The Colombian Constitutional Court will review a case involving social media star, Erika "Kika" Nieto, who seeks to overturn a national court ruling ordering her to remove an online video in which she expressed her beliefs on biblical marriage.
Alliance Defending Freedom International, a human rights organization supporting Nieto's case, reported she shared her views about holy matrimony with millions of followers on a Youtube video.
The 28-year-old stated that the union is between a man and a woman, however, she will "tolerate" other perspectives on marriage.
An activist complained about her comments, leading the national court to order the video be removed from the platform.
"God created man and woman so that they could be with each other," she said. "I don't consider men being with men or women being with women to be good, but I tolerate that."
If we value a free and vibrant society, we must always choose debate over censorship. The Colombian Constitutional Court will review the censorship case of social media star @_kikanieto
There are high hopes for a ruling affirming #FreedomOfSpeech https://t.co/luhTADGFO1
— ADF International (@ADFIntl) July 9, 2021
In a previous case, another activist complained that Nieto's video was offensive and discriminatory, prompting the lower court to deem her remarks as "hate speech."
However, the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled Nieto's speech on marriage was constitutionally protected.
"It is a hallmark of a free society that all persons are able to speak freely on what they believe to be right and good, especially on matters of public importance. Nieto's right to publicly express her views is not only protected by the Colombian Constitution but guaranteed by every major human rights treaty. If we value a free and vibrant society, we must always choose debate over censorship. Ultimately, people and democracy suffer when voices are silenced," said Tomás Henríquez, director of advocacy for ADF International.
Nieto said that people have the right to speak openly about topics they feel passionate about, without the fear of persecution.
"Everyone has the right to freely share their beliefs in public," she explained. "I'm glad the Constitutional Court has decided to review my case. I hope they will uphold everyone's right to speak freely. Nobody should have to be afraid of censorship or criminal sanctions for voicing their deeply held beliefs. By speaking out, I hope to encourage debate and inspire more tolerance of different views."
Freedom of Speech Under Fire in Finland
Meanwhile, Päivi Räsänen, a former member of Parliament in Finland, is also battling legal issues for publicly sharing her deeply held convictions about marriage on social media.
"Freedom of speech is a fundamental right that is coming under increasing fire in today's cancel culture," said Robert Clarke, deputy director of ADF International. "Both Nieto's and Räsänen's cases show that the freedom to share what we believe must be properly protected."
He added, "Whether someone agrees or disagrees with certain views, censorship inevitably leads down a dangerous path. Censorship creates fear, freedom of speech fosters a vibrant civil society."