Homos and Bigots Unite!
John Derbyshire is not someone I particularly agree with, but he is right to sound the alarm about this:

69-year-old Harry Hammond, arrested last year in England and fined over $1,000 for holding up a placard that said: STOP IMMORALITY. STOP HOMOSEXUALITY. STOP LESBIANISM

I think it’s a pretty sorry state of affairs when the government arrests people for voicing opinions, no matter how obnoxious those opinions may be.
This is the crime of which this poor old man was convicted:

….display any writing, sign or other visible representation that is threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm and distress thereby.

Hey, man, there goes my month-old blog! In England I am already a criminal. Anyone who opens my blog and sees the “homofascist” posting the other day might very well feel harassed, alarmed, or distressed. Brent Bozell and Bill O’Reilly might also feel the same way about blogs attacking them. As I said yesterday, “You have a constitutional right to be sickened by anything and everything which sickens you. Just don’t get mad at me for not puking.”
In a free country, we have the following social compact: you promise not to arrest me for making you sick, and in return, I promise not to arrest you for getting sick. What is wrong with that?
Does anyone think criminalization of offensive speech can’t happen here? Do you think those who are “offended” could care less whether I am serious or engaging in satire?
What if I get mad and ask, really loudly “Just who are these homofascists, anyway?”
Arrest me! Please! My blog needs the publicity!