Archive for the ‘Free Speech’ Category

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Andrea Mottu

Andrea Mottu

A legal analysis in Canada of their anti-discrimination laws indicates that discrimination might occur if women are to wear revealing clothing and men are not similarly attired.

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal held that a dress code requiring a waitress to wear a bikini top during a nightclub’s Hawai’ian themed event was discriminatory because men were not required to wear a male specific analog of her clothing.

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125px-Flag_of_Malaysia.svgPrisonCellWe have yet another attack on free speech and the free press from one of our allies. Malaysian cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Alhaque, better known as Zunar, has been hit with nine counts of sedition for tweets critical of the country’s judiciary. It is an outrageous prosecution brought under a law that defines sedition as any comment that promotes hatred toward the government. Zunar previously defended his art against claims that it is defamatory. Zunar faces up to 43 years in jail if found guilty on all nine charges.

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"A Revolutionary Committee during the Terror." An engraving of 1798 with a negative portrayal of policing functions during the Terror carried out by radicalized sans-culottes in Paris.There is an interesting lawsuit in France by six survivors of the January attack by Islamic extremist Amedy Coulibaly at the Hyper Casher Jewish supermarket in Paris. The six people were mortified after learning that French media broadcasted their hiding location in a refrigerator while Coulibaly was looking for hostages and threatening to kill them all.

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Wedding_cake_with_pillar_supports,_2009This week, I appeared on the CNN special addressing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Indiana. While I have been a long-standing supporter of same-sex marriage, I raised concerns over the dismissive treatment of religious concerns over the scope of anti-discrimination laws and how they may curtail free exercise of religion. I have previously written both columns and academic work on this collision between the two areas of law. In the program, I raised an example of the growing conflicts that we discussed earlier on this blog of a bakery that refused to make a cake deemed insulting to homosexuals while other bakers are objecting to symbols that they view as insulting to their religious views. This issue also came up with an advocate for LGBT rights on the show:

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220px-Washington_Post_buildingPresident_Barack_ObamaWe have previously discussed the criticism of reporters, newspapers like the New York Times, and international groups that President Obama has run one of the most hostile Administrations in history to press freedom and public openness. Now that Democratic stalwart, the Washington Post, has joined in the chorus of critics, detailing the secretive, almost Nixonian culture of the Obama Administration in a new article.

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Washiqur_Rahman_MishuWe recently discussed the savage murder of Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, in Bangladesh by Islamic extremists. Now, another blogger who wrote about Islamic extremism has been hacked to death. Washiqur Rahman Mishu, 27, was hacked and stabbed to by the Islamists in broad day light in Tejgaon Industrial area of Dhaka.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Michael Kelley

Michael Kelley

In yet another example of insensitive, zero-tolerance approaches, school faculty members of Wichita East High in Wichita, Kansas reportedly compelled a special needs student athlete having both Down syndrome and autism to remove a varsity letter his mother bought for him. He was given instead a girl’s sweater to wear.

School officials stated he could not wear the varsity letter because he was not a member of the varsity team. Apparently they were forced to act upon this transgression because “one parent complained” and therefore no exception could be made for this student.

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