First Amendment Rights: Get the Facts

Gustavo Frazao /
Gustavo Frazao /

We like to think we can say what we want, when we want, and to who we want. It’s America, right? Well, yes and no.

We do have the First Amendment, but it might not include all of what you think. Here’s what you need to know:

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects several fundamental rights, including freedom of speech, religion, and the press. However, there are certain types of speech that are not protected by the First Amendment, such as incitement to violence, obscenity, and defamation.

Additionally, certain categories of speech, such as commercial advertising and fighting words, are subject to greater regulation and restrictions. It is important to understand the limitations of the First Amendment in order to fully exercise and protect our freedoms of speech and expression.

Hate speech is not protected under the First Amendment. It is a form of speech that involves attacking or discriminating against a person or group based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. While the line between hate speech and protected speech can be blurry, speech that incites violence or poses a threat to public safety is generally not protected. It is important to promote civil discourse and respect for all individuals, while also recognizing the importance of free speech and expression.

Hate speech can include talking about any number of groups based on:

  • Religion
  • Sexual preference
  • Skin color
  • Disability

And yes, that can even include gender preference (including their use of pronouns).

If someone is found guilty of hate speech, they may face legal consequences such as fines or imprisonment. In addition, hate speech can have negative effects on individuals and communities, causing harm and perpetuating discrimination. It is important to speak out against hate speech and promote a culture of inclusion and acceptance.

Be careful about what you say. If it is described as “hate speech,” you may get kicked off of social media platforms and even get placed on the watchlist by the FBI, the DOD, or any of the other alphabet agencies.