Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The freedom to annoy

New South Wales' ban on annoying Catholics has been overturned by a Federal court. The court found that the ban on causing "annoyance" was vague and likely to have a chilling effect on protestors,

affect[ing] freedom of speech in a way that, in our opinion, is not supported by the statutory powers.
So, protestors will be free to protest about the Catholic church's coverups of sexual abuse by priests, its opposition to abortion, its sexist attitude towards women and its bigotry towards gays, and the Catholic pilgrims will just have to accept that. While they have a right to go about their business free of obstruction, there's no right not to be annoyed. The sooner they grow up and learn that, the better.