By the BC Humanist Association
Humanists are cheering the passage of a bill repealing Canada’s prohibition on “blasphemous libel” in the Senate today. Canada’s 19th century blasphemy law will be no more once the bill receives Royal Assent.
Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, BC Humanist Association
The passage of this Bill is a clear recognition by Parliament that archaic restrictions on freedom of expression have no place in Canada. Further, it serves as a sign that Canada condemns those theocracies around the world that are willing to punish someone for disagreeing with religious orthodoxy.
THE PATH TO REPEAL
Section 296 of Canada’s Criminal Code said:
296 (1) Every one who publishes a blasphemous libel is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
Question of fact
(2) It is a question of fact whether or not any matter that is published is a blasphemous libel.
(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section for expressing in good faith and in decent language, or attempting to establish by argument used in good faith and conveyed in decent language, an opinion on a religious subject.
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