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

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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. #131
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    How would you measure it, though, given that grief itself inflicts such a tremendous physical toll on people?
    Specifically, such protests interfere with the "closure" aspect of a funeral which is a necessary step in the grief process. By having this step "desecrated" as such, including derogatory statements about the deceased, the resulting emotional woulds would very likely involved a prolonging of the grief process because it can act as an interruption to the process.

    Also, the reason everyone almost universally finds these actions despicable is the innate understanding that these behaviors are hurtful to those who are bereaved.
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  2. #132
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    Our country is doomed. Offensive language is part of what made this country great.

    Yep, I've always said the national bird should've been the middle finger, even though the eagle is beautiful flipping the bird just feels more right.
    Neither side in an argument can find the truth when both make an absolute claim on it.

    LMR

  3. #133
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Specifically, such protests interfere with the "closure" aspect of a funeral which is a necessary step in the grief process. By having this step "desecrated" as such, including derogatory statements about the deceased, the resulting emotional woulds would very likely involved a prolonging of the grief process because it can act as an interruption to the process.

    Also, the reason everyone almost universally finds these actions despicable is the innate understanding that these behaviors are hurtful to those who are bereaved.
    But do they cause lasting harm that is measurable? And if not, how would a jury award damages?

  4. #134
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Is it free speech? Do you mean, is it protected by the First Amendment? If so, than the answer is no. There are some things that are not protected by the first amendment, these have been decided by our Supreme Court.

    1. Obscenity
    2. Profanity
    3. Libel and Slander
    4. Fighting Words
    5. Clear and Present Danger

    Protesting at a funeral but in particular the words and signs used could easily fall under category three and four.

    Libel and Slander: Libels are damages to reputation expressed in print, writing, pictures, or signs; slander damages reputation by spoken words.

    Fighting words: Words that are likely to provoke the average person to retaliation and cause a "breach of the peace."


    So no, it is not protected by the First Amendment.

  5. #135
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    Hmm. Seems to me, with this, that just about any sort of offensive language may fall under 'causes harm'.
    I think that there is a clear difference involved here due to the nature of grief and the fact that the words in question are designed to degrade the deceased.

    Words such as these, uttered at a funeral are going to inflict harm "by their very utterance". The same cannot be said about "any" sort of offensive language, but certainly about specific types of offensive language.
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  6. #136
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rightwing86 View Post
    Protesting at a funeral but in particular the words and signs used could easily fall under category three and four.

    [B]Libel and Slander: Libels are damages to reputation expressed in print, writing, pictures, or signs; slander damages reputation by spoken words.
    The target of the slander/libel is DEAD. He or she cannot be damaged further.

  7. #137
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    The target of the slander/libel is DEAD. He or she cannot be damaged further.
    The reputation left from that person could be damaged, along with his family members. Plus it still falls under fighting words.

    Reputation = what somebody is known for.

    So therefore it can be damaged even after they are deceased.
    Last edited by Rightwing86; 04-14-10 at 04:14 PM.

  8. #138
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    But do they cause lasting harm that is measurable? And if not, how would a jury award damages?
    By measurable do you mean that they can be documented, or do you mean they can be quantified (as in this caused 14 unhappiness units)?

    Documentable, yes. They'd be present in therapy.

    Quantifiable, no. Emotions are not quantifiable or measurable.

    The damages would be awarded the same way all emotional damages are awarded.
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  9. #139
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    I think that there is a clear difference involved here due to the nature of grief and the fact that the words in question are designed to degrade the deceased.

    Words such as these, uttered at a funeral are going to inflict harm "by their very utterance". The same cannot be said about "any" sort of offensive language, but certainly about specific types of offensive language.
    My concern here is that the subjective nature of all of this will eventually lead to the notion that we have a "freedom from being offended", because to cause offense is to bring harm.

  10. #140
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    My concern here is that the subjective nature of all of this will eventually lead to the notion that we have a "freedom from being offended", because to cause offense is to bring harm.
    It has been like this for quite a while. People just don't know. Look at fighting words or profanity or obscenity all of these things are not protected, some argue it is a slippery slope. I can understand that.

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