This is an article from Time Magazine, very informative on where your right to free speech starts, and ends.
Here's a tidbit:
[size-5]warning - profanity[size]
Hackbart, 34, was looking for a parking space on busy Murray Avenue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on April 10, 2006. Spotting one, he
attempted to back into it, but the driver of the car behind him refused to back up and give him sufficient room. Hackbart responded in the classic
way. "I stuck my hand out the window and gave him the finger to say 'Hey, jerk, thanks,' " says Hackbart. "That's all I was trying to say —
'Thanks, thanks a lot.' "
At that moment, a voice rang out telling Hackbart not to make the rude gesture in public. "So I was like, How dare that person tell me? They
obviously didn't see what happened. Who are they to tell me what to say?" he says. "So I flipped that person off. And then I looked, and it was a
city of Pittsburgh cop in his car right next to me."
That turned out to be police sergeant Brian Elledge, who happened to be passing in the other direction in his cruiser. Elledge whipped around and
pulled Hackbart over, citing him under the state's disorderly-conduct law, which bans obscene language and gestures. And here's where the problem
lies, says state American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) legal director Witold (Vic) Walczak: the middle finger and equivalent swear words are not
legally obscene. In fact, courts have consistently ruled that foul language is a constitutionally protected form of expression. A famous 1971 Supreme
Court case upheld the right of a young man to enter the Los Angeles County Court House wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words [snip]."
The rest of the article details various organizations talking about how police officers use their judgment, sometimes very poorly when issuing
citations and tickets for misconduct.
However, profanity is not illegal, it is actually legal as per the case listed above.
What do you all think?
Censor circumvention removed fron external content
[edit on 17/9/09 by masqua]