Colombian Social Media Influencer Fights For Her Right To Express Support For Traditional Marriages

Erika Nieto
A screenshot of Erika Nieto's video where she talked about her Biblical view of marriage. |

A South American social media personality seeks the reversal of a court ruling that orders her to take down a video posted online, expressing her Biblical stance on marriage.

Responding to a viewer's question in her "Ask Me Anything" YouTube video, Erika "Kika" Nieto from Colombia shared her Christian belief, as well as her consideration for others who believe otherwise.

"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," she said in the video.

However, activists complained about the clip and they filed two cases against her. In one case, the country's Constitutional Court already ruled that Nieto's statement on marriage is protected by the constitution, Alliance Defending Freedom International wrote.

In the second case, another activist also claimed that the video was "offensive and discriminatory." A lower court sided with the complainant and ruled that the video contains "hate speech" and ordered its removal.

But Nieto believes that the lower court denied her with the right to freedom of expression, contending that everyone should have the freedom to express themselves without fear of censorship.

"Everyone should be free to share their beliefs in public. I want to be authentic with my followers without being censored or fearing criminal sanctions?just for posting a video. I don't want others to be afraid to voice their beliefs. By speaking out, I hope to inspire more tolerance of different opinions," she said.

The social media star is currently asking the Colombian Constitutional Court to overturn the order.

Tomás Henríquez, ADF International's Director of Advocacy for Latin America and the Caribbean, supported her argument, stating that the Colombian Constitution protects her right for freedom of expression.

"Freedom of speech, and religious freedom, are fundamental human rights guaranteed by every major human rights treaty. If someone?feels?offended, the best response is debate, not censorship. Ultimately, it is every one of us, and democracy itself, that suffer when people are not able to speak freely," Henríquez added.

The Colombian NGO Nueva Democracia, a civil society organization that advocates for fundamental rights, is representing Nieto in court.

The organization is requesting the Constitutional Court that it would uphold fundamental freedoms by reversing the decision of the lower court. The decision whether the case will be accepted for review is reportedly set in May.

ADF International noted that cases such as Nieto's are becoming a global concern.

The organization revealed that it is also defending a politician in Finland who is facing a legal action for expressing her personal belief online.

Päivi?Räsänen, a member of the Finnish Parliament and the country's former Minister of Interior, articulated her views on social media. She tweeted against the decision of her church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, questioning its partnership with an LGBT event in 2019.

But Räsänen was sued for her tweet, accusing her of "ethnic agitation", a crime that bears a maximum penalty of two-year imprisonment.

Robert Clarke, Deputy Director of ADF International, said that speech freedom is currently being targeted with the rise of "cancel culture". He also pointed out that the cases of Nieto and Räsänen only showed that this freedom must be "properly protected".

"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," Clarke further stated.