View Poll Results: Is protesting at funerals 'Free Speech'?

Voters
55. You may not vote on this poll
  • No, this was never the intent of the founding fathers!

    2 3.64%
  • It's harassment and should be illegal

    24 43.64%
  • It's open to interpretation

    4 7.27%
  • It's most certainly a form of protected free speech

    18 32.73%
  • Other, please explain

    7 12.73%
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Thread: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

  1. #91
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Goobie knocked you up?!??!?!
    Apparently, he infected me with his genomemes. I'll be posting about it on the abortion forum.

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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexa View Post
    are you not putting the right to be obscene above the right to respectfully bury the dead.
    Did you read the article above that clarified that the people at the funeral DID NOT HEAR the protestors or see their signs from the funeral? We already have noise and protest ordinances in effect that attempt to minimize possible disturbances while allowing free expression.

    That is do people at a funeral not have the right to bury their dead in peace.
    That question isn't relevant, because the funeral was not disrupted. It's also a false dichotomy. It is possible for people to protest AND for the funeral to be conducted in peace. In fact, that's exactly what happened in the case in question.

    http://www.debatepolitics.com/polls/...post1058687108

    However, if it was a choice between upholding free speech and protecting people from hearing it, I'll vote in favor of free speech every time. It is the speech that offends me that is in the most need of protection.
    Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 04-14-10 at 03:08 PM.

  3. #93
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Depends. One could easily find tons of psychological evidence to show that having someone gloating about the death of a loved one at said loved one's funeral will almost definitely inflict a severe emotional injury upon a person, and the data would likely show that these emotional injuries would be almost universal.
    I was thinking more in terms of the nature of the 'speech' - the burning of the flag - as likely to incite violence/riot, rather than cause harm in and of itself.

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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    Did you read the article above that clarified that the people at the funeral DID NOT HEAR the protestors or see their signs from the funeral? We already have noise and protest ordinances in effect that attempt to minimize possible disturbances while allowing free expression.



    That question isn't relevant, because the funeral was not disrupted.

    http://www.debatepolitics.com/polls/...post1058687108
    This is a relevant fact to this particular case. Doesn't Phelps, in other instances, truly disrupt funerals, or is it always out of earshot?

  5. #95
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyOwnDrum View Post
    This is a relevant fact to this particular case. Doesn't Phelps, in other instances, truly disrupt funerals, or is it always out of earshot?
    That's a good question. If we have to allow funerals to be disrupted in order to allow free speech, I guess I'm okay with that.

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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMidRighter View Post
    I'm not a fan of curtailing speech, but fighting words have merit. For instance, there are two ways to say "I'm gonna kick your ass", if I said it to a friend calmly after he pranked me, then we laugh, it's not fighting words; however if I say it to a stranger in a bar after he spills my drink and it's an obviously angry tone, it could be construed as assault if he feels endangered, as well if he took a pre-emptive strike it could fall under self-defense since he felt threatened.

    I see no difference here. If the Westboro cult expressed their message on Main St. in the middle of town then I'd say it's absolutely protected(although I wouldn't mind seeing a Toyota with a stuck gas pedal jumpt the curb and run them over) but saying that in front of grieving relatives in their time of vulnerability at the funeral is such a test of Time/Place/Manner that I think it warrants further discussion than simply proclaiming it free speech.
    They are not saying, "let's fight/kill soldiers" they are just saying that they are glad that soldiers are dead. Big difference.

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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    I suppose this would be an example of exercising one's freedom of speech. However, a furneral isn't the forum I'd choose to voice my grievences publically. I just don't think protesting during a funeral whether the protesters can be heard or not is the proper venue for one's voice to be heard. Let the dead whomever he or she may be, whatever he or she might have done right or wrong, be buried in peace.

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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    That's a good question. If we have to allow funerals to be disrupted in order to allow free speech, I guess I'm okay with that.
    And that's where I would draw the line. This case is a poor test case, since the father claimed seeing the protest on TV was what caused his mental anguish. That's definitely a shakier claim than if the picketers had actually disrupted the funeral more directly.

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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyOwnDrum View Post
    And that's where I would draw the line. This case is a poor test case, since the father claimed seeing the protest on TV was what caused his mental anguish. That's definitely a shakier claim than if the picketers had actually disrupted the funeral more directly.
    I don't believe they've actually disrupted a funeral. I know they've protested funerals, but my impression is that they've generally followed local laws and ordinances while protesting. Which would diminish the potential for disruption of the actual proceedings.

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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    That's the only type of injury words could possibly inflict.
    Obviously, no need to be that way. I am clarifying since I did not read your extensive back and forth posts about it.

    Emotional injury is not relevant. They could also have said, "I don't like you and someday you will burn in hell." That could cause emotional inury. It is not illegal.

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