Cockfighting And The First Amendment?
Cockfighting is legal in Puerto Rico. And now the broadcast of cockfights over the Internet is a First Amendment issue here:
The change in the focus of the debate -- from live fights to video depictions of them -- has expanded the argument over cockfighting's cruelty into one that involves the First Amendment and, its defenders say, cockfighting's cultural significance in other countries.
. . . At the heart of the dispute is a law signed by President Bill Clinton that makes it illegal to create, sell or possess a depiction of animal cruelty with the intention of selling the depiction -- across state lines or internationally -- for commercial gain. . .. In signing the law, Clinton said it was important that the law not be construed so broadly as to "chill protected speech." Toward that end, the law offers an exception for depictions of animal cruelty that have "serious religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical or artistic value." But the law does not spell out which depictions qualify.The company's Miami lawyer, David Markus, dismisses the child pornography comparison, instead comparing cockfighting to bullfighting, hunting and fishing. . . .
I do see bullfighting on the Spanish cable stations beamed here and it is not clear to me how bullfighting is more acceptable than cockfighting. Indeed, it is arguably worse as the bull does not naturally fight men whereas cocks do fight each other, and to the death sometimes.
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