Don’t do anything which might annoy people involved in abortions.
The original post was written by an anti-abortion advocate, but this applies to hate speech ordinances and other efforts to trim our First Amendment rights. You cannot legislate based upon the word annoy.
The second issue begins in the definitions section. The legislation defines harass in a troubling way. It says, “‘Harass’ means engaging in a course of conduct that is directed at another that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed,annoyed or inconvenienced and that in fact seriously alarms, annoys or inconveniences another.”
Here’s the trouble with this: everyone is annoyed by different things. What if I was annoyed by people with a Cleveland accent? Under this provision, that annoyance is enough that I could report it, and they could be cited by the police for breaking chapter 2317.51. While that’s a trite example, that is what the goal of this legislation is.
Pro-abortion folks are annoyed by the pro-life movement. In our attempts to change the hearts and minds of women across this great state, we may pray outside of an abortion clinic, if we feel so led. We may have conversations with women who are going in to have an abortion, many who may feel that abortion is their only choice. That is the beauty of freedom of speech. We have the freedom to speak to people and share our opinion, even if City Council doesn’t like what we have to say.
Admitting that there are spirited advocates for pro-life issues who have been less than kind in their advocacy. Understanding that actual harassment of individuals at an abortion clinic is wrong. Taking all this as fact, I still think the city council is nibbling away at the rights of others.