Hate crime laws: Do hate crime laws conform with principles of free speech?

  • Preventing Hate Speech Protects American Society

    Free speech is not infinite. People cannot commit slander, which is telling
    damaging lies about someone in private life. They cannot commit libel,
    which is publishing damaging lies. They cannot share secrets they have
    agreed to keep, especially secrets involving national security. Famously, they
    cannot yell fire in a crowded theater. It is perfectly legitimate to extend these
    reasonable limits on speech to protect our nation from the hate crimes that damage
    individuals and besmirch any society where they are tolerated.

  • Hate Crime Laws often criminalize free speech.

    Many so-called 'Hate Crime Laws' do not conform with the principles of free speech because they criminalize thoughts and ideas the state deems 'hateful'. In some European countries for example, people have been arrested and sometimes convicted for merely criticizing Islam (Netherlands) or expressing opposition to gay marriage (Sweden), even though they did not commit or endorse any criminal act.

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