ESR Name: Tegan Snyman

Institution: Erasmus University Rotterdam

Supervisor(s): Prof. J. Temperman, Prof. W. van der Burg 

Project Title: Religiously-motivated hate speech targeting LGBTIQ persons: An International Human Rights Analysis.

Project Synopsis: Within international human rights law, the right to freedom of speech is fundamental. However, it is not absolute. Varied prohibitions on “speech which incites” are contained in treaties and legislation worldwide. But what about speech which is hateful, but which doesn’t necessarily incite? This research aims to assess this in combination with the right to freedom of religion, and more specifically, the right to manifest said religion. This is done on the conviction that whilst these rights are paramount; exercising them at expense of other’s rights is not. Accordingly, this assessment is in light of the “culture wars” between religious freedom rights and the rights of LGBTIQ persons. In considering the debate, often the rights and the people to whom the rights are bestowed to (or deprived of) are thought of as separate. Thus, when religiously motivated hate speech targets LGBTIQ persons, proponents argue that they are simply exercising their right to free speech and to manifest their religion against the LGBTIQ ideological movement and not against any individuals per se. This, they believe, protects them in their interpretation of their exercised rights – no matter how hateful or harmful. It is within this chasm the entire research is to be undertaken.

ESR Biography: Tegan Snyman is a PhD candidate at the Erasmus School of Law in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She was an intern in the OHCHR’s Treaty Capacity Building Program and prior to that, she obtained both her LLB and LLM degrees from the University of Stellenbosch, in South Africa. Tegan’s research areas include public international law, international human rights law (with a specific focus on intersectional human rights and LGBTIQ+ rights), gender, religion, the formation and function of identity, as well as purposive treaty interpretation. Her master's dissertation was entitled: "The Protection of African Transgender Women's Rights to Dignity, Life and Health through a Teleological Reading of the Maputo Protocol" and was awarded a cum laude as a final grade. She is very grateful to be a part of the NETHATE Consortium.