Former Ecuadorian presidential candidate fined, banned from politics for anti-gay remarks (1 Viewer)

TulsaSaint

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Ecuadorian Ex Presidential Candidate And Preacher, Nelson Zavala, Penalized For Homophobic Comments
The Huffington Post | Posted: 03/12/2013 6:22 pm EDT | Updated: 03/13/2013 9:08 am EDT

Former Ecuadorian presidential candidate for the PRE party, and current evangelical preacher Nelson Zavala has been penalized by the suspension of his political rights after he repeatedly made homophobic comments during his electoral campaign.

Zavala has been under fire for the last couple of months for using derogatory terms against the gay community, several local media report. Among the negative references, he has affirmed in the past that being gay is “immoral,” a “sin” and a “deviation of conduct.”

People from the LGBT community and gay rights supporters complained in February about the authoritative expressions. According to El Universal, after evaluating the case, Ecuadorian judge Patrio Baca determined the religious leader will be banned from any affiliation to a political or governmental movement for a year.

He will also have to pay a fine of little over $3,000, and can be also sentenced for a hate crime, El Universal reports.

The Ecuadorian electoral code "forbids candidates from publicly expressing any thoughts that discriminate or affect other people's dignity or utilize symbols, expressions or allusions of a religious nature,” BBC News reports.

Ecuadorian Ex Presidential Candidate And Preacher, Nelson Zavala, Penalized For Homophobic Comments
Wow, if we had a law banning from politics candidates who make discriminatory comments, we would lose quite a few candidates every election!
 

TechDawg09

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That rule probably would have the Republican debates in '11 and '12 more interesting... especially the Santorum and Bachmann camps.
 

Mr. Sparkle

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The Ecuadorian electoral code "forbids candidates from publicly expressing any thoughts that discriminate or affect other people's dignity or utilize symbols, expressions or allusions of a religious nature"

Joe Biden would've been deported years ago.
 
OP
TulsaSaint

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Fortunately we don't.
Why is this fortunate? I'd personally prefer if we had laws that prohibited hate speech rather than laws that prohibit showing breasts on television. If you're going to censor, at least censor speech that is truly harmful.
 

LSSpam

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Why is this fortunate? I'd personally prefer if we had laws that prohibited hate speech rather than laws that prohibit showing breasts on television. If you're going to censor, at least censor speech that is truly harmful.
Well I dislike laws prohibiting showing breasts on television as well. I'm a free speech advocate. The US has done an admirable job of being exceptional in regards to free speech, something I consider to our nations credit. I also think it's healthy. I understand the hateful speech is often divisive and hurtful, but the sort of quiet hate that exists in many European countries is, in my limited experience, even more insidious and destructive.

Dialogue in the US is often loud, obnoxious, and brash, but I think in many respects ultimately more productive. If you're a bigot, it becomes known, and dealt with. Many people support your comments, many dislike them, a dialogue of sorts is established, and progressively over the years we have moved towards more respect and human dignity.

Dialogue about race didn't exist at all in the South for instance until it was forced into the public eye by the civil rights era. That was ultimately good, and it's made progressively more progress as it has stayed in public dialogue. Same with sexism and now sexual orientation.

We've shown definite progress in racism, sexism, discrimination regarding sexual orientation, and it's been very, very publicly done. I consider this a good thing, even aside from my philosophical commitment to free speech.
 

LSSpam

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It's also worth noting that many of the worst things said by politicians in this past election cycle resulted in them losing. And in some cases, were likely an important reason they lost an otherwise likely winnable election.

I would much rather have those thoughts as much out in the open as possible and discussed then privately held until they're in Washington DC.
 

DavidM

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Dialogue in the US is often loud, obnoxious, and brash, but I think in many respects ultimately more productive.
Yep. As offensive as the rhetoric can be, ultimately I think it's better to know where somebody stands and to have their own words as part of the basis upon which to judge them. As it relates to elections, better to have it out in the open in the interest of voters making more informed decisions.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that[...] - Martin Luther King Jr.
 

Geldo

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The more these people talk the more the public realise how stupid they are.
Every politician should be given enough rope to hang themself.

In the UK the leader of the neo-facist British National Party Nick Griffin got an invite onto a high-profile BBC TV programme Question Time. There was a storm about it with many people saying such a blatant xenophobe, homophobe and racist should not be allowed airtime.

The BBC held firm and allowed him his soapbox and he was made to look a total idiot in front of a massive TV audience. If he had been banned we would have been denied the opportunity to see just what a nob the guy is....and he'd have cried censorship and painted himself as a martyr.
 

PayOrPlay

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I don't support anyone losing their political rights due to their speech. However, it is remarkable to consider that something like this happened in Ecuador. At one time as improbable as gay marriage in Mexico City or South Africa.

Something really does seem to have changed in the world.

The more these people talk the more the public realise how stupid they are.
Every politician should be given enough rope to hang themself.

In the UK the leader of the neo-facist British National Party Nick Griffin got an invite onto a high-profile BBC TV programme Question Time. There was a storm about it with many people saying such a blatant xenophobe, homophobe and racist should not be allowed airtime.

The BBC held firm and allowed him his soapbox and he was made to look a total idiot in front of a massive TV audience. If he had been banned we would have been denied the opportunity to see just what a nob the guy is....and he'd have cried censorship and painted himself as a martyr.
Didn't they do something like that in an episode of BBC's The Hour (now sadly cancelled), only set in the 1950s?
 

Saintman2884

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Unfortunately, Geldo, majority of racists these days self-censor themselves knowing their idiocy isn't accepted now unlike 50 years ago, they realize airing it all out would ruin their previous "reputations" even as much as somebody openly racist too ignorant to care. I think David Duke, maybe F. Lee Bailey's "Southern Strategy" typifies "New Racism". When it comes to race, gender, and now sexual-orientation, what's their for them to gain saying they think interracial dating/marriage is wrong, gays/lesbians are immoral sinners damned to hell for being sexual deviants, it still ends up with them discredited, and makes problem of uncovering them alot harder.

Enoch Powell's "Rivers of Blood" diatribe against Labour's late 60's immigration policies is a testament to how dangerous rhetoric aimed at outsiders can still be taken seriously to some, even among rank-and-file union members.

FWIW, Beatles actually mentioned Powell in "Get Back", and "Enoch Powell", which was never released.
 

Richard

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Why is this fortunate? I'd personally prefer if we had laws that prohibited hate speech rather than laws that prohibit showing breasts on television. If you're going to censor, at least censor speech that is truly harmful.
Sorry Tulsa, but I have to disagree on this one. I don't want any flavor of the month determining what is and isn't "hate speech." Offensive speech doesn't necessarily translate into hate speech. I would have to believe any definition of hate speech would have to include an element of harm or inciting to do harm, not simply being offensive.
 

drob8785

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The more these people talk the more the public realise how stupid they are.
Every politician should be given enough rope to hang themself.

In the UK the leader of the neo-facist British National Party Nick Griffin got an invite onto a high-profile BBC TV programme Question Time. There was a storm about it with many people saying such a blatant xenophobe, homophobe and racist should not be allowed airtime.

The BBC held firm and allowed him his soapbox and he was made to look a total idiot in front of a massive TV audience. If he had been banned we would have been denied the opportunity to see just what a nob the guy is....and he'd have cried censorship and painted himself as a martyr.
When it comes to banning hate speech, I'm always reminded of this passage from John Stuart Mills' On Liberty:
But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
Free societies dedicated to liberty and equality have nothing to fear from hate speech, no matter how offensive it is. We should welcome even the most vile opinions -- once thrown into the public light, we can see just how wrong they are. Bigotry and ignorance are best fought by confronting them with facts, not by censorship.

With that said, Ecuador's law isn't all that surprising. Lots of places have laws against speech -- it's against the law to deny the Holocaust across much of Europe.
 

Lurkaholic

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Yeah, I can't get on board with banning hate speech. I fully support the right of an individual to speak his mind, however ignorant. Likewise, I fully support my right to call him on his *. These rights are very important to the makeup of our country.
 

Galbreath34

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I'd prefer them to say it, and to know on the record that folks voting for them are ok with it. I'd rather it be out in the open to be fought than forced into a hidden agenda. There are plenty of elected officials who already get there by keeping their mouths shut about their hatred; I'd rather not increase that number.
 

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