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.
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.