Skip to comments.Whatcott ruling is a very real burden on some speech
Posted on 03/29/2013 6:38:31 AM PDT by Help!
snip The court goes to great pains to argue that its ruling in Whatcott does not bar religious persons and groups from expressing their views about sexual morality in the public sphere. That may be true in principle, but in practice, I am not so sure. For many Christians, the fact that a sexual practice is engaged in by members of the same sex is spiritually and morally significant. Requiring them to frame their arguments against certain sexual practices as though the gender of the participants is irrelevant will tend to distort their views.
We should not kid ourselves, either, that this ruling wont affect the expressive freedom of those too unsophisticated or inarticulate to construct an argument addressing the merits of sexual practices without disparaging those who engage in them. The court in Whatcott engaged in a line-by-line reading of the offending pamphlets, parsing them much more finely than the lower courts. It is all well and good to say that someone who wants to engage in debate on such a sensitive issue ought to be encouraged to think carefully about how his words are likely to be received. But if one cannot enter into the debate without first having a lawyer vet the text, we have imposed a very real burden on those who believe that their religious principles require them to proselytize on sexual morality.
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