12:53 21 October 2012
Funnyman Rowan Atkinson isn’t very happy about Britain’s Public Order Act that bans “insulting words and behavior.”
The actor, best known for his role as Mr. Bean, is launching a campaign to amend the law that reportedly led to the arrest of a Christian preacher who criticized Scientology and Oxford University student for allegedly “homophobic comments.”
Atkinson said that the Public Order Act have a ‘chilling effect on free expression and free protest.’ He added: ‘The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult.’
Former shadow home secretary David Davis, a leading campaigner for civil liberties, feels the same about the Public Order.
He said: 'For centuries, freedom of speech has been a vital part of British life, and repealing this law will reinstate that right.’
The campaign is supported by The Christian Alliance, the National Secular Society, The Freedom Association, Big Brother Watch, and the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
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