OSCE, Working Session 8, Tolerance and Non-discrimination, Warsaw, 15th September 2017.
The European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ) would like to attract the OSCE's attention on the link between tolerance and non-discrimination and freedom of thought, conscience and religion of which the preservation is of the highest importance for the correct and pacific functioning of a liberal pluralist society that claims to make people of diverse religions and beliefs live together.
We would like to denounce certain facts contrary to the right to freedom of conscience and religion and resulting in discriminations, in particular towards Christians.
Moral or ideological intolerance are manifested in hate speeches directed towards them in the media, the social media visible during debates on societal questions such as euthanasia, abortion, same-sex unions, but also through restrictions to their freedom of conscience and religion and their freedom of expression, probably to precisely avoid intolerance.
In France, mayors who would refuse to celebrate the unions of same-sex persons face heavy sanctions. Thus 30 of them filled a complaint on the 16th of November 2016 with the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations about the violation of their freedom of conscience.
The ECLJ is also worried about the recent French law extending the crime of obstruction to abortion. It creates a discrimination based on opinion as only “pro-life” speeches, aiming at deterring the recourse to abortion, can be criminally prosecuted.
It is unbearable that a so-called liberal society preach tolerance and at the same time be itself intolerant, that is, be intolerant in the very name of tolerance.
The ECLJ hence calls upon participating States to take into account, in their legislations, freedom of expression and freedom of the individual to act “in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience”, as they committed to do in the final act of the Helsinki Conference.