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US student wins right to wear homophobic T-shirt to school

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  1. what an absolute dick. Man i hate the usa.

    1. now i know where the bulls, the johns and that other one in the registry office went wrong. they appealed to the British supreme court. they should have gone to America.

      1. I wish they would!

  2. Strictly strictly STRICTLY speaking, I can understand the ruling.
    Provided it’s not causing anyone harm, what’s wrong with wearing any slogan you like?
    It’s freedom of expression. But the moment anyone acts on it, the person wearing the T-shirt needs to be punished as an accessory to the crime.

    1. saynotommmmm 2 Mar 2011, 4:45pm

      so would you feel the same if the shirt had sai,d be happy, not black?

      1. Well… sort of but not really? In the same way as this.

        I support freedom of expression which means I renounce the right to object to what someone wears. But if it causes disruption or if anyone acts on it then it’s causing harm and can be considered as conspiracy to [insert crime that happened here]

        1. ” provided it’s not causing anyone harm, what’s wrong with wearing any slogan you like?” you sure it is not?

          1. The problem is, to me, I’d say it causes a problem the moment someone sees it.
            It’s weird, it’s stupid, it’s convoluted, but I do have to stand up for freedom of expression so I’m not a hypocrite when I tell people to tolerate me as a gay man.

  3. Be happy, not a homophobic bigot.

  4. again with the homophobic christians, it’s stupid that it’s ok for her to wear a homophobic t-shirt!’criticism of homosexuality’ is only ever homophobic rantings and attitudes, there’s never any criticism of heterosexuality for example of black or others in the same ways

  5. Nikki Hatch 2 Mar 2011, 3:53pm

    Too bad they didn’t hit Heidi with the water bottle. It might have knocked some sense into her brainwashed head.

  6. Deeside Will 2 Mar 2011, 3:57pm

    The obvious solution is for other students to wear T-shirts saying “BE HAPPY AND GAY”.

    1. ….or Be Happy Not Xtian

      1. well, true. just like my point about the westboro lot. if free speech is allowed, its allowed to both sides.

        The local t-shirt printing shop is going to be overjoyed, mind you, churning them out pro and anti.

    2. Yeah – I was wondering why I couldn’t be both.

  7. One wonders if the same applied by wearing a “Be Happy, Not Christian” shirt.

    Somehow that would then be seen as blasphemous and anti-social.

    1. Quite. I think a posse of gay students should give it a try.

  8. Christine Beckett 2 Mar 2011, 4:02pm

    “Strictly strictly STRICTLY speaking, I can understand the ruling.
    Provided it’s not causing anyone harm, what’s wrong with wearing any slogan you like?2

    Be Happy. Be White…

    That work, does it?


    The words used in the ruling are the key here. The judges believe that homosexuality is a way of life, a choice.

    As far as tolerance and progressive thought is concerned the USA seems to be moving backwards.

    Remind me again why that nation considers itself as the flagbearer for democracy….


    1. I agree with every word of that, Chrissie. Well said!

    2. It works in exactly the same way. It’s fine right up until it breaches the peace. It’s just that since race is usually more sensitive than sexuality, it’s going to breach the peace a lot quicker.
      I know I’m shooting myself in the foot here, but when I advocate tolerance I’m aware it can’t be unidirectional. ‘I disagree with what you say, but I will fight to defend your right to say it.’ sort of thing…

  9. … more xtian bigotry from the good ole USA. What would have happened i wonder if someone went to the school wearing a t-shirt that said Be Happy Not Christian or Be Happy Not Black

  10. Ian Bower 2 Mar 2011, 4:35pm

    Probably just another self loathing person unable to come to terms with their sexuality.

  11. William Raker 2 Mar 2011, 4:41pm

    I wonder if the christians were as eager to defend a “be happy, not a negro” shirt.

    Homophobia under religion is the last acceptable form of bigotry.

  12. once again the rights of those “that believe” should NEVER come before the rights of thos “who are”.

    Fact vs Fable.

  13. It is inconceivable that the court would have upheld her right to wear a Tshirt with a racist or antisemitic slogan on it.
    Same old, same old. Some prejudices are more respectable than others.

  14. Tom Stoppard 2 Mar 2011, 5:39pm

    What a backward country. I’m so glad I don’t live there.

  15. Tina Holmboe 2 Mar 2011, 5:42pm

    Ok. Then “Be Sane, Not Christian” would, presumably, be equally acceptable.

    Good to know.

  16. so he can wear the shirt as long as it doesn’t cause a breach of the peace? Sounds like we’re victims of our own tolerance then for not breaching the peace in response.
    I’m sure if a student wore a be Happy, Not Christian or a there is no god so enjoy your life t-shirt the people defending this young man would object in such a way that it would cause a breach of the peace and the tshirt would be banned

  17. So get a tee shirt made up that says “Be Happy Be Gay” and wear that to school.

  18. If the court had ruled against her then said ruling would have been widely seized upon by elements in the U.S. as a pretext to censor LGBT rights expression–including GSAs in schools…

    This ruling protects LGBT’ers more than it harms us.

  19. “A school that permits advocacy of the rights of homosexual students cannot be allowed to stifle criticism of homosexuality.”

    Criticism blacks?

    “People in our society do not have a legal right to prevent criticism of their beliefs or their way of life.”

    Gay is belief or way of life? I think I no be black no more. It way of life.

    America is backward country like Uganda.

  20. Over 60% of Americans still believe in the whole religious fantasy thing, so is it any wonder their whole country is going down the tubes rapidly.The place is a paradox where on the one hand thousands are murdered every day by fellow Americans and thousands are legally put to death every year by the state, and on the other the churches are full every Sunday. Democracy is revered yet the USA supports more than 20 despots, dictators and despot royalties world wide in their own interest. McCarthyism is still widely evident altho under different and disparit guises. The right to own a gun is in many states almost as widely revered as is christianity yet thousands are murdered by guns every year. America spends 22% of GDP fighting drugs yet a trillion dollars is spent by Americans every week on illicit drugs. 25 million Americans are without any form of health insurance and are depending on European Charities, mostly British to provide basic health care like dentists and opticians

  21. yet they spend trillions in countries like Columbia “fighting the drug barons” They are spending roughly 50 billion a year on a “war” in Afganistan that they cannot win. The Reality is that the so called “war” is to secure the country so they can build an oil pipeline from Kasikstan to the coast, so Americans can continue to drive 12 mile to the gallon Hummers and gas guzzling caddilacs and pimp palaces on wheels. There are huge tax breaks to encourage Americans to buy Hummers. Food is so cheap that Americans throw away a billion tons of food every year yet there are more people going hungry every day there than in China, the worlds most popoulated country. They manufactor very little there anymoreand buy 90% of consumer goods from China. And where do they borrow the money to pay for this largesse…China of course. I could go on at length but i think that by now you get the picture of the worlds most “powerful state”

  22. Commanderthor 2 Mar 2011, 9:19pm

    Be happy, not a self-hating homophobic bigot!

  23. I agree with the “spirit” of the ruling which protects the freedom of speech, however the ruling underscores the false belief that homosexuality is a choice. Homosexuality is not a belief, a “way of life” or a choice!

  24. friday jones 3 Mar 2011, 12:05am

    I bet if the shirt said “Be Happy, Not Christian” the judge would have ruled the other way.

  25. Human Being 3 Mar 2011, 2:34am


  26. Jock S. Trap 3 Mar 2011, 8:32am

    A Backward country.

  27. TheSuburban Bi 3 Mar 2011, 9:11am

    Just one more reason why school uniforms are a good idea.

  28. de Villiers 3 Mar 2011, 11:47am

    I have no issue with many elements of personal religion and disagree with much of how religion is mischaracterised as being “pixie in the sky”. However, religion is a personal matter and shared space should be governed by secularity.

    Insofar as these protests are concerned, the issue of freedom of expression is only the first step. Such a right does not exist in a vacuum in order to allow all unpleasant and defamatory behaviour.

    The exercise of this freedom carries within it duties and responsibilities. It can and should be subject to conditions as are necessary in a democracy in the interests of national security, public safety or the prevention of crime or disorder.

    The United States, as with other things, takes a liberté sauvage approach and appears to perform little balancing exercise. In nearly every other European country, this protest would not be permitted. I would doubt that countries such as the UK and France are materially less “free” than the United States.

  29. so would you feel the same if the shirt had sai,d be happy, not black?

    i am black, and unless the person is black, I’d just consider them a rascit bigot.

  30. Can’t remember what it is like in England, but here in Northern Ireland you could never get away with this, not because of a freedom of expression issue but that all schools (and workplaces) are designated safe neutral spaces and governed by what was a Flags and Emblems act which disallowed any expression of any community to be worn or displayed. It not only banned sectarian words and imagery but sporting emblems such as football shirts/badges etc from schools and workplaces. It would also fall foul of freedom from harassment law in the workplace here.

    Our rules don’t ban free speech or expression just ban it from certain places which need to be safe and neutral to function correctly and where you could not reasonably be expected to absent yourself from, doesn’t stop the mad fundies shouting from street corners.

  31. As a queer American, I must say I support the ruling. Free speech protects even hateful speech. It is the responsibility of the people, not the government, to tell bigots to shut up.

  32. and what about consequences? does the people who get hurt suddenly don’t matter?

  33. I don’t think the issue is whether you are free to express yourself here. The fact is this ruling states that defending equalty is equal to discrimination in its right to be fought for. So you have the same right to fight FOR homophobia, racism, antisemitism […] as you do of fighting against them.
    How can society and the legal system be neutral in this conflict?

  34. If the T Shirt had read instead, “Be White, Not Black”, can you imagine the outcry? I lived in the States for five years. It never ceased to amaze me how citizens could become emotionally hysterical over a same-sex kiss but would happily watch Arnold Swartznegger machine-gunning heads off. Oh yeah. It’s a country of contrasts all right.

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