RECENT  POSTS:  » I can't keep pretending to care about [insert activist] saying [insert ridiculous thing] » NOM president: Marriage ruling is 'Dred Scott decision of our time' » Episcopalians approve ceremonies for all legally-qualified couples » NOM's wishful (and disrespectful) thinking: SCOTUS ruling is 'illegitimate' » Focus on the Family creates itemized price list for 'saving' marriage » Fox News pays this person for his opinions » Pat Buchanan doubles down on 1983 column claiming AIDS is nature's punishment » Is NOM really going to push for a constitutional convention on marriage? » Video: Great piece from 'CBS Sunday Morning' highlights sweet success » Yes, the American marriage equality fight is over—the rest is just bluster  

« Go back a post || Return to G-A-Y homepage || Haul tail to next post »

10/06/2010

Preparatory notes on a potential Westboro win

by Jeremy Hooper

Since the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments today in the case of Snyder vs. Phelps, it's important to go ahead and prepare ourselves for the very good chance that Westboro Baptist Church will prevail. Because to be honest: They have a really strong case!

As we've noted several times before in regards to this case: We all have a responsibility to temper our emotional responses to Westboro, making sure to let the facts guide our reactions to the case presented to and Westboro-yet-another-boring-signdecided by the high court. Most anyone with a heart sides with Mr. Snyder or anyone else who has been subjected to a Westboro funeral picket. Nobody understands this more than the LGBT community, since experienced these kinds of pickets for years before the media fully caught on (the spotlight didn't really get white hot until WBC started picketing soldier funerals). We all see that yes, obviously, the actions are objectionable. So obviously the easy response is to try to stop them at any cost.

But unfortunately, the cost being discussed is First Amendment freedom. And to weigh those matters, we simply have to turn to the empirical data. In the current case: Westboro was 1,000+ feet away from the Maryland funeral, as stipulated by state law. MD actually has one of the most aggressive buffer zone of this type, and the Phelpses respected it (as they always do). Plus largely, Mr. Snyder learned the facts of the picket not from firsthand experience, but rather from TV that he saw at a later time, as well as the postmortem writings (or "epics, as they call them) that Westboro posted about their experiences in MD. While no parent should have to go through any of this at any time, these facts must be respected in court.

Look, it pains us to have to make any kind of a case against a still-grieving father who has been robbed of so much peace because of this one vitriolic band of anti-gay, anti-[insert most anything] flamethrowers. But the constitution is the constitution. And if we are going to so fully support the courts when it comes to our freedoms (and defend the courts against those who put their personal whims above the civil law) then we have no choice but to traffic in specific information rather than personal passions. This remains true no matter how understandable and justified those passions may be.

space gay-comment gay-G-A-Y-post gay-email gay-writer-jeremy-hooper


Your thoughts

comments powered by Disqus

G-A-Y Comments Policy


 
Related Posts with Thumbnails