Guernsey Press upholds C4M’s right to free speech

Dec 8, 2015

In Great Britain, we have seen that redefining marriage has had a chilling effect on free speech, with harassment and intimidation leading to fear and censorship.

But on the tiny island of Guernsey, common sense has prevailed and the voice of Coalition for Marriage has not been silenced in favour of kowtowing to misguided political correctness.

This week lawmakers are set to vote on redefining marriage, and C4M has mobilised a campaign against the change. This included placing a C4M advert in the Guernsey Press – the only newspaper on the island.

The paper also printed a letter signed by twelve Guernsey church ministers, expressing their opposition to same-sex marriage and urging Deputies to vote against it.

Despite the newspaper itself favouring the redefinition of marriage, the Editor understands the importance of airing opinions he disagrees with.

After being accused of “supporting bigotry and lacking ethics and empathy”, the Editor Shaun Green explained why he chose to print our material in two editorials.

He wrote: “While I may not agree with an argument, I am passionate that everyone has a right to be heard.”

He said that silencing arguments people might find offensive is the way to “censorship and tyranny”.

And Green maintained that whilst free speech does have boundaries, C4M’s advert saying “Kids need a mum and dad” does not fall into the category of provoking “hatred or violence”.

The treatment that Green and the Guernsey Press have received reveals the kind of victimisation and intimidation that will become the norm for traditional marriage supporters if lawmakers on the island vote in favour of this radical change.

If that happens we hope Guernsey Press can stick to its guns.