Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hate speech verses freedom of speech - Mary Cummins, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California

Hate speech verses free speech, differences, verses, Mary Cummins, Los Angeles, California
There is a huge difference between hate speech and freedom of speech. Hate speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits. Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate, express one's opinions and ideas.

Hate speech has been legally defined as "speech that poses an imminent danger of unlawful action, where the speaker has the intention to incite such action and there is the likelihood that this will be the consequence of his or her speech, may be restricted and punished by that law." In legal cases hate speech has been equated to discrimination, harassment, hostile work place environment, fraud...

Freedom of speech as per the First Amendment to the Constitution states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Although the vast majority of speech is protected under the First Amendment, there are some important exceptions, which means that certain types of speech may be restricted by the government and civil actions may be based upon them.

The main exceptions to free speech protection include:

Defamation (includes libel and slander): discussed in greater depth below.

Obscenity: The Supreme Court test for obscenity is as follows: (a) whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest; (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

Fighting words: As defined by the Supreme Court, fighting words are "those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace."

Causing panic: The classic example of speech causing panic is someone yelling "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater. Speech may be suppressed where a reasonable person would know that his speech is likely to cause panic and/or harm to others.

Incitement to crime: Speech that spurs another to commit a crime.

Sedition: Speech that advocates unlawful conduct against the government or the violent overthrow of the government.

Another exception is lying. While it's legal to lie it is not legal to lie with the purpose to cheat, steal or harm someone. If someone were to do that, they could be sued in civil court.

Hate speech is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech. Unless a particular instance of hate speech falls under one of the exceptions to free speech listed above, it cannot be constitutionally suppressed by the government. While it cannot be constitutionally suppressed by the government, you can still be sued in civil court if there are damages.


Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary Cummins-Cobb, Mary, Cummins, Cobb, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, instructor, teacher, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Brentwood, Bel Air, California, licensed, permitted, single family, condo, pud, hud, fannie mae, freddie mac, uspap, certified, residential, certified resident, apartment building, multi-family, commercial, industrial, expert witness, civil, criminal, orea, dre, insurance, bonded, experienced, bilingual, spanish, english, form, 1004, 2055, land, raw, acreage, vacant, insurance, cost, income approach, market analysis, comparative, theory, appraisal theory, cost approach, sales, matched pairs, plot, plat, map, diagram, photo, photographs, photography, rear, front, street, subject, comparable, sold, listed, active, pending, expired, cancelled, listing, mls, multiple listing service, claw, themls,

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