In response to Katie Biega’s letter (“Where’s the free speech,” Friday) and to others who missed civics class when the Constitution and its amendments were taught, the concept of “free speech” is derived from the First Amendment, which says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
So, to Biega and others, the right of free speech derived from the First Amendment means that, with some exceptions, such as yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater that is not on fire, the government can’t punish you for expressing your opinions.
This means what you can basically say whatever you want about any subject and the government cannot punish you or make laws restricting you from expressing your thoughts.
But a business or other organization can decide that it does not want to be involved with a person who has expressed language that they feel is inflammatory or whose “free speech” they otherwise don’t want to be be associated with.
So the right to free speech does exist, but do not expect that it means there can be no repercussions from all fronts because of hate-filled diatribes.