A Columbian influencer who was ordered by a judge to remove a video in which she expressed her personal opinions on same-sex marriage has been vindicated by the nation’s Supreme Court.
In the video, Erika “Kika” Nieto explained that “God created man and woman so that they could be with each other. I don’t consider men being with men or women being with women to be good, but I tolerate that.”
After outrage from activists, the national court deemed the video to be “hate speech” and ordered it removed.
The Supreme Court has now reversed that ruling, determining that Nieto was well within her rights to state her personal views on marriage, as CBN reports.
“No one should be censored or fear criminal sanctions for expressing their beliefs. Together with Kika, we are overjoyed that the Court has overturned this censorship ruling,” Santiago Guevara with the NGO Nueva Democracia, which represented Nieto along with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International.
“Kika stood strong throughout this ordeal to make the case for every one’s freedom to share their beliefs,” he said.
However, the counsel continued, this is not quite the victory for religious liberty in Columbia that it should have been.
“Although Kika is again free to share her convictions, it’s disappointing that the Court decided this case on procedural grounds and failed to address the key issue and affirm freedom of speech for every Colombian,” Guevara said.
“Everyone should be free to share their beliefs in public, and the courts should protect this fundamental freedom.”
Coming up in 10 minutes: our Senior Counsel for Latin America, @jthenriquezc, will be appearing on @GBNEWS with @andrewdoyle_com to share about Youtube star @_kikanieto's #freespeech win after being censored for her Christian belief. Watch here: https://t.co/hkXhPxv6Uz pic.twitter.com/VLoAzpXjnp
— ADF International (@ADFIntl) November 28, 2021
Tomás Henríquez, director of advocacy in Latin America and the Caribbean for ADF International, echoed this sentiment.
“If we value a free society, protecting the right to speak freely is paramount. We must always choose debate over censorship. Ultimately, people and democracy suffer when voices are silenced,” he said.
Nieto, for her part, hopes that her case will inspire further respect for freedom of speech as well as promote a tolerance of differing worldviews.
“Nobody should have to be afraid of censorship or criminal sanctions for voicing their deeply held beliefs,” she said. “By speaking out, I hope to encourage debate and inspire more tolerance of different views.”
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