First, hate speech:
Publicly inciting to violence or hatred even by dissemination or distribution of tracts, pictures or other material, directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.
Publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising: (1) crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 6, 7 and 8) directed at a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or ethnic origin; and (2) crimes defined by the Tribunal of Nuremberg (Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, London Agreement of 1945) directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or ethnic origin.
Member states may choose to punish only conduct which is either carried out in a manner likely to disturb public order or which is threatening, abusive or insulting.
Sparking controversy on the other side of the Atlantic, meanwhile, is legislation that criminalizes not hateful speech, but hateful acts: soon after the U.S. House of Representatives voted 237-180 to add gender and sexual orientation to the categories that federal law already protects against hate crimes, the White House signaled that if the bill passes the Senate, President George W. Bush will veto it. Federal protection of these 2 groups is not needed, the White House notice maintained; conversely, it further faulted the bill for leaving out other groups, such as the elderly and military personnel. The threatened veto would be the 3d of Bush's 6-year tenure. The other 2? Stem cell research and troop withdrawal from Iraq.