This weekend Las Cruces celebrated Southern New Mexico Pride, and the ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights was proud to be in attendance. As the ACLU staff collected signatures for a petition asking New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman to become a cosponsor of the bill that repeals the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,” we noticed that Southern New Mexico Pride had its first anti-gay protester.
Now, we at the ACLU will be the first to defend anyone’s right to free speech–even if we find that speech extremely offensive. This lone protester’s opinion was especially hateful and abhorrent, but he had every right to publicly express that opinion. It has always been the ACLU’s stance that the best response to bad speech is more, better speech. And that is exactly what the good folks down at Southern New Mexico Pride delivered.
Rather than get into a heated, nasty confrontation with the protester, the Pride-goers simply cranked up Lady Ga-Ga’s self-affirming anthem “Born this Way” and drowned out the protester’s hateful remarks. You can watch the video below:
This is what America looks like. You have the constitutional right to express hatred and homophobia. But we reserve our constitutional right to drown you out with a celebration of diversity, inclusivity and fairness.