Actually, they are not exercising free speech, they are commiting a hate crime- at least according to DC law. Free speech is not absolute, it does not protect every statement simply because it was made orally (e.g. inciting a riot, or yelling fire in a crowded theater are not protected speech). You do not have to be subjected to verbal abuse by these lunatics (excuse the editorialization but I think their outfits justify my conclusion).
What Is a Hate Crime?
A hate crime is a crime that is committed against a person because of prejudice or bias. Victims of hate crimes are singled out simply because of their perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibility, physical handicap, matriculation, or political affiliation.
Examples of hate crimes include:
Destruction of property
Painting swastikas and other hate symbols
Use of racial slurs
Firebombing of residences, businesses, and churches
Hate Crimes Are Against the Law
In 1989, the District of Columbia enacted a law to address the problem of hate crimes committed in DC. The law, entitled “The Bias-Related Crime Act of 1989” (DC Code ������������ 22-4001 to 22-4004), provides for increased penalties whenever a crime is motivated by bias or hate.
The law also mandates that police in the District of Columbia collect data on bias-related acts and that the Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia publish an annual report regarding the number and type of bias-related acts reported in the District.
Federal law (The Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990) also requires the Metropolitan Police Department to report data on hate crimes to federal authorities annually.
How Do I Report Hate Crimes?
If you have been the victim of a hate crime, know of, or have witnessed a hate crime, you can report this in several ways.
Call or visit your local Metropolitan Police Department������district station.������
Call the Hate Crimes Hotline at (202) 727-0500, which has been established by the Metropolitan Police Department to assist victims of hate crimes. Callers can report incidents without having to give their names, addresses, or other personal information.������