criminal conviction, but one could reasonably argue he shouldn't have been charged in the first place).
Twitter's rules and Facebook community standards both ban hate speech, with Facebook mentioning the term explicitly. Both social media platforms are known for censoring people who identify with right-wing political opinions for alleged hate speech.
Fake hate speech
In addition to using the term "hate speech" to falsely accuse Christians and conservatives of "hate," leftists sometimes create hate speech hoaxes. For example, in July 2018, a woman in Texas claimed that a customer in a restaurant gave her a racist note – something the mainstream media widely covered – when in fact, she wrote the note herself.
Hate Speech Outside the United States
Many European countries have a legal system based on civil codes rather than the common law. This means that the legislature spells out every illegal act in detail instead of having courts fill in the gaps using case law from prior decisions. Also, some countries do not have the tradition of free speech and the First Amendment that is a key factor in the United States. So regulation of "hate speech" in Europe does not have a counterpart in U.S. "hate crime" statutes.
Holocaust denial and homosexuality
At least nine Western countries have made it a crime to deny the historical reality of the Nazi Holocaust (the genocide of 6 million Jews and 5 million others). The idea is that it is hateful to the survivors and to the relatives of the victims to pretend that this painful episode never occurred.
Some people argue that being Jewish is a matter of race and thus unchangeable, and that being homosexual is likewise immutable. On these grounds, they go on to assert that criticizing a person for being homosexual is just as "hateful" as denying the Holocaust. A serious movement has begun to brand criticism of homosexuality as hate speech and thus to outlaw it. It is succeeding in liberal countries of Europe and has spread to the United States. However, others feel that Holocaust denial is a different situation than criticism of homosexuals. Even those against homosexuals freely admit that some were killed in the Holocaust as a result of their sexual orientation. Denying this would be completely different than merely denying that their sexuality was "natural".
Immigration and censorship
In 2014, the Swedish Parliament extended its hate crime legislation to reporting facts about immigrant crimes, police noting descriptions of offenders, criticism of government immigration policy, and criticism of politicians who voted for immigration legislation.
- Collins, Will (November 13, 2019). Think Hate Speech Laws Will Work? Just Look at Europe. The American Conservative. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
- Arvay, Robert (January 10, 2019). ‘Hate speech’ hysteria is getting out of control. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
- Showalter, Brandon (September 9, 2016). Religious Freedom Is 'Code Word' for Bigotry, Christian Supremacy, US Civil Rights Commissioner Says. The Christian Post. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Kellner, Mark A. (September 8, 2016). ‘Religious freedom,’ ‘liberty’ just ‘code words’ for intolerance, U.S. Civil Rights chairman says. The Washington Times. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Chairman of U.S. Commission on Civil Rights calls the phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and Christian supremacy. Religion News Service. September 8, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Carter, Joe (September 13, 2016). U.S. Civil Rights Commission: ‘Religious Freedom’ Is Code Word for Racism, Homophobia, and ‘Christian Supremacy’. The Gospel Coalition. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Starnes, Todd (October 14, 2014). City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons. Fox News. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Starnes, Todd (October 29, 2014). Houston mayor drops bid to subpoena pastors' sermons. Fox News. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Hallowell, Billy (August 3, 2015). Houston Gov’t Subpoenaed Pastors’ Sermons. Now, They’re Fighting Back. The Blaze. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Turpin, Simon (January 8, 2016). Northern Ireland Pastor Not Guilty of Criticising Islam. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Richardson, Valerie (August 17, 2017). Mainstream conservative groups alarmed to be found on ‘hate map’. The Washington Times. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- Goins-Phillips, Tré (December 9, 2016). Dutch politician convicted of ‘inciting discrimination’ for criticizing Muslim immigration. The Blaze. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Twitter Rules, Twitter, retrieved September 12, 2020
- Community Standards: Hate Speech, Facebook, retrieved September 12, 2020
- "Laura Loomer, banned from much of social media, wins Republican primary, Trump praise", FR 24 News, retrieved September 12, 2020
- Tennant, Michael (July 24, 2018). Texas Waiter Admits Inventing Racist Note Story. The New American. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
- Revisionists in France and Germany have been heavily fined for their views" (Weber). Other countries that have different laws against Holocaust denial include Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Canada, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. Holocaust Denial
- Sweden Passes A New Law to Criminalize Any Criticism of Immigration Or Politician’s Unwillingness To Tackle The Issue, Investment Watch, December 8, 2014. investmentwatchblog.com