Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada concerning hate propaganda prohibits the incitement of hatred against an identifiable group;
Section 319 also sets out exemptions and, in paragraph 319(3)(b), states that “No person shall be convicted” for having expressed “an opinion based on a belief in a religious text”;
The texts of a number of the world’s major religions include passages that denigrate and advocate hate toward non-believers, women, homosexuals and other ethnic and racial groups, and that may call for violence and even lethal violence;
Religions therefore constitute a significant source of hate propaganda against a number of groups; and
One group’s freedom of religion must never take precedence over the fundamental rights of others and must never, under any circumstances, threaten the bodily integrity or the life of members of the groups targeted by the hate speech in religious texts.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to repeal this religious exemption regarding hate propaganda, specifically paragraph 319(3)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
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