July 21, 2021
This is behind a paywall, so you’ll just have to trust me on this.
The Manchester Union Leader recently reported about a fellow named Ryan Collins, who lives in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. Collins doesn’t like President Biden. I mean, he reeeeeeally doesn’t like him.
He doesn’t like him so much that he created an enormous poster reading “F*** Biden” (he used the actual word; I’ll spare my gentle readers the trauma), which he then displayed prominently outside the motel room he has been renting for several months.
Bethlehem has a zoning ordinance that prohibits “obscene signs.” I’m guessing that ordinance may not survive a constitutional challenge.
But Collins is not out of the woods yet. He’s a renter; he lives on property owned by someone else. The Town of Bethlehem probably does not have the right to regulate his speech, but the motel owner almost certainly has the right to restrict signage on his property.
Meanwhile, the motel owner says that he is now being harassed by people who object to the sign.
I suspect that the whole matter may end up in a court of one kind or another, so at least some lawyer will benefit from this kerfuffle.