By: Kyle Forti
“Marriage is the foundation of the natural family and sustains family values.” There was a day in the not too distant past when a person wouldn’t think twice after reading that statement. And why should they? It’s a simple sentence that conveys something we’ve known for thousands upon thousands of years – that marriage is the innate institution of the family.
Recently, these very words were circulated in an email through the Oakland, CA government’s open email system and employee bulletin board. The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has now labeled this innocent sentence as possible hate speech and a violation of the First Amendment protections! I am writing today not to ask you to ban gay marriage, or even continue to uphold the natural definition of marriage, but to simply allow for the sentence I started with to be spoken today.
Have we come so far in the United States that we have completely lost the ability to discern the difference between “hate speech” and “free speech”? In regard to this matter, I would specifically like to mention the “hate crimes” legislation at a federal level – H.R. 1592 and S. 1105 and ask you to do everything in your power to oppose them.
I want to make it clear that I do not advocate true hate speech in any way. Those that scream threats of assassinating our leaders or President, those that want men and women with different views locked up, those that encourage violence against others, etc. should be punished as is already provided for by the laws on our books. What I do have a problem with is our federal government having the power to prosecute what may be considered to some as politically incorrect speech. While violent crimes cannot be tolerated, the free flow of opinions and facts must be upheld and encouraged in a free society. That is why I am strongly against the passage of either H.R. 1592 or S. 1105.
After all, why has there been a sudden hard push for national “hate speech” legislation? Have we ever needed such laws in the past? What has so abruptly changed in America that we now need to censor opinions and beliefs? Could it be possible that the advocates behind the introduction of these laws are pushing an agenda to shut down their opponents? I would have to believe so. As evidenced by the beginning of this letter and everything else I have read, “Hate speech” policy seems to deal less with the true threats of violence and more with the pushing of a liberal agenda.
I can express the most profane and perverse thoughts and ideas in a movie or piece of music, yet if a person has a difference of opinion on a political or social matter on talk radio or other news programs, it is immediately branded as hurtful and unfair. If the ultimate goal of these “hate speech” bills is fairness, then I suppose we should just give up the fight now and ban free speech altogether. No matter what is said, what one speaks will always be considered unfair to someone.
In order to fully advocate the preservation of foundational principles of a free society, I would again encourage you to vote against H.R. 1592 and S. 1105 and uphold a free and great America.
Kyle Forti is a conservative political activist and campaign staffer from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He recently wrote the above article as a letter to Congress on the subject of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech laws. The article is timely since the Senate could vote as early as this coming week on a Hate Speech amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill.