• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court held that the organizers of a Saint Patrick’s Day parade did not have to include a gay group and that Massachusetts violated the parade organizer’s First Amendment right by forcing it to allow the gay group to march.

Justice David H. SouterSouter, David H.;Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston[Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston] wrote the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court, holding that a private group that organized a parade did not have to include groups whose message changed the character of the parade. For the state of Massachusetts to require the veteran’s group organizers of the Saint Patrick’s Day parade to include the Irish Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston would be to violate the First Amendment rights of the organizers. Souter found that one important characteristic of freedom of speech is that a speaker may decide what not to say. In this case, the parade was an expressive event symbolic speech and Massachusetts was forcing the veterans to say something they did not want to say when the state insisted that the gay group be included.Gay and lesbian rightsSymbolic speech;Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston[Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston]Gay and lesbian rights

Brandenburg v. Ohio

First Amendment

Gay and lesbian rights

O’Brien, United States v.

Symbolic speech

Texas v. Johnson

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District

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