Friday, September 01, 2006

Politically Offensive Speech Protected

We read:

"A US student who sued school officials after he was made to censor his T-shirt that labelled President George W Bush "Chicken-Hawk-In-Chief" and a former alcohol and cocaine abuser won an appeal yesterday to wear the shirt to school.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favour of Zachery Guiles, who through his parents claimed his free speech rights had been violated".


The verdict is right and proper. Speech about politically contentious matters must be protected, no matter how much it might offend part of the population. But I wonder what would have happened if the shirt had borne an equally derogatory message about homosexuals? Judging by recent California precedents, the outcome would have been very different.

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