Do Hate Crime Laws Often Violate the Right to Free Speech?

  • The law is not to protect your feelings.

    There is no such thing as 'limited free speech'. You can either speak freely or you cannot. A hate speech law considers words to be dangerous, and that is a horrifyingly totalitarian principle to put in place, as while it may be used to 'protect' you today, it will be used to silence opposing views and ideas tomorrow.
    Calling an idea 'hatefull' is entirely subjective, and has no limits to which it ends.
    Simply put, there should not be a law that allows the government to shut up people that it doesn't like.

  • Not in the United States

    Hate crime laws are only used when a crime is already being committed which would be a crime even if there was no hate element to it, to enhance penalties. Calling someone racial slurs or saying you hate X group or Y group is not considered a hate crime. But if you do that and then beat someone up what you said can be used as evidence that the crime was motivated by hate.

    This is not to say hate crime enhancement is a good thing or a bad thing. It's appropriate to take motivation into account in sentencing but I would need to know more to know whether this is really a wise policy. Are hate-motivated people harder to rehabilitate? Is it harder to deter hate-biased crimes?

  • No you can't hurt others

    Hate laws were put into place to protect citizens especially those who are in the minority against the general public. These laws are not taking anything away because they are protecting people. You may have the right to free speech but not the right to hurt upon others. We need to have a balance.

  • No, hate crime laws do not protect individuals far enough.

    Free speech needs to be limited from causing actual harm. Predators create how-to manuals used for kidnapping and torturing women, yet they are able to continually sell them in the name of free speech. Meanwhile, the number one cause of harm of women worldwide is violence from a partner. Violence against women is a hate crime and assailants should not be able to hide behind free speech laws.

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