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No punishment for Swedish cop who called gays a 'cancer on society'

TT/Rebecca Martin · 27 Oct 2011, 16:04

Published: 27 Oct 2011 16:04 GMT+02:00

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The man has been under internal investigation since an incident in July when he was overheard telling a female recruit that homosexuals are a ”cancer on society” while referring to a lesbian colleague who serves as hate crimes educator within the Skåne police.

“My whole body just froze. I felt like a rat that had been pissed on,” Jeanette Larsson, the hate crimes educator, told Sveriges Television (SVT) at the time.

Larsson, who has worked on the police force for twenty years, had been on her way out of the lunch room back in early July when she overheard a conversation between a male colleague and a female police recruit.

The officer told the recruit he didn't approve of Larsson's lifestyle and made references to the bible.

Larsson said she is one of 15 openly gay women on the Skåne police force and has been educating her colleagues on how to best handle hate crime cases for the past year.

“I felt degraded, dirty and violated and I quickly realised that, ironically enough, I'd been subject to a hate crime.”

However, the investigation could not establish exactly what had been said between the female recruit and the police officer in question.

Story continues below…

Therefore police don't feel that they had enough information regarding the man's actions to base any disciplinary measures on.

However, due to the severity of the language used, it was decided that the man's superior officer will have a word with him.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:28 October 27, 2011 by eppie
Come on, send that nutjob to his extremist friends in Saudi Arabia.
16:46 October 27, 2011 by gabeltoon
About time this officer got a grip of himself and caught up with the 21st century.
16:57 October 27, 2011 by jvtx3232
I think it is the right decision not to institute any disciplinary procedures against the police officer. Because he didn't do anything wrong, he was just stating a personal opinion which he is entitled to do. How could anyone even consider punishing somebody for do that? That would seem like an oppressive society if he was punished.
17:10 October 27, 2011 by London_Jim
Not a pleasant way to speak nor an admirable opinion, but that's what it is.

Hardly a 'hate' crime - just a voiced opinion, no matter how unsavoury or unpalatable.

The hate coordinator should probably man-up and accept that some people don't like her orientation and just deal with it.
17:39 October 27, 2011 by Shawntooth

according to your logic, crime in terms of slander, verbal assualt or discrimination wouldn't exist at all.... how about i say ANYTHING about you, call it a "persohnal opinion" and get away with it?
17:55 October 27, 2011 by Svensksmith
If I see that dastardly policeman, I'm gonna smack him with my purse.
20:11 October 27, 2011 by GLO
What is wrong with what is true?
20:22 October 27, 2011 by darky
Why should he be punished in the 1st place?? A very rotten society where wrong is being seen as right. Truth hurts........ The officer just spoke the bitter truth and u say u want to punish him... What for??
23:40 October 27, 2011 by Da Goat
yes indeed she was the one who said she was a rat and if she stayed and got pissed on it is her fault!

If she chooses to be like that she should also choose to "get over it" and stop being so wimpy and immature!

both parties are 100% entitled to their own opinion.

svensksmith I think you should smack both police and some of the others here with your purse, better still give all the police a smack with your purse they appear to be getting rather dozey of late!
01:02 October 28, 2011 by k2kats
Discriminatory or hate filled speech is neither free nor appropriate in a workplace, especially when an employee is speaking to a young recruit.
01:05 October 28, 2011 by Grokh
An iman says death to people who convert out of islam = no probem

A policeman says gays are a cancer = no problem

someone says islam is a bad religion = ISLAMOPHOBE RACIST SHOULD BE FIRED AND JAILED


is it hypocrisy , or just ignorance for defending intolerance masked with "cultural exceptions"?
02:18 October 28, 2011 by GLO
Sorry he was right! You just dont like the facts.....
02:54 October 28, 2011 by Global Macro
Political correctness. Stop the insistence on conformity. It is about freedom of speech. It should not cause any concern. The left always wants to enforce conformity to extreme left wing views. And if anyone, such as this police officer disagrees, they start calling him names. "My whole body just froze.... I felt degraded, dirty and violated." Nonsense. I feel violated every time these left wing radicals try to impose their values on society.
08:47 October 28, 2011 by Vitas
But gays are really cancer on society. Everybody knows that. What problem?
08:50 October 28, 2011 by John.Smith
What is the line between Freedom of Speech and Hate Speech? What he said was pretty foul but he has the right to hold those opinions. Unless he said that all gay and lesbian people should be locked up or physically harmed there is little by way of redress. However, it should be taken into consideration the fact that he is a police officer and as such expressing such views on duty is not acceptable.
10:22 October 28, 2011 by Liquidmonkey
granted there is a time and place for voicing your personal opinions BUT its still in line with the right to free speech.

just because someone might not agree with you hardly makes it a 'hate crime'.

in fact, that offends me, someone saying its a hate crime to voice your opinion but hey, we won't see an investigation there will we?

seriously, could u exaggerate anymore ... "I felt degraded, dirty and violated and I quickly realised that, ironically enough, I'd been subject to a hate crime."
13:20 October 28, 2011 by Twiceshy
It is funny to me when those who choose, yes choose, to live the gay lifestyle and push it on me I feel:

"I felt degraded, dirty and violated and I quickly realised that, ironically enough, I'd been subject to a hate crime."

.... and yet I must accept their choice and say nothing? humm.....
13:44 October 28, 2011 by Aquos
Gays are cancer in the society?!

So, explain to me how they managed to harm you to call them a "cancer".

I think the real cancer are the people who go on criticizing others who have a different sexual orientation!
17:03 October 28, 2011 by zoroastrina
Some of the above commentators have spewed out homophobic excrement. Their brains may be excrementally wired to promote a viral hatred. I abominate homophobes, transphobes, xenophobes and Islamomophobes, while regognizing that their verbal vomit is free speech. Happily, I shall never have to engage in a face-to-face dialogue with these vipers. From noplace with love.
21:00 October 28, 2011 by telzey
Those who say this guy was just giving his personal opinion, and so should face no punishment of any kind, are purposely ignoring the context of his remarks. He made these remarks in uniform, at work to a new police recruit, in an obvious attempt to undermine not only the lesbian cop in question, but her very function in the department. I'm sure, since they have a hate crimes specialist, and 15 gay cops, that the police department's official policy is to welcome qualified gays into their ranks. So this guy's remarks were also meant to undermine the policy of the police department itself. Which makes it equally clearly a disciplinary matter, and not just voicing a personal opinion.
03:08 October 29, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
This guy is obviously a bit of a lug but he's also doing a very tough job. Send him back to traffic duty for a month as punishment and then let it go.
17:05 October 29, 2011 by leontan
Stating an opinion as a member of the public is one thing. Stating an opinion as a functionary of the State is altogether another. As a functionary of a secular State, the officer has no right to be invoking the Bible to justify his expressions in the context of duty. Furthermore, this instance provides evidence for why such an officer should in fact be removed from the force altogether, unless that is, the Swedish State is content to have officers who evidence a lack of comprehension for Sweden's purported commitments to 'equality.' Unfortunately, this is the conclusion one arrives at concerning the Swedish State. Not only is it committed to INequality (in contrast to the image of itself projected to the outer world), it would also seem that political parties across the left-right spectrum suffer from 'whiteness nostalgia' http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2011-10-18-hubinette-en.html for the 'good old days,' in which a certain strain of fundamentalist Christianity was embedded.
23:47 October 29, 2011 by update-2011
the truth hurts!!!from physics we have...like poles repel each other & unlike poles attract each other.........from chemistry we have.....oil+water=imiscible mixture (we can't mix what can't be mixed in the natural and if we try, it becomes nasty with no chemistry).........period!
12:16 October 30, 2011 by Migga
In an open and tolerant society one should be able to express oneself without the risk of being punished. Words shouldn`t be punished, only actions. That`s freedom. And if we have to endure these comments to protect that freedom then so be it.
21:25 October 30, 2011 by update-2011
Homosexuality is TOTALLY wrong and the the people who call themselves as homosexuals know it deep down that it is a wrong practice!!!
03:50 November 1, 2011 by johnoleson
Hate speech is defined as speech the "powers that be" hate. Now as this changes, and it will, beware lest you fall victim to the coming workers paradise.
07:10 November 9, 2011 by Timec
"It is funny to me when those who choose, yes choose, to live the gay lifestyle and push it on me I feel:"

"in fact, that offends me"

There's a rather clear difference here that some don't seem to be grasping.

It's not simply a matter of being "offended." Words that would be harmless, or simply offensive, in one setting, can become very charged in another setting. The stupidity of many of the posters here is offensive - but, even if I had the power to do so, I would never try to get any of them in trouble (and if I did try, I wouldn't have a case.)

To you, it's a case of "They make me aware of the fact that they're gay, and that offends me." That's your problem, not theirs. An integral part of being a part of an civilized society is that one has to understand that everyone is different, and some people are going to make lifestyle choices that you disagree with. Since those choices aren't illegal, and since (I know this is going to be hard to accept, but sometimes you've just got to grow up and accept some of the hard truths of life) the "gay lifestyle" doesn't actually harm anyone, you're just going to have to live with it.

And yes, living the "gay lifestyle," like living the "straight lifestyle," (both of which actually encompass a huge variety of lifestyles) is a choice - on the other hand, it has been rather clearly established that gayness itself is not a choice.

It may not be PC, but it's the hard truth.

"The left always wants to enforce conformity to extreme left wing views."

Yeah, I'm not entirely sure that the view that gays aren't a cancer on society is an extreme left wing view.

"In an open and tolerant society one should be able to express oneself without the risk of being punished. Words shouldn`t be punished, only actions."

I can't believe people are having a hard time grasping this very simple fact - having a trainer at work tell you that you're a "cancer on society," simply because of your sexual orientation (which, being a product of biological and environmental factors of early childhood, is not something that the individual has any control over), is a problem. Yes, they're only "words," but they're words that create an unhealthy workplace, and that will undermine cohesion as an effective police force.

A civilized society realizes that, in certain settings, words can be as harmful as actions.

"Homosexuality is TOTALLY wrong and the the people who call themselves as homosexuals know it deep down that it is a wrong practice!!! "

"But gays are really cancer on society."

Prove it. Your feelings of "ickiness" when you think of gay people aren't enough. Give me some hard evidence that your assertions are true.

"the truth hurts!!!"

Yes, yes it does. And the truth is that half of the posters here are homophobic idiots unable to grasp basic concepts.
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