Dear folks concerned about their freedom of speech,
Freedom is not absolute.
You know this. After all, you can't go around punching anyone you like, and you know why: because your right to hurt people isn't morally equal to their right to walk around unmolested.
Now, here's the part most people don't seem to get: speech is the same way, because speech can hurt people. Duh! I mean, anyone who's been bullied in middle school knows that the old saw about "sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me," is complete bull.
So no, my right to kiss my boyfriend is not
morally equal to your right to call us faggot ass-pirates. Because kissing my boyfriend causes you no harm whatsoever, while your statement is meant explicitly to hurt us.
Now, you can argue, "Wait a minute, man, I've read up a bit on Constitutional law! Haven't you heard of Brandenburg v. Ohio
? The law protects speech unless it's inciting a riot or causing immediate danger! Calling you a faggot ass-pirate isn't a threat, just a slur; it's totally legal."
To which I say, yup, you're absolutely right, gold star. Thing is, I'm not talking about law. Of course it's legal to call Republicans Nazis and me a faggot wannaboy ass-pirate. The thing is, it's also
an assholic thing to do. I ain't talking what's legal; lots of things are legal that I disagree with, and vice versa. I'm talking what's right
And what's right is that you don't shout abuse at people. Just like kindergarten teachers tell you. It adds nothing to the conversation; it just puts people down and implies that they're not worthy of conversing and debating with like human beings. And equating your right to do that with my right to express affection is... well, pretty fucked up. Legal, but fucked up.
Your thoughts and feelings are as free as birds. You can think and feel whatever you want. But don't pretend you're so persecuted when other people tell you that hate speech isn't allowed on their blog. Don't pretend you're being censored, that your freedom of speech is being curtailed, and that you're being egregiously injured that gays can be gay on the web, but you can't be a homophobe.
You're just being denied the ability to hurt people. You're being denied the ability to act like a douche in someone else's house.
As is their right to do. Because your right to be an asshole is not equal to my right to walk around unmolested.