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Chick-fil-A president has right to freedom of speech

Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 05:09 PM

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The issue: Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's statement that he views marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Our view: We live in America, where we are afforded freedom of speech, and we should not punish a business for exercising that right.

Recently Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, said in an interview that he was "very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit."

He later clarified that statement by saying he was supportive of the view that marriage was between a man and a woman.

That triggered the angst of same-sex marriage advocates who denounced Mr. Cathy in a heap of defamatory rhetoric.

They also called for the boycotting of the restaurant even though the chain exhibits no discriminatory practices, hires and serves gays and lesbians and treats people with dignity and respect.

What is most reprehensible about this whole tempest in a teapot was when elected officials such as Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that Chick-fil-A did not represent Chicago's values and therefore should not be allowed to expand within the city.

Mayor Emanuel needs to read the First Amendment and understand that government officials have no right to use their power to deny others legitimate pursuits under the law.

The same applies to Boston Mayor Tom Menino, whose accommodations to the Islamic Society of Boston included a $1.8 million gift of municipal land for a mosque. He seems to forget one of the Islamic Society of Boston leaders has called homosexuality a "crime that must be punished" by death.

This is exactly the reason we in America have a Bill of Rights that limits the power of government.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of companies that support Mr. Cathy's views and a similar number who don't. That being said, we don't believe a statement of political beliefs has to be posted at the door of businesses.

People generally will decide whether to buy products and services on the basis of quality and price, not the religious philosophy of the owners.

Today is National Support Chick-fil-A Day, and you can decide to go and buy from Chick-fil-A or not. It is your choice because you live in America.

We hope to see you there!

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