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Hate Speech

The term “hate speech” does not have a legal definition in the United States, but it often refers to speech that insults or demeans a person or group of people on the basis of attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability or gender. While CSUSM condemns speech of this kind, there is no “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment and it is only illegal if it falls into one of the recognized exceptions to free speech. In fact, on many occasions, the Supreme Court has explicitly held that prohibitions or punishments for hateful speech violate the First Amendment.  

While the First Amendment protects someone's right to say hateful things without censorship, others may criticize, denounce or judge those remarks.  As a University that values civility, inclusivity and equality, we strive to be a community where no one will choose to express hate.