Thomas Burns, of New Castle (USA), contends being denied his right to free speech when he was cited for giving a construction worker the finger. The question is whether the gesture itself, unaccompanied by words, is an offense.
Pennsylvania courts ruled previously that the gesture does not automatically constitute disorderly conduct, because it is not “obscene” as defined by the law, unless it is used in a clearly sexual context.
I wonder whether it is allowed to say ‘fuck you’ out loud in Pennsylvania? Can anyone from the USA tell me? When is free speech overruled by other considerations?
Here is my collection of cases where people were jailed or fined for gestures. In some cases this involved giving the finger. In general I think courts pay attention to gestures, though perhaps not always enough.
Should the courts decide the finger is enough for a fine, you may consider keeping an adequately shaped cactus handy.