Friday, May 22, 2015

Majority Of Democrats Okay With Violating First Amendment

Freedom Force

A poll released Wednesday by the online pollster YouGov has found that a plurality of the American public, as well as a majority of Democrats, support limiting the First Amendment to allow a ban on hate speech.

The poll, conducted from May 8-11, asked respondents whether they would support a law criminalizing “public comments intended to stir up hatred against a group based on such things as their race, gender, religion, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.” Overall, 41 percent of Americans supported such a laws, while only 38 percent were opposed (22 percent were unsure).

Among those supporting a ban on hate speech were 51 percent of Democrats, as well as 37 percent of Republicans. The higher figure for Democrats was driven in large part by the attitudes of black and Hispanic respondents. Sixty-two percent of blacks favored a ban on hate speech, as did 50 percent of Hispanics. In contrast, only 36 percent of whites wanted a ban.

YouGov found other significant demographic divides among respondents. Those age 69 or older were the most supportive of a hate speech ban, but they were followed by those aged 18-29, while those of intermediate age were more protective of free speech. Women and those earning under $40,000 a year were also more willing to ban hate speech.

A ban on hate speech, if it passes, would utterly violate the First Amendment as it is currently interpreted by U.S. courts. The Supreme Court has, among other things, upheld the legality of cross-burning and affirmed the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to picket funerals and other events with hateful signs. Even hate speech calling for violence is protected in U.S. law, as long as the advocacy is general rather than promoting immediate and specific action.


  1. I wonder how this would work in a theoretical setting? I understand that Christians against gay marriage would be considered hate speech since it is speech against someone's sexual orientation. But wouldn't speech in favor of gay marriage also be hate speech against some Christian's religion? How many people would have to be offended for something to qualify as hate speech?

    1. What's your point, Jim? Is there no such thing as hate speech?

    2. On the contrary Mike - by definition, most speech could be considered hate speech by someone or the other. Any talk of Christ could be seen as hate by non Christians. Any talk of Allah could be seen as hate by Christians. Take just about any topic and there will be a group for it and a group against it. So any speech that deals with a topic that has more than one viewpoint could be considered hate speech. Hell if the weatherman says "unfortunately it looks like it will rain today" that could be considered hate speech by people that like the rain. Why is rain "unfortunate?" Why do you want to make me feel bad for enjoying the rain? You do see how this could easily spiral out of control as to what is and is not allowed right? Hell most of what some of your commenters in favor of gun control spew calling people vile names and insinuating that guns are substitutes for male genitalia would also be hate speech right?

  2. Fortunately, if any laws are passed attempting to restrict this Constitutional right, citizens have some recent Supreme Court decisions to fall back on to seek redress, unlike some other countries.