December 5, 2007 14:43

City to outlaw 'murder music'

Music inciting hatred towards minorities to be outlawed

City to outlaw 'murder music'
Brighton council plans to outlaw music inciting hatred towards minorities in pubs and clubs.

Under the policy, the playing of all so-called "murder music" could lead to a venue losing its licence.

The ban would cover all music, live or recorded, allegedly inciting hatred on religious, racial or sexuality grounds.

Last year, the Concorde 2 venue in the city's gay district cancelled a show by dancehall reggae artist Buju Banton, who recorded a song with homophobic lyrics.

Councillor Dee Simson, chairwoman of the council's licensing committee, said the policy was not to be used "to harm freedom of speech".

She said: "It will be used in really extreme cases to stop the playing of what's loosely termed murder music.

"We have a large gay and lesbian community in Brighton and Hove and we want to protect people from facing such hatred.

"I'm a firm believer in freedom of speech but I'm against the incitement of hatred against minorities."

She said it was only through the venue's "goodwill" that the Buju Banton concert was cancelled last year, because the city had no "explicit policy in place to stop him from playing".

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, from the group OutRage!, said the authority was "to be congratulated for its decision".

"Free speech does not include the right to advocate the killing of other human beings," he said.

The city's licensing policy is being overhauled because the current guidelines expire in January.

The ban has been endorsed by two committees and is set to be approved by the full council on 13 December, reports BBC News.

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