Wednesday, October 31, 2018

GODLESS WEDNESDAY: Ireland Votes To Abolish Blasphemy Laws

This past weekend voters in Ireland decided to abolish laws against blasphemy by approving a  referendum to remove the word "blasphemous" from the following clause in the constitution of the republic of Ireland:
The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.
There was also a 2009 law on the books (the Defamation Act of 2009) which included blasphemy as an offense and had never been used but came to public notice in 2015 when openly gay actor Stephen Fry was investigated by the Irish police (after a complaint by an unknown  member of the public) for saying on Irish television "The god that created this universe, if it was created by a god, is quite clearly a maniac, utter maniac, totally selfish." Fry's potential legal jeopardy put the issue on the map, which eventually led to the referendum this week in which 64.85%  voted YES (43% turnout) to remove blasphemy from the Irish constitution. The government will follow with legislation to implement the will of the people to abolish the "crime" of blasphemy.

Good news!

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