By Rutherford Institute
On the eve of a trial to determine whether a pro-life protester should be convicted, jailed 60 days and fined $750 for violating an Oklahoma ordinance that makes it a crime to play or create “loud and unusual sounds,” prosecutors dismissed their case against activist Toby Harmon.
The Rutherford Institute came to Harmon’s defense after he was charged with disturbing the peace in connection with a pro-life demonstration outside a Norman abortion clinic last March.
Affiliate attorney Andrea Worden of the Worden Law Firm in Norman assisted The Rutherford Institute in its defense of Harmon’s First Amendment rights.
“Free speech is not for those who are easily offended, readily intimidated or who need everything wrapped in a neat and tidy bow. Free speech is often messy, foul-mouthed, obscene, intolerant, undignified, insensitive, cantankerous, bawdy and volatile.
While free speech can also be tender, tolerant, soft-spoken, sensitive and sweet, it is free speech’s hot-blooded alter ego—the wretched, brutal, beastly Mr. Hyde to its restrained, dignified and civil Dr. Jekyll–that tests the limits of our so-called egalitarian commitment to its broad-minded principles,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead (photo), president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People.
He added: “Americans would do well to remember that free societies cherish free speech, relish open debates and controversy and, in turn, produce a robust citizenry who will stand against authoritarian government. Indeed, oppressive regimes of the past have understood the value of closed-mouthed, closed-minded citizens and the power inherent in controlling speech and, thus, controlling how a people view their society and government.”Life News report continues
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