When it comes to freedom of speech, were in the midst of a revival.
On Monday, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phoenix artists Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski of Brush & Nib Studio, holding that the Arizona Constitutions Free Speech Clause does what it purports to do; namely, it ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.
This ruling continues a trend back toward the fundamental freedoms of belief and expression that our nation was founded upon. Its a welcome change.
Not long ago, Tolerance 2.0 was in full swing. For the uninitiated, Tolerance 1.0allowed for the existence of opinions that one dislikes or disagrees with. In contrast, Tolerance 2.0seeks the homogenization of belief and expression, particularly as it relates to the government-approved orthodoxy regarding marriage and human sexuality.
Those who dissented by stubbornly clinging to their sincerely-held beliefs were to be punished. They were to be rebuked, reeducated, and (if successful) reintroduced to society as reformed. Alternatively, they were to be removed from polite society and the public square.
The examples are numerous, but include:
-Jack Phillips, the cake artist in Colorado
-Barronelle Stutzman, the florist in Washington
-Blaine Adamson, the promotional printer in Kentucky
-Carl and Angel Larsen, the filmmakers in Minnesota
-Joanna and Breanna, the artists in Arizona
One by one, these men and women were forced to plead their cases before human rights commissions, as well as state and federal courts. They faced the possibility of fines, the loss of personal assets, or even prison. Some received death threats or were compared to Nazis. All were told some variation of this message: compromising your religious beliefs is the price of citizenship.
But then Jack Phillips stood before the U.S. Supreme Court, and Justice Kennedy proclaimed that tolerance is essential in a free society. I wrote at the time that Masterpiece Cakeshopwould require that the justices grapple with the question of what tolerance demands in a free society. The Court answered, in part, ruling that the state in its position here has beenneither tolerantnor respectful of Mr. Phillips religious beliefs and condemning the commission for implying that religious beliefs and persons are less than fully welcome in Colorados business community.
Many wondered what might come next. Would lower courts protect the constitutional freedoms of all Americans, or simply require future infringement on those freedoms to be undertaken with more respect (that is, with less overt hostility)?
We are starting to see the answer.
Just weeks ago on August 23, Blaine Adamson stood before the Kentucky Supreme Court and asked it to rule that Americans need not surrender their First Amendment rights of expression and belief when they enter the public square. Two lower courts in the state have already ruled in favor of Blaine and his company, Hands On Originals. Its very possible the Kentucky Supreme Court will uphold those decisions.
On that same day, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Carl and Angel Larsen, holding that the First Amendment allows the Larsens to choose when to speak and what to say. The Larsens seek to make films about Gods design for marriage as a lifelong union of one man and one woman, but a state law demands that if the Larsens produce such films, they must also create films celebrating same-sex marriage. The courts ruling instructs the trial court to reconsider whether the Larsens are entitled to a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of the law.
Mondays ruling in Arizona gives defenders of freedom additional cause to rejoice. It recognizes that, while Christian professionals like Joanna and Breanna happily serve all people, they are unable to express messages that conflict with their faith. The Court held:
Plaintiffs must, and they do, serve all customers regardless of their sexual orientation. But no law, including a public accommodations law, is immune from the protections of free speech and free exercise. The enduring strength of the First Amendment is that it allows people to speak their minds and express their beliefs without government interference. But here, the City effectively cuts off Plaintiffs right to express their beliefs about samesex marriage by telling them what they can and cannot say.
Time will tell if this trend continues. Barronelle Stutzman loves her longtime customer and friend Rob Ingersoll, but she was sued when she respectfully declined his invitation to help celebrate his same-sex ceremony, and now faces the loss of everything she owns. She may be headed back to the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Jack Phillips remains embroiled in the latest attack on his faith and livelihood. It remains to be seen whether freedom of belief and expression will prevail in his case.
Any good revival doesnt just beginit endures. Lets hope this recent free speech revival turns out to be a good one.
The rest is here:
- The US Supreme Court vs the First Amendment - The Independent - April 27th, 2020
- Two Universities React as Antisemitism Steps Out of the Shadows - Lubavitch.com - April 27th, 2020
- Article 19: The freedom of Speech and expression - India Today - April 27th, 2020
- After FIRs for Hate Speech, Arnab Goswami Will Be Back in the Studio With SC Protection - Qrius - April 27th, 2020
- Halting disinformation in a time of pandemic: the need to tread very carefully - The Hill Times - April 27th, 2020
- China's 'wolf warrior' diplomats show teeth in defending virus response - The Times of Israel - April 27th, 2020
- FREEDOM OF PRESS IN AGE OF 'RETREATING DEMOCRACY' - Kashmir Reader - April 27th, 2020
- Wars Are Bad For Free SpeechThe Coronavirus War Will Be No Exception - The National Interest - April 3rd, 2020
- Forging the Four Freedoms Initiative for prosperity and peace in the Balkans - Atlantic Council - April 3rd, 2020
- Devoleena Bhattacharjee: Cyber bullies are misusing their right to freedom of speech - Times of India - April 3rd, 2020
- Coronavirus: Hungarys right-wing leader given unlimited powers that could curb free speech - Mirror Online - April 3rd, 2020
- The Centre Is Back to Using the Bogey of 'Fake News' to Try and Suppress Press Freedom - The Wire - April 3rd, 2020
- Scholars Call for Limits on Freedom of Speech - The Heartland Institute - March 25th, 2020
- Opinion | Have hope - alreporter.com - March 25th, 2020
- Dissent in a time of Covid - Spiked - March 25th, 2020
- How Bad Is Online Harassment? - Reason - March 25th, 2020
- How to win the campus free-speech wars - Spiked - March 16th, 2020
- University free speech society told it is a 'red risk' and needs to have all external speakers vetted - Telegraph.co.uk - March 16th, 2020
- Why Toby Young and other robust white men are using free speech to whip universities - The Guardian - March 4th, 2020
- Behind the SECs War on Freedom of Speech - Yahoo Finance - March 4th, 2020
- NRB Resolves that Religious Liberty & Freedom of Speech Must Prevail - MissionsBox - March 4th, 2020
- 10 Chinese Readers Share Their Stories of the Coronavirus Crisis - The New York Times - March 4th, 2020
- No platforming nowhere near as productive as debate or conversation - The Badger Herald - March 4th, 2020
- Bitcoin Is the Technology of Dissent That Secures Individual Liberties - Bitcoin Magazine - March 4th, 2020
- Fighting corruption can unite the American people - The Fulcrum - March 4th, 2020
- The Guardian is not a fan of Toby Young or free speech - The Post Millennial - March 4th, 2020
- ASUC fails students when it comes to free speech - Daily Californian - February 29th, 2020
- Toby Young's 'Free Speech Union' is illogical - and more to the point, it won't work - inews - February 29th, 2020
- Baranyai: Defending free speech requires we condemn offensive ideas - The London Free Press - February 29th, 2020
- An Instagram Account That Accused Subodh Gupta of Sexual Harassment Has Agreed to Apologize in Exchange for the Artist Dropping His Lawsuit - artnet... - February 29th, 2020
- How progressives and conservatives have changed the debate over freedom of speech - Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) - February 22nd, 2020
- How the Hare Krishna led to a free speech booth at St. Louis airport - Alton Telegraph - February 22nd, 2020
- OPINION: The importance of freedom of speech in the christian community - Argonaut - February 22nd, 2020
- Netanyahu Boasts That He Destroyed Free Speech in America - Truthdig - February 22nd, 2020
- What We Really Mean by Free Speech - Jewish Journal - February 22nd, 2020
- Verbum Ultimum: Crying Wolf - The Dartmouth - February 22nd, 2020
- Calls for freedom of speech on rise in China as coronavirus death toll soars to over 1,100 - Outlook India - February 12th, 2020
- Education secretary Gavin Williamson says universities must do more to protect free speech or the government will - PinkNews - February 12th, 2020
- Morocco: Crackdown against activists for criticizing the King, public institutions and officials - Amnesty International - February 12th, 2020
- Dr. Ricky Jones talks to students after anti-gay pamphlets were handed out to LGBTQ-focused classroom - WHAS11.com - February 11th, 2020
- Swiss vote to approve legislation to protect LGBTQ+ rights - The Guardian - February 11th, 2020
- Julian Assange Wins 2020 Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award - Consortium News - February 11th, 2020
- In a small state of poetry: Why poets are on the front lines of the free-speech fight - The Providence Journal - February 7th, 2020
- Bill that would extend freedom of speech to student journalists amended in committee - Fauquier Times - February 7th, 2020
- Editorial: Ohio Senate bill on free speech goes further than it should - The Columbus Dispatch - February 7th, 2020
- Faculty asked Zimmer for an open forum to discuss UChicago's free speech policy. Here's what they got instead. - The Chicago Maroon - February 7th, 2020
- No, Boris is not the most 'sinister' threat to media freedom - Spiked - February 7th, 2020
- Removing Section 144 Will Lead to 'Chaos', Free Speech 'Not Absolute': Ahmedabad Police - The Wire - February 7th, 2020
- Why Middlebury was deemed one of the worst colleges for free speech according to FIRE - Burlington Free Press - February 6th, 2020
- In One Month, For Freedoms Will Stage the Largest Congress of Creatives in Americas History. Will You Join Us? - artnet News - February 6th, 2020
- What BDN readers think about planned live-action 'Bambi' movie - Bangor Daily News - February 6th, 2020
- What are the limits of freedom of speech? - The New Indian Express - February 6th, 2020
- 'You're the ENEMY of free speech' Piers Morgan slams 'snowflakes triggered by everything' - Express - February 6th, 2020
- Quillen Op-Ed: 'How to Protect Free Speech in the Age of Mass Shootings' - Davidson News - January 19th, 2020
- Brazils Top Culture Official Fired Over Speech Evoking Nazi Propaganda - The New York Times - January 19th, 2020
- Franklin Republican wants to make it a crime to burn symbol of liberty - The Union Leader - January 19th, 2020
- Experts warn of foreign disinformation in 2020 election that could 'annihilate truth' - The Daily World - January 19th, 2020
- Editorial: NH House should reject bill that violates freedom of the press - Seacoastonline.com - January 19th, 2020
- Montclair State Univ. Sued for 'Unconstitutional' Speech Policy and Favoring One Student Group Over Another Based on Their Beliefs - CBN News - January 19th, 2020
- Sheffield Arena urged to cancel event by 'homophobic' Trump ally - The Guardian - January 19th, 2020
- Free Speech Left for Space as Professor Fired Over a Political Joke - Ask the Truth - January 19th, 2020
- Join the Inquisition or lose your job: wasn't Hong Kong meant to give peace a chance? - Hong Kong Free Press - January 19th, 2020
- Appeals Court reverses conviction in freedom of speech case - Whidbey News-Times - January 5th, 2020
- The war on free speech in Tanzania - The Week Magazine - January 5th, 2020
- Ricky Gervais: 'Offense is the collateral damage of free speech' - Washington Times - January 5th, 2020
- Non-profit sues Iowa State University on grounds of free speech infringement - Local 5 - weareiowa.com - January 5th, 2020
- 'Anne with an E' Season 3 Episode 7 Review: Free speech crusade makes it one of the best episodes on TV - MEAWW - January 5th, 2020
- How I Learned to Love Free Speech - The Good Men Project - December 25th, 2019
- 2019 was the year 'cancel culture' took on a gorgeously messy life of its own - Mashable - December 25th, 2019
- Rugby League: Toronto Wolfpack say Sonny Bill Williams has 'right to freedom of speech' after Uighur tweet - Newshub - December 25th, 2019
- From the Age of Persuasion to the Age of Offense - lareviewofbooks - December 25th, 2019
- California Freelancers Sue To Stop Law That's Destroying Their Jobs. Pol Says Those 'Were Never Good Jobs' Anyway. - Reason - December 25th, 2019
- LeBron James angers Hong Kong protesters with free speech comments - PBS NewsHour - October 16th, 2019
- Internet Industry Under the Microscope as House Committee Grills Witnesses on Liability for Online Content - BroadbandBreakfast.com - October 16th, 2019
- Can we have too much freedom of speech? - Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal - September 19th, 2019
- The Arizona Supreme Court Strikes a Powerful Blow for Free Speech and Religious Freedom - National Review - September 19th, 2019
- The Growing Right-Wing Threat to Campus Free Speech - Reason - September 19th, 2019
- Freedom of Speech Protects Calligraphers' Right Not to Create Custom Same-Sex Wedding Invitations - Reason - September 19th, 2019
- Nicholls holds freedom of speech panel discussion - Daily Comet - September 19th, 2019
- Remembering why free speech is important - Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) - September 19th, 2019