In Norway, a prominent filmmaker is now reportedly facing up to three years in prison on criminal hate-speech charges after claiming that men cannot become a lesbians.
Tonje Gjevjon, a lesbian director and actor, was alerted on November 17 that she was under investigation for comments she made on Facebook criticizing notable Norwegian activist Christine Jentoft.
Jentoft is a transgender “woman” who describes herself as a lesbian mother.
Jentoft has previously accused Christina Ellingsen of transphobia for making a similar accusation.
Ellingsen is also being investigated and also faces up to three years in prison if convicted.
She has stated that she wrote her Facebook remark on purpose in order to attract attention to Norway’s extreme hate speech regulations.
Regulations that would violate the 1st amendment of the U.S. Constitution if they were to be instituted in America.
Gjevjon’s words appear to be under investigation for violating a 2020 modification to the country’s penal code that included “gender identity and gender expression” to the list of hate speech protected categories.
People who are found guilty of hate speech face a fine or up to one year in jail for private remarks and up to three years in prison if the remarks are made in public.
Women’s rights campaigners, notably Ellingsen’s Women’s Declaration International Norway, have contended that the amendment undermines free speech and expression in the country.
In 2018, the first discrimination charge based on gender identity was filed in Norway.
The issue reportedly revolved around transgender individual claiming to be female who complained about being instructed not to shower at a sports center’s women’s locker room.
Similar instances have emerged around Europe, most notably Finland, where a religious freedom lawsuit sparked a major conflict between free speech activists and LGBTQ campaigners.
Päivi Räsänen, a Finnish Member of Parliament, and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola were first accused and then cleared of all counts in their case in March.
Räsänen was charged with ethnic agitation three times: once for a 2004 leaflet, once for participating in a radio program debate in 2019, and once again for tweeting an image of the Bible.
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