Courtroom, cemetery different
In response to "Speech not always protected" (letter, April 3): I both agree and disagree with the writer.
The main exceptions to protected speech are words that incite imminent danger, imminent or potential violence, and slander. There is no requirement for wisdom, tact or political correctness within the First Amendment.
Trying to compare a courtroom to a cemetery and suggesting that they should have the same legal consideration does not fit. To my knowledge, the protesters were not on cemetery grounds. If people were to protest outside the courthouse, the judge has no power to find them in contempt, even if they can be heard in the courtroom.
Often what is found offensive is determined by social standards. I am sure that there were people "offended" by Martin Luther King Jr. and his message. Just because it doesn’t fit the social standard doesn’t mean it should be stifled.
While I completely disagree with the message of the Westboro Baptist Church, I believe that freedom of speech is more important than a few offended people.
Staff Sgt. Chris BackousLangley Air Force Base, Va.