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ALRANZ: SPCS Ignores Question of Hate Websites

"It appears that the Society for Promotion of Community Standards is not willing to answer questions posed in one of our own previous media releases about the very real risk that violent, hatemongering websites pose against specific occupational groups." Craig Young, ALRANZ Research Officer said today.

Mr Young referred to Marc Alexander's proposed private members bill that would tighten certain provisions of existing censorship policy:

"Traditionally, ALRANZ has opposed so-called "community standards" censorship policy regimes because they offer no opportunity for serious evidence-based evaluation of reproductive and seuxal health promotion materials. We continue to do so."

"While we have no position on other "hate literature" provisions, we would like to point out that "religious freedom" is not an absolute under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, in any case. Medical case law tells us that religious parents are not entitled to endanger a child's life through enforcing religious diktat related to blood transfusions, for example. The Bill of Rights contains limits on rights where they conflict with others." Mr Young continued

"In the context of any ban on proposed hatemongering anti-abortion websites, or similar criminal-intent websites that encourag victimisation of occupational groups or any other specified member of the community, then we should bear that in mind. There is a difference between religious freedom, freedom of worship, freedom of religious association and freedom of conscience on the one hand, and radical "religious liberty" stances on the other. "Religious libetty" means that if you're "religious," you somehow have the right to ride roughshod over others liberties>"

"We ask SPCS again: What is your position on the Nuremberg Files and other violent US antiabortion websites that carry personal data about abortion providers and have been used to target those medical practitioners?" Mr Young concluded.

Contact: Craig Young Research Officer ALRANZ (04) 4759886

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