A festival to celebrate the summer solstice last weekend had the clergy and Christian folk of Pahokee, Florida up in arms. They packed a city commission meeting and demanded that the city prevent the festival from taking place because OMG pagans! Devil worshipers!
Category Archive: Free Speech
Jul 01 2013
In the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, time is set aside when the members can take the floor to speak on whatever subject they like (like the U.S. House does with “special order” speeches). But they can be stopped from speaking if just one of their colleagues objects. Look what happened when a gay legislator got …
Jul 01 2013
Here’s another great example of a disorderly conduct charge being used to do stomp on free speech, this time in Pennsylvania. A guy protesting Gov. Tom Corbett’s decision not to expand Medicaid wrote in chalk on the sidewalk, “Governor Corbett has health insurance, we should too.” The citation he received for disorderly conduct says he …
Jun 25 2013
The Supreme Court on Thursday, in a surprisingly lopsided decision, ruled that the federal government could not put restrictions on statements made by recipients of funding. The case involves a Bush-era requirement that foreign groups receiving funding to combat AIDS had to take a position opposing prostitution. Lyle Denniston explains the ruling:
Jun 24 2013
Kenan Malik has a terrific essay on freedom of speech, by which he means the freedom to say something that offends someone. He argues that this freedom is never more important than in a pluralistic and diverse society, despite arguments to the contrary.
Jun 18 2013
Rand Paul spoke at this weekend’s Faith and Freedom Coalition conference and demanded an end to aid to countries that oppress Christians, noting that blasphemy laws are often used to persecute Christians in Muslim countries, especially those who convert from Islam to Christianity.
Jun 18 2013
On June 11, a federal district judge declared a law forbidding any protests on the grounds of the Supreme Court, overturning 40 U.S.C. § 6135. Two days later, the Supreme Court itself reasserted that same ban in a new regulation based on 40 U.S.C. § 6102, which says:
Jun 18 2013
Of all the things to continue to be obsessed about, flag burning? Seriously? Yep. The Worldnutdaily apparently still thinks it matters and they’ve published an inane and inaccurate column by Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady to rail against the incredibly rare practice that was protected by the Supreme Court. Brady’s legal and historical arguments are about …
Jun 14 2013
On Jan. 28, 2011, Harold Hodge Jr. stood on the Supreme Court plaza in Washington DC silently wearing a sandwich board that said “The U.S. Gov. Allows Police To Illegally Murder And Brutalize African Americans And Hispanic People.” He was promptly arrested because of a 60 year old law that prohibits any form of protesting …
May 18 2013
The Dearborn Arab International Festival has been the site of many clashes between the police and Christian evangelists who go there to preach to the mostly Muslim crowd. This has resulted in several arrests that ended in acquittals and lawsuits that vindicated the protesters and forced the city to apologize. But in one case from …
May 16 2013
There’s a bit of a controversy going on at Carnegie Mellon University, where two art students are being charged with misdemeanors for indecent exposure for going to an on-campus parade partly naked. Here’s how the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette describes the incident: