I don't think it really does. If the words themselves cause real, measurable, immediate harm, that's different (slander, "fire" in a crowded building, etc).
By leaving speech open to content-based restrictions, you would make it so we could democratically choose to say, "You know what? It's illegal to even advocate for gay rights." And if we could
do that, we would have fifty years ago, and the gay rights movement would have to live underground forever.
You can't just say, "Well, content based restrictions should be in place when they work for the good of the people," (e.g. "You can't say that black people are worth less than white people" something that we might all agree would make the world a better place) because society is always sure it's right about something that ends up being wrong. The other side would say their content-based restrictions work for the good of the people.
No thanks, I'd prefer to live in a world where the racist and homophobe can say their peace, and I can make fun of them for their bigotry than a world where only one but not the other could exist.
Yes, we can choose not to associate ourselves with people who have offensive opinions, and our own freedom of speech allows us to say how stupid we think they are. I wasn't arguing against that, but I do
argue against making things procedurally more difficult for people with offensive opinions.
edited 7th Feb '13 8:36:02 AM by Vericrat
Much to my BFF's wife's chagrin, No Pants 2013 became No Pants 2010's at his house.