- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2017

The victor in last term’s big First Amendment case over offensive speech says this year’s Supreme Court battle, which pits free speech rights against gay rights, is completely different.

Simon Tam, founder of the band “The Slants,” won a unanimous decision last term against the Patent and Trademark Office after the justices ruled that even if his name was offensive to some, the government had no business denying it a trademark.

Mr. Tam told The Washington Times that’s completely different than this term’s case, in which a Christian baker says Colorado is infringing on his free speech rights by forcing him to bake cakes for gay clients’ weddings, or not bake at all.

“If a baker can refuse service on this basis to LGBTQ people, why not a mechanic? A police officer? A doctor?” said Mr. Tam, whose case helped protect the Washington Redskins’ trademark. “The First Amendment guarantees that our rights won’t be interfered with by the government but this is only tangentially related in that the speech isn’t actually being burdened.”

Nearly two dozen states have public accommodation laws like Colorado’s aimed at preventing discrimination on the basis of race, gender, disability, marital status and sexual orientation.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide