“When speech is merely restricted, you can at least keep your thoughts to yourself. Compelled speech makes people say things with which they disagree.”
We often talk about the consequences of the redefinition of marriage in terms of a restriction on freedom of speech, but recent events have shown us that the consequences go much further... not just the restriction of speech, but forcing people to enunciate ideas with which they disagree.
As mad as this sounds, it is exactly what is happening in Canada: a new law passed in Canada has made it a criminal offence to refuse to call someone by their “chosen” gender pronoun. In a drastic and Orwellian move by legislators, anyone who refuses to call a gender-variant person by their chosen gender pronoun could suffer legal prosecution.
Bill C-16, which passed earlier this month, was lauded by LGBTI activists. It includes “gender identity” and “gender expression” into Canada’s Human Rights Code, and expands the hate crime category of the Criminal Code to include those “gender” offences. Clearly a fan of speech dictatorship, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted that the bill had passed with this tweet:
Great news: Bill C-16 has passed the Senate – making it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity or expression. #LoveisLove
Heat Street reported that even a Canadian police department got in on the action, releasing a guide on how to ask people their preferred personal pronouns:
DYK If you're not sure what pronoun somebody uses, just ask. What are your preferred pronouns? ^rh pic.twitter.com/C3R3ujOMXl
— Halton Police (@HaltonPolice) June 28, 2017
A vocal objector to the new policy was Professor Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist and academic at the University of Toronto. Peterson stirred controversy in 2016 when he released a series of videos in opposition to political correctness. In this short interview, he explains very clearly the problem with Bill C-16:
Peterson contributed an op-ed to the National Post, declaring he would never capitulate to the unreasonable demands of the LGBTI lobby. He compared the language policing of the C-16 bill to totalitarian dictatorships of the 20th century.
I will never use words I hate, like the trendy and artificially constructed words "zhe" and "zher." These words are at the vanguard of a post-modern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century.
I have been studying authoritarianism on the right and the left for 35 years. I wrote a book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, on the topic, which explores how ideologies hijack language and belief. As a result of my studies, I have come to believe that Marxism is a murderous ideology. I believe its practitioners in modern universities should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to promote such vicious, untenable and anti-human ideas, and for indoctrinating their students with these beliefs. I am therefore not going to mouth Marxist words. That would make me a puppet of the radical left, and that is not going to happen. Period.
Peterson pointed out that the bill has no basis in scientific fact – it revolves around “personal preferences” and people’s desire to live in an alternate reality:
Bill C-16 is predicated on absolute nonsense: sex is a biological fact that is determined by anatomy and chromosomes. Independent of biological sex, there is gender identity (which, according to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, is the personal sense of being “a woman, a man, both, neither or anywhere along the gender spectrum”). Independent of that, there is gender expression (how a person “publicly expresses their gender,” including their fashion choices, such as “dress, hair (and) makeup”). These exist and manifest themselves purely as subjective choices. This is an axiomatic part of the new legislation, by the way, mandating social constructionism as the legally sanctioned scientific doctrine of the land. Look out, evolutionary biologists. The PC police are coming your way.
After the bill won in a landslide 67 for and 11 against, Peterson issued this warning:
“Compelled speech has come to Canada. We will seriously regret this.”
Bruce Pardy, a legal professor at Queen’s University, also testified against Bill C-16 before the Senate. In an op-ed to the National Post, Pardy wrote that while human rights were established to liberate people, “modern human rights entitle – and bridle people.
Human rights were conceived to liberate. They protected people from an oppressive state. Their purpose was to prevent arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, and censorship, by placing restraints on government. The state’s capacity to accommodate these “negative rights” was unlimited, since they required only that people be left alone.
But freedom from interference is so 20th century. Modern human rights entitle. We are in the middle of a culture war, and human rights have become a weapon to normalize social justice values and to delegitimize competing beliefs. These rights are applied against other people to limit their liberties.
When speech is merely restricted, you can at least keep your thoughts to yourself. Compelled speech makes people say things with which they disagree.
Pardy closed his piece with words of warning for today’s society.
Traditional negative human rights give people the freedom to portray themselves as they wish without fearing violence or retribution from others. Everyone can exercise such rights without limiting the rights of others. Not so the new human rights. Did you expect to decide your own words and attitudes? If so, human rights are not your friend.
It is difficult to foresee just how far this movement will go. If the government can now force people to speak in a certain way, what else could it force people to do in the future? Vital freedoms such as freedom of speech and freedom of conscience are under attack in Canada. If Australia redefines marriage, they will be under attack here too.
The consequences of redefining marriage are on display in Canada, issuing a warning to us. You must make your voice heard today – we CANNOT let this happen here in Australia.
Also in Trending News: In Canada, same-sex marriage is destroying all other rights