Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Derogatory trademarks aren’t about free speech. They’re about discrimination.; Washington Post, June 21, 2017

Robert S. Chang, Washington Post; Derogatory trademarks aren’t about free speech. They’re about discrimination.

"Unfortunately, Reyna’s hypothetical is an actuality of sorts. In Florida and other states, gun store owners have placed signs on their establishments declaring themselves to be a “Muslim Free Zone.” As the owner of one of the stores, Florida Gun Supply, said: “My goal is to make sure they don’t feel welcome here so I don’t have the need to discriminate in the first place.

Following Matal v. Tam, nothing will prevent the owner from obtaining federal registration of “Muslim Free Zone” as a trademark, accomplishing through speech what he might not be able to do through direct denial of service. For businesses not covered by Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, nothing will prevent the creation and federal registration of trademarks such as “No Gays Allowed” or, for that matter, “Whites Only.”

The federal government, though, should not be required to register these trademarks. The government should not be required to participate in discrimination.

This is where we are following the Supreme Court decision. This is the mischief that will come."

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