In an interview with gay news site PinkNews.co.uk published today, Lib Dem Shadow Justice minister David Heath argues the case for the proposed law on incitement to homophobic hatred as a Liberal and a Christian. He stressed the need for the law to have real teeth: "I've repeatedly said to the government I'm not interested in sending signals, that's not what legislation is for. If legislation is designed to send a signal then, as far as I'm concerned, it's not good law. It's got to be effective in remedying whatever mischief it's meant to address."
"The slight concern that I have is that the legislation which is already in place in Northern Ireland hasn't yet been used and there is an argument that is repeatedly raised by Stonewall and others about extreme homophobic lyrics. Why has that not been addressed in Northern Ireland?"
He also expresses his disappointment that the government is not prepared to act to tackle transphobic hate crimes in a similar way.
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