There's no new
slippery slope for the government to abuse, because courts already
have laws to deal with the offences listed above. Anti-discrimination/anti-defamation/anti-harassment/anti-humiliation laws are
It seems maybe the term "hate speech" has different connotations in the US, than what I'm used to though...
e.g. this quote for wikipedia seems contradictory to me -- it says that hate speech is protected by the constitution, because it protects free speech, but then goes on to list exceptions to that protection (and it's the exceptions which make "hate speech" already illegal).
Laws prohibiting hate speech are unconstitutional in the United States ... speech is protected as a civil right (aside from usual exceptions to free speech, such as defamation...
For example, if someone in Australia was to say "I don't like <insert racial group>
", then there's no law to weild against them, but if someone was to say "<insert racial group> all perform <insert defaming act> so you should <insert discriminatory action> them
" then that person would be guilty of defamation/vilification/inciting discrimination, which you'd colloquially call "hate speech".
As far as WBC is concerned, their guilt of "hate speech" would be something along the lines of inciting people to commit harassment.
Some states here take it a bit further, and you're simply not allowed to publicly promote the hatred of a group based on race/religion/sexuality. If the WBS were to visit those states and tell people that "you should hate gays, because gays are gay
", then that would also be a "hate speech" crime... However, if they said "you should avoid befriending gays that are openly displaying their lifestyle, because public displays of homosexual affection make my God uncomfortable
", then there would be no crime. It basically just requires bigots to at least be educated enough to choose their words wisely.
Edited by Hodgman, 17 December 2012 - 09:19 AM.