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French court: ‘You can’t call homosexuality an abomination’

French court: ‘You can’t call homosexuality an abomination’

A hate-speech conviction imposed on French politician and former housing minister Christine Boutin, above, has been upheld by the Court of Appeals of Paris.

Boutin breached France’s laws, which impose specific and extra heavy penalties on defamation, insults, and inciting to violence or hatred against a number of categories of persons including gay people, when she called homosexuality an “abomination” in an interview with the political magazine Charles in March 2014.

Boutin was ordered to pay a fine of 5,000 euros, as well as 2,000 euros each in damages to three gay associations, Mousse, Le Refuge, and Inter-LGBT.

Life Site’s Jeanne Smits said:

This amounts to being fined for quoting the Bible. In two separate occurrences, Leviticus uses the word abomination, which is the same in French as in English, in chapter 18, verse 22: ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination’.

Clearly, the judgment also means that Christians should not express their agreement with this form of prohibition of homosexual acts if they do not want to be sanctioned for a criminal offence.homosexuality-sin

The public prosecutor and the three senior judges of the 7th penal chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal agreed that Boutin committed an offence when she used the word “abomination”.

The judgment confirmed a prior conviction in December 2015 by a penal tribunal in Paris and added more damages in favour of the Inter-LGBT group, which had not been deemed admissible at the first hearings.

Boutin is well known for having opposed civil unions for homosexuals. She was a figurehead in the mobilisation against the legal recognition of same-sex couples in 1998 as well as same-sex marriage, which became law in France in 2013.

A former member of Parliament and longtime head of the Christian-Democrats, Boutin was also the founder in 1993 of the Alliance pour les droits de la vie (Rights of life alliance), now Alliance Vita, a mainstream pro-life movement that is mainly active against abortion and euthanasia and aims to help pregnant women.

Boutin denied in the Charles interview that she was homophobic:

I have never condemned a homosexual. Never. It is not possible. Homosexuality is an abomination. Not the person … Sin is never acceptable, but the sinner is always forgiven! The two things are completely different! It’s a subtlety that is not always understood. I have homosexual friends! I promise you, they are real friends!

With my faith, a homosexual person is every bit as loved by God as I am. Thank you for letting me explain this to you: that is where a very important confusion lies. Homosexuality has nothing to do with the judgments that I make about homosexuals who are my brothers, my friends, and whose dignity every bit as large as that of people who have other sexual behaviors. They are sinners like I am. We are all sinners …

Says Smits:

These are the words for which Boutin was prosecuted and doubly condemned, in the first instance and then in appeal. No matter how carefully she worded her response, she used at least one word too many. The gay press was quick to pick it up and to slam her condemnation of homosexuality. The mainstream press denounced her as homophobic.

Days later, Boutin backpedaled, publicly proclaiming that she had used  an “awkward term”.

She said in a communiqué:

Following the numerous reactions to the words I used in an interview with Charles magazine, I admit that the word abomination, taken out of its original context and of the complete text I spoke, in which it was included, can have been an awkward term. I made no personal attack and I regret that the meaning of my words can have been misunderstood, or have hurt people. There was no intention at all of hurting anyone.

Smit concludes:

Her explanations show that gay activists are prepared to take words out of context in order to gag free speech and the expression of religious convictions. But in or out of context, ‘abomination’ is a hard word, and the Bible, be it in the Old Testament or the New Testament, does not back off from using vigorous language about sins, including homosexual acts, that deserve ‘hellfire’, ‘the punishment of eternal fire’.

These are a lot worse than any hypothetical ‘hatred’ that Boutin has been found guilty of nourishing against homosexuality.

Boutin’s legal counsel argued that she was being prosecuted for an “opinion”. He hold the appeals court:

Your decision will have immense consequences for freedom of expression. If you follow the prosecutor’s demands, then you will have to seize the Bible!

It is not yet clear whether Boutin will take her case to the Court of Cassation.

23 responses to “French court: ‘You can’t call homosexuality an abomination’”

  1. L.Long says:

    The dimwitted xtian sheeple state we can eat shrimp cuz the OT does not count since JESUS!!!! But then turn around and call gays an abomination. When their book o’BS clearly states they are NOT!!!

  2. sailor1031 says:

    …‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination’.

    Help me out here folks; is this command addressed to women or to men? Makes a big difference to what Moshe might have meant.

  3. bill says:

    Everyone ought to be able to critique everything and anything without retribution. Its called free speech. However, that’s where it stops. Discrimination, violence etc must be outlawed.

  4. Laura Roberts says:

    Yep, not happy about this one. She deserves verbal abuse and ridicule, not a fine. If she starts inciting violence, then bring her up on charges.

  5. L.Long says:

    I don’t like this one bit! To say anything other than false witness, should be OK. It is the actions that really count. Some one can tell me how much of an ahole I am in any words he likes so long as he sells me the product from his store or what ever. And a politician can think and say what they like but if the public says gay is OK, S/He/IT had better be representing them that way.

  6. Dave says:

    The Wholly Babble clearly uses the word abomination (at least, it does in all the versions I’ve seen). I take the Babble literally: It’s why I reject as a useful guide to anything.

  7. Paul Cook says:

    I read this in a Qi book. it’s true apparently.
    Greek Proverb.
    A woman for duty.
    A boy for pleasure.
    A goat for ecstasy.

  8. Smokey says:

    It is true enough that she merely repeated what the bible said. On the other hand, the bible is a book of hate, so it’s still hate speech.

    It doesn’t help that she’s a politician. Politicians implicitly claim that they’re better than us, which is why they want us to give them the power to tell us how to live. I would expect her to lead by example. And in doing so, she should lead us forward towards civilization, not back to the religious barbarism of the middle ages. Keep your religion away from politics, before the government starts to interfere with your religion.

    It will always be a fine balance between free speech and restraining the worst excesses of hate speech. We have to draw a line somewhere, I don’t like the American “anything goes” attitude. That’s how we end up with Trump. Talk about leading by example!

    …‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination’.

    Is this at all possible? I thought the plumbing was so fundamentally different that such an act was confined to the realm of fantasy. Of course, the Christians do fantasize a lot about “unnatural” sex…

    But ‘you shall not lie with a female as with a man’ makes much more sense. We could do that. And many people do. Strange how they forgot that particular situation. In the bible, even the sins are bigoted.

  9. John the Drunkard says:

    ‘Sin is never acceptable, but the sinner is always forgiven!’

    What the HELL can that possibly mean?

    Blended fabric and crop rotation are ‘abominations’ too, for that matter. If ‘good’ religious people want to evade the Revealed Commandments of their holy books, they have to actually declare themselves and justify their position.

    And they can’t do it.

  10. Clive says:

    I think it would be safe to assume that the word “abomination” was never used by the writers of any part of the bible. It might have been (word written in Hebrew script, which your website doesn’t support), or something similar, I guess. But that is modern Hebrew, which is probably not the same as the language of, whatever part of, the bible the defendant was, allegedly, quoting from.

    The bible verse probably did say something equally offensive to gay people, but that is another matter. It should hardly be allowed to be a valid legal defence (especially in constitutionally secular France). that the bible might have said something similar, which the defendant probably doesn’t have the expertise to accurately translate.

    If the defence had been that the defendant has a right to free speech, even if it offends some other people, I would have had more sympathy with it, even though I don’t agree. But, I suspect this defendant would be among the first to complain if anyone said anything deemed to be ‘blasphemous’ by christians.

  11. Newspaniard says:

    Freedom of expression is gradually being whittled away by our politicians under pressure from religious nuts. Be careful who you vote for next time.

  12. Those who define either themselves or others by ‘sexuality’ are totally abominable cretins. There is no such thing as ‘a homosexual’ or ‘a heterosexual’, though there is such a thing as homosexual and heterosexual behaviour. A person is not his or her ‘sexuality’. I myself am a Tharg. There is only one Tharg in this world, and it is I.

  13. Madame Boutin looks like a bloke in drag and has a face like a big hairy mangina. She is an abomination, and should be given a one way ticket to the Dignitas Clinic in Zurich. (Yes, they do offer their services to the incurably mentally ill.)

  14. barriejohn says:

    There is no such thing as ‘a homosexual’ or ‘a heterosexual’, though there is such a thing as homosexual and heterosexual behaviour.

    That’s what Gore Vidal used to say, and it’s bollocks. Do you seriously think that a gay person who has never engaged in, or doesn’t engage in, homosexual activity is not really gay, or that a gay person who fucks someone of the other gender miraculously becomes “straight”?

  15. barriejohn says:

    Clive: When I was with the Brethren we used to analyze all these biblical words and phrases. I had umpteen books on the subject, and a fat lot of good they were, too. Here’s someone trying to worm their way out of accepting what the Bible quite clearly teaches:

    http://religiondispatches.org/does-the-bible-really-call-homosexuality-an-abomination/

    The word “abomination” is found, of course, in the King James translation of Leviticus 18:22, a translation which reads, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.” Yet this is a thoroughly misleading rendition of the word toevah, which, while we may not know exactly what it means, definitely does not mean “abomination.”

    There you are then; it’s not an abomination, but we don’t know what it really says, and, of course, the punishment for the “offence” is still death. Sort out that little lot if you can!

    These people are free to think and say what they like, and whatever the law says, they will still quote the Bible in private. Does the ruling mean that they will have to cut that page out of their Bibles for fear of someone seeing those words, or, worse still, reading them out publicly? “The law is a ass – a idiot.”

  16. Barryjohn, I suspect that you too may be a Tharg. Do not fight against it–there is no cure. However, remember that it is always a mistake to define oneself by one’s tendencies.

  17. Trevor Blake says:

    “Your decision will have immense consequences for freedom of expression.”

    Guaranteed. A legal right to be mistaken or foolish or cruel when one harms only ones self is a sign of a more free set of laws.

    I see no difference between the concept of hate speech and the concept of blasphemy. I wish neither had any legal standing in the world.

  18. Daz says:

    I will never understand the “logic” behind the idea that free speech is a powerful tool and so must be protected, but that it is at the same time so inconsequential that its use doesn’t need limitations.

  19. barriejohn says:

    Daz: Life is full of contradictions, but “free speech” DOES have limitations, anyway. You can’t incite to violence, or harass people (causing alarm or distress), and you can’t slander or libel a person, either, whatever your opinion. Personally, I am much more concerned about the proliferation of “faith schools”, and continuing influence of religion in so-called “secular” schools (a bit of a joke in the UK). Parents are going to iterate these homophobic views in the home whatever happens, but at least their offspring should have exposure to more enlightened and educated opinions. It might be an idea in this day and age to give all children the right of access to the internet, otherwise many growing up in religious families are going to be “protected” from its influence.

  20. Daz says:

    Barriejohn, I agree. I was speaking more to the conversation just prior to my comment than to the OP.

    And I’m leaving MFR’s definition of “homosexual” alone. That’s just bizarre!

  21. Human beings have an insatiable mania for inventing crazy categories, many of them totally random, and then forcing one other into them, like straitjackets. Thankfully, the True free thinker entirely rejects all such lunacy.

  22. Clive says:

    barriejohn,

    Yes, I guessed it came from King James. It sounds like the sort of language that his translation would have used. I haven’t read the whole thing, of course (nor have I read any of it, other than in English translation) but I have read the rabidly anti-catholic foreword to the King James bible, which makes it clear that it was originally intended as political propaganda.

    My original point was that, those people who use the bible as a defence, or alleged justification, for whatever repression they want to impose on the rest of us, usually claim that the bible is the word of god, as revealed to various prophets. If they want to try to make us believe this nonsense, they should, at least, be able to understand it in the original languages that it was first written in. Even then, it would be controversial, and not at all clear, as we should be able to tell, from all of the arguments between ‘experts’ about the historicity (or non-historicity) of Jesus, and from all of the arguments about, among other things, exactly which language the koran was originally written in.

  23. John says:

    Like most of you, I support the French concept of laïcité.
    But this judgment and the recent attempts to ban burkinis and other “Moslem” forms of dress in France seem to me to go too far in restricting freedom of expression.
    Personally, I find all these modes of dress ridiculous, i.e. fully worthy of ridicule, but if they want to look silly or foolish, that is up to them.
    It is said that out of the mouths of babes comes truth.
    When I was a Chair of Governors at a primary school I remember hearing young children referring to ‘letter box ladies’ when attempting to describe women in full Moslem dress.
    I found it amusing and really quite apposite of them.
    I wore some strange garb myself when younger but I really don’t believe it should have been a matter for the criminal law to resolve.
    The French need to lighten up, in my opinion.