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« Speechless | Main | Happy Birthday »

October 31, 2007



I think holding up signs that say "fags deserve to die" is no longer protected free speech, but crosses into the area of a hate crime.


They are not Christians, they sound like the killer religions that run riot in foreign nations. No pun intended....

Sorry they are not Christians, so sorry they are not Christians.... Did Jesus and his disciples kill or say hateful things????

Maybe they are pretending to be Christian, sounds like they have never read the bible or maybe they have there own version that has been heavily edited.

James F. Trumm

Phelps & Co. are not very Christian, you're right. But freedom of speech and religion protects all belief systems. And yes, it may be hate speech; but even hate speech should be protected, unless it is imminently likely to cause violent behavior.


I think you cross the line between hate speech and a hate CRIME, when you threaten people, and I think to say things like "fags deserve to die" is likely to cause violent behavior.
"Fags are evil" = hate speech
"Fags deserve to die" = hate crime

James F. Trumm

Chacha, it depends on the circumstances. If I am addressing a virulently homophobic mob, and then point across the street and say, "Look, there's a fag! Fags deserve to die!" then I may well have crossed the line into the incitement of imminent lawless action. But if I am merely addressing a group of (for example) mainstream Republicans, then there's no crime.

Chris P.

i understand suing them for causing emotional strees, but 11 million? will that solve anything? you might as well burn down the next 15 churches they build. now they have more reason to protest. its like the middle east. all we do is put sanction upon sanction upon them. no wonder everyone
there hates the rest of the world.

I would be so angry at them, but come on, all people do nowadays is sue for money and nobody benefits but the lawyers.

I agree with John, Jesus always told us to love our enemies and if your enemy is a fag well try not to make it look like your hitting on him/her unless you want a relationship. there is no need to protest on a funeral.


But this doesn't have anything to do with the first amendment, I don't think. If I understand the case correctly, the plaintiffs sued for infliction of emotional distress. Free speech has nothing to do with that, and the first amendment certainly provides no defence. There's no governmental restraint going on here, either.

The point is you're free to say what you want, but sometimes saying what you want has consequences.

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