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Boozy Badger @ AnthrOhio @BoozyBadger
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Here's the First Amendment in its entirety. It's a short piece of the Constitution that, effectively, has been used over and over again for many purposes, and is the source of one of our most basic liberties: the freedom of speech. /1
Now, as people have pointed out, there is a legal aspect to the freedoms granted, such as the fact it only serves to protect us against government limitation of our speech, and a social aspect, i.e. whether it is such a basic liberty we should seek to uphold it privately. /2
But what tends to be overlooked in these discussions is the fact that the freedom of speech is tied into the freedom of association, as we can see in NAACP v. Alabama, wherein SCOTUS held as follows:

If you can't read that, here's the link:…

What it says, broken out of legalese and removing citations to other cases supporting the decision, is as follows: /4
"It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the 'liberty' assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment" /5
But we can't stop there, because it isn't only the freedom of people to assemble and associate in a group that falls under the freedom of association, but also the freedom of a group or person NOT to associate with others if the damn well don't want to. /6
You can actually see this in action legally in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston, Inc., 515 US 557. /7
Here's the link to that case as well:…

In Hurley, a LGBTQ+ group was suing for the right to be admitted into a private organization's St. Patrick's Day parade. The organization refused, citing their right to choose who would participate, and the matter went before SCOTUS. /9
However, SCOTUS immediately came back with some choice word on the subject, all of them along the lines of "who you associate with can imply the message of your speech, and therefore, because the freedom NOT to speak (or associate) with people whose messages are against your /10
values is just as important as their freedom to voice THEIR message, we're saying the LGBTQ+ folks can't march in that there parade. Because it could force the parade to adopt speech and expression it doesn't agree with by association."

Here's 3 of the more on point parts. /11
And even more in point than that is Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 530 U.S. 640 (2000), found here:…

Dale is even clearer in the principal, and it's simply put as this: Freedom of Speech includes freedom of association, and therefore the right of a group to choose NOT to associate with those whose messages it finds reprehensible.

Again, pertinent parts below. /13
None of this shit is new or unique in law, by the way.

So why are we talking about it at all right now?

Because I keep seeing "free speech" tossed around as a reason that folks HAVE to listen to or debate and engage with others. /14
And, maybe, that's morally correct if you talk about an inherent right to speech. But maybe it isn't as well, because the right to speech is not just the right to say what you want without being judged, it, as the court sets out, the right to choose not to associate. /15
Which, as SCOTUS found in Hurley and Dale, is -just as important a part of the right to speech- (either legal or moral) as any other part. Association, and the right to do so or not, is the right to speech.


I mean.

If someone insists that free speech requires you to associate with them regardless of their speech, it's probably good to realize what they're actually saying:

"I get free speech, but you don't, because no matter what I say I think you should have to associate with me." /17
Guys, it isn't like there's an easy answer. But you, individually, get to draw the line on who and what you will or won't be associated with. That's part of your freedom of speech. And there's certainly room for debate as to the reasonableness of those decisions.

But anyone -literally anyone- who tells you that you -have- to associate with one group or person no matter what they say or do isn't respecting YOUR freedom of association, even if they think it's unreasonable. /19
In the end, I talk about law, not moral issues.

Morally, that's up to you on what you will and won't tolerate and why.

Legally, though, the right flows both ways, and as XKCD has pointed out: the freedom to speech is not the same as the guarantee of an audience. /20
Alright, now I got shit to do. Move forward and be good to each other. I'm busy. /end
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