|Sen Marco Rubio defends anti-gay government official in foreign court case while ignoring 'don't say gay' bill in his own state.|
Recently, several GOP senators chose to meddle in a foreign hate crimes case, raising questions of hypocrisy. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio sent out the following press release on Monday:
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Josh Hawley (R-MO), James Lankford (R-OK), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Mike Braun (R-IN) sent a letter to Rashad Hussain, the newly-confirmed U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, urging his office to monitor the alarming case in Finland against two Christians accused of violating Finland’s hate crime law due to their deeply held religious convictions.Today, Finnish courts held a hearing on charges brought against former Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church for alleged hate crimes based on their tweets and past statements reflecting their beliefs on biblical teachings. “It is our understanding that Finnish authorities believe that these actions constitute hate speech, even though these statements reflect a conception of marriage and sexuality that is upheld not just by hundreds of millions of Christians, but also by many Muslims and Jews worldwide,” the senators wrote.“We are greatly concerned that the use of Finnish law is tantamount to a secular blasphemy law. It could open the door for prosecution of other devout Christians, Muslims, Jews and adherents of other faiths for publicly stating their religious beliefs that may conflict with secular trends. We believe that, regardless of whether Finnish prosecutors agree with the religious beliefs that MP Räsänen and Bishop Pohjola have expressed, all people have a fundamental right to the freedoms of religion and speech, which should be upheld without fear of government interference.”
A Christian Democrat MP said Monday she is defending "freedom of speech and religion" on the first day of her hate speech trial in Finland over social media posts condemning homosexuality. Paivi Rasanen, a former interior minister and Christian Democrats leader, denies all four charges of incitement against a minority group, which relate to a radio show appearance and online writings about same-sex relationships.Rasanen described homosexuality as a "psychosexual developmental disorder" and said that homosexual people are "dysfunctional". One charge related to a June 2019 tweet in which the long-time parliamentarian criticised the Finnish Lutheran church for partnering with that year's Pride celebrations, accusing the organisation of "elevating shame and sin to a subject of pride"
... Bishop Juhana Pohjola also faces incitement charges for publishing Rasanen's writings on the website of Finland's Luther Foundation.