Supreme Court rules for anti-gay church over military funeral protests (CNN)

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Drew Wilson, Mar 2, 2011.

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  1. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Washington (CNN) -- A Kansas church known for its angry, anti-gay protests at funerals of U.S. troops won an appeal Wednesday at the Supreme Court in a case testing the competing constitutional rights of free speech and privacy.

    In an 8-1 ruling, the justices said that members of Westboro Baptist Church had a right to promote what they call a broad-based message on public matters such as wars. The father of a fallen Marine had sued the small church, saying those protests amounted to targeted harassment and an intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    "Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and -- as it did here -- inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority.

    At issue was a delicate test between the privacy rights of grieving families and the free speech rights of demonstrators, however disturbing and provocative their message. Several states have attempted to impose specific limits on when and where the church members can protest.

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    So... constitutionally speaking, you can say "soldiers deserve to die because there are gay people in the country", but the moment you start discussing file-sharing, you could have your domain seized by ICE and it's never a constitutional rights violation. Great. *rolls eyes*
     
  2. evilmegaman

    evilmegaman ZP Superhero Established Member

    I believe in having the right to be an idiot, but the fact is we don't have the right to be anything else. the second you step beyond idiot, the system will snipe you down like lee harvey oswald
     
  3. Atheist Icon

    Atheist Icon Member Established Member

    I cannot wait until someone snaps at one of the funerals they are protesting at and mows down the entire family. I will donate to that individuals legal defense fund.
     
  4. Aaron_Walkhouse

    Aaron_Walkhouse The Legendary Axeman Established Member

    The answer is simple. Patriotic landowners in each state can give military funerals free access
    to private property where Westboro Blasphemists cannot go and where the nearest property line
    is so far away from ceremonies that they wouldn't bother to show up.
     
  5. NDGAARONDI

    NDGAARONDI Newbies can change this!

    Are you allowed to deny the Holocaust in the US? How about flag burning?
     
  6. Aaron_Walkhouse

    Aaron_Walkhouse The Legendary Axeman Established Member

    Holocaust denials tend to bring retaliation from some overly aggressive jewish organizations if the local law
    doesn't prosecute as vigorously as they wish. Flag burning is explicitly legal because the flag code prescribes
    disposal of "dishonoured" flags by burning.
     
  7. NDGAARONDI

    NDGAARONDI Newbies can change this!

    Thanks. It was mooted that Holocaust denial be illegal in the EU yonks ago but one of our rabbis opposed it as it was preferential treatment to others who have suffered from other genocides.

    Edit: Going to see this documentary about this famous Westboro church that I was introduced to by ZP. You have some religious nutters in London, especially the Congolese church. Pity nobody has the balls to take them on!
     

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