From Iceland — Teacher Sent On Leave For Anti Gay Blog To Face Charges

Teacher Sent On Leave For Anti Gay Blog To Face Charges

Published February 23, 2012

A grade school teacher sent on six months’ paid leave when it was discovered he had a blog railing against homosexually will now face charges for violating Icelandic discrimination law.
As reported, Snorri Óskarsson was sent on six months’ paid leave from teaching at Brekkuskóli in Akureyri after his blog was discovered. Snorri contends that he is only quoting from the Bible, and exercising his right to freedom of expression.
That freedom of expression is exactly what psychologist Pétur Maack calls into question, DV reports.
Section 233a of the Icelandic Penal Code states “Anyone who in a ridiculing, slanderous, insulting, threatening or any other manner publicly abuses a person or a group of people on the basis of their nationality, skin colour, race, religion or sexual orientation, shall be fined or jailed for up to two years.” Pétur has filed criminal charges against Snorri based on this clause.
Pétur points out that there are always limits to freedom of expression, and that this right has never been without limits. Often these limits are within a professional capacity, such as how mental health professionals and lawyers are bound by a code of silence about what their clients share with them.
“By the same token,” Pétur wrote in an article for Akureyri Víkublað, “Someone who has taken on the job of primary school teacher has given up their right to express opinions which go against the interests of a number of their students, as Snorri’s blog does.”

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