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Homophobia is Protected Speech

godhatesfagsshot.jpg
It's a marketplace of ideas. Some of them are terrible.
It's been a great week for folks who hate lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people -- and want the world to know about it.

The Supreme Court today ruled 8-1 that those hate-spewing assholes from Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas are protected by the First Amendment. And in Illinois, the 7th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that suburban Chicago teenagers are totally within their rights to wear T-shirts to school that say "Be Happy, Not Gay."

Westboro Baptist's brainless shtick, in case you've been hiding under a rock, is to protest military funerals because, um, God hates fags, as their lovely signs read. And God has apparently been picking off our military members in these current conflicts because America doesn't hate people who are not straight fags enough. (It's definitely not because they are fighting a war.)

The "church" was sued by the father of a dead soldier whose funeral they picketed. Initially, he was awarded $11 million for Westboro's intentional infliction of emotional distress. His award was later reduced on appeal, and has now been thrown out. The only dissenting opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito.

As for the little charmers in Illinois, they had worn their anti-gay T-shirts to school the day after a "Day of Silence" at Neuqua Valley High School, which drew attention to LGBT kids being bullied. One student sued after school officials blacked out the "Not Gay" portion of her shirt. The court said the school can't advocate for gay kids while stifling the homophobic kids.

Two tidbits to chew on in light of these rulings: If people are going to have hateful opinions, might it not be a good thing for the rest of us if they self-identify? If someone's wearing their hate on their sleeve, we suppose, it's easy enough to steer clear.

But, of course, Voltaire also comes to mind: "I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

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Trish Smith Trout
Trish Smith Trout

Perhaps they missed the memo that the Bible also says thou shall not judge, love one another as I have loved you..I could go on and on. Who are they to say if you will go to hell? are they God? If you died for me serving my country..gay or not, you have the right to a decent burial service.. Sick People these Bible Thumpers are.. I support my Troops!! why are they being Stereo Typed? A Soldier is a Soldier..

Douche McGee
Douche McGee

Unfortunately the idiots of the WBC don't understand things like common sense and decency. They twist the bibles word to fit their completely fucked up agenda.

They say they're trying to "save" us, but if those idiots are in heaven, please send me straight to hell.

J. Dizzle
J. Dizzle

I wish the media would just ignore these WBC morons and all their evil doings.

Bill
Bill

The gay children at that school should wear 'Be Smart, Not Christian' t-shirts.

You know. Free speech and all...

anonymous
anonymous

worth noting that fox news et al didn't give a flying fuck when these people were "protesting" at the funerals of AIDS victims. BUT YOU GOTTA SUPPORT THE TROOPS!

also, phelps and his underlings are all lawyers and profiting financially.

Bob
Bob

The supreme court was absolutely right in siding with the Westboro crazies. We don't have freedom of speech only for popular opinions, it exists precisely to protect those views that we find most abhorrent. It's not the job of government to shut people up, that the domain of ridicule and mockery.

AA
AA

Why is this so complicated? God DOES hate fags. More or less, the Bible says exactly that. Let's not pretend otherwise. Is that not reason enough, among others, to hate the Bible back?

Say what you will, but Westboro is (unintentionally) doing important work in secularizing the nation and disabusing people of religious belief, like Catholic pedophiles and Islamic fundamentalists.

Your Momma
Your Momma

Voltaire was only partly correct. I will defend from my computer keyboard. Death is a bit to much of an effort, especially for the Westboro crowd.

Dan S
Dan S

The thing that really bothers me about this is that for all the ways our right to free speech has been eroding away for the last decade, THIS is the issue where the supreme court takes a stand!!?? Come on....

neil
neil

When Morse v. Frederick was decided a few years ago (aka "the Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case), I was horrified that students' free speech rights were being limited. But if the Morse precedent holds, then the Illinois decision should be overturned, unless the SCOTUS decides to be hypocritical.In the Morse case Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority decision: "It was reasonable for (the principal) to conclude that the banner promoted illegal drug use-- and that failing to act would send a powerful message to the students in her charge." Hopefully the Court will see the t-shirts as an anti-gay, discriminatory message that they can not stand for.

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