Recently I read a National Review article titled Norway’s ‘LGBTQ+ Hate Speech’ Law. It quotes from a Reuters article Norway outlaws hate speech against trans and bisexual people. That article is saying:

People found guilty of hate speech face a fine or up to a year in jail for private remarks, and a maximum of three years in jail for public comments, according to the penal code.

Given that, for example the bible contains passages like Leviticus 20:13:

If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.

I am fairly sure the quran has equally despicable passages. Does that mean that these are not allowed to be read publicly (ie in a church/mosque), or am I misunderstanding the NR / Reuters reference?

2 Answers 2


Probably not. I can't find the new text, but the existing law was probably just amended with a new category: "hate speech" based on race, religion, disability and "homosexual leanings, lifestyle, or orientation" was illegal – this new law seems to just tweak the categories. The Supreme Court has addressed the general law here in a race-based case, stating that expression of contempt is crucial to defining the crime ("to threaten or insult, or promote hatred, persecution or contempt" based on a protected category). The line that would be drawn is between reading the text, versus promoting hatred or contempt using the text as justification. You can't be prosecuted for hate speech in Norway by reporting the existence of racial etc. discrimination.


It appears that the current law protecting gay and lesbian individuals from hate speech has been extended to cover those who are Bi and Transsexual. It is not adding additional restrictions to the laws of Norway that would bar any religious text reading but instead convey the protections enjoyed by Gay and Lesbian individuals to Bi and Tran individuals. Thus, whatever the current rules on the bible passages are prior to this, it is still in place, but now covers the two new categrories. It does no more to restrict the speech of religious leaders in their ministry than already exists (I don't know what if any restrictions are in effect with all hate speech laws in place)>

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