National leader Judith Collins has waded into a free speech debate after Christchurch City Libraries barred a controversial group from booking one of its meeting rooms following multiple complaints.
Speak up for Women NZ wanted to host a talk about sex self-identification on Tuesday and booked a room at Tūranga three weeks ago, but received notification that its booking had been cancelled on Monday.
After appealing the decision, the group was also told its meeting would not be permitted in any of the city’s libraries.
An email from library manager Chris Hay, seen by Stuff, said the subject of the group’s meeting may be in conflict with the library’s code of conduct, “particularly our commitment to providing a safe and welcoming environment”.
Of all the attacks on free speech, this is arguably the worst, especially as it comes from a library.
The reason this one is so bad, is because the issue they wish to discuss is a bill before Parliament.
The group was formed in opposition to the Government’s proposal to allow people to self-identify their sex in the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill. It planned to discuss aspects of the bill in Christchurch.
So there is a bill before Parliament that seeks to change the way people can change their sex on their birth certificate.
The SUFW group has a position that the current law is okay and does not need changing. So far from being some sort of radical position, they are in fact arguing that the current law is okay. I happen to disagree with them, but think it is outrageous that the intolerants try to shut down any debate on this issue.
The Christchurch Libraries have decided that the case for changing the law is so strong, that it must ban any group that wishes to defend the status quo. This fascist manager has decided that the public must be banned from hearing a view in favour of the current law and against the proposed law change.