I got this article from the IndyStar newspaper in my email from my good friend Shelley and I couldn’t resist commenting on it. It is the story of a group of people in rural Indiana where protesters have been protesting a sex shop and harassing its customers in a 24/7 effort since august 2005. The protestors take pictures of the customers and their license plates, threatening to contact the customer’s employers and inform them of their shopping habits. Both sides of this case are claiming free speech rights and that the first amendment is on their side.
What would be interesting is if the protesters actually did contact the employers of one of the people who entered the store. I believe that such an action would be grounds for that individual to file a harassment lawsuit against the protesters.
I am consistently amazed at the visceral need of many humans to know and police what other people do both in their private lives and in their bedroom. The government and society in general has no right to regulate what goes on in your bedroom as long as no one is being harmed (Insert obligatory sado-masochism joke here.) I will not pretend to even understand why they think that a sex toy store will increase the number of child rapes. If anything it might help, maybe the guy who is eyeing the little kiddies can go to the store and get something to get his rocks off and avoid kidnapping a child.
The part of this case that I think will be a deciding factor is that the protestors have established what amounts to an Evangelical Center, complete with cross, on publicly owned land… I believe that this would more than likely fall under the precedent that a strictly religious monument cannot be established on government or public property.
In the end, I think it comes back to what I said about people having this need to control what others can do. It is not enough for the protesters that they have the option not to shop at the store, they must infringe upon the rights of their fellow citizens. I sincerely hope the protesters get a through thwack from the judge. Perhaps it’s time to have people taking pictures of the protesters and their license plates. Then post that with their home address with it. I wonder what would happen if someone took this up a notch? Maybe Lion’s Den should invest in a higher fence.