ESR13 Tegan Snyman

Erasmus University Rotterdam
Supervised by Prof. J. Temperman and Prof. W. van der Burg
I analyse, through international human rights standards, religiously motivated hate speech which targets queer people.

Project Synopsis

Project title: Religiously motivated hate speech targeting queer persons: An International Human Rights Analysis

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 queer 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 queer persons, proponents argue that they are simply exercising their right to free speech and to manifest their religion against the queer 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 13 (Tegan Snyman) presented at Hate Speech – An Interdisciplinary Approach International Workshop 

ESR13 (Tegan Snyman) Blogpost series: “Religiously motivated hate speech against LGBTIQ+ people”:

Part 1:;

Part 2:;

Part 3:


Tegan Snyman is a South African PhD candidate currently conducting her research at the Erasmus School of Law, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She obtained both her LLB and LLM degrees from the University of Stellenbosch, in South Africa, before interning for the OHCHR’s Treaty Capacity Building Program. Tegan’s research areas include international human rights law, queer rights, intersectional rights protection, gender, religion, and purposive treaty interpretation. She has just co-published her first article, based on her master’s research, entitled “Protecting transgender women within the African Human Rights System through an inclusive reading of the Maputo Protocol and the proposed Southern African Development Community Gender-Based Violence Model Law”. Tegan is a Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowaska-Curie Fellow in the ITN NETHATE, and she is currently researching the response of international human rights law to religiously motivated hate speech which targets queer people. Her pronouns are she/her/hers.