WVU Chick-fil-A issue not about free speech
Jeremiah Dys and his right-wing Republican front group, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia, are trying to portray the issue of Chick-fil-A on the West Virginia University campus as a fight for free speech. Well, he and they are wrong. ("Religious freedom attacked," Gazette, Aug. 21.)
If someone is actively campaigning for withholding the basic rights of major groups of citizens (think women, gays, minorities), then his business operations on a college campus might be called into question. If the students and faculty at WVU want to object to the bias and discrimination of Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, then they certainly are entitled to refuse to give him space to use for his business. Allowing speech on campus is one thing, but permitting business operations is entirely another.
The policies of Mr. Cathy and Mr. Dys are based on what they allege to be religious grounds, which right off the bat is questionable in a secular country, which is what we have here in the "land of the free." Mr. Dys contends that "every child is deserving of a mom and a dad." But having a mom and a dad does not ensure a loving or nurturing environment. There are thousands of examples of children being raised properly and lovingly among families with two moms, and those with two dads.
Mr. Dys has stated that "The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees each of us the right to live and do business according to our faith." No, it doesn't. That amendment refers to the right to personal free speech and the practice of religion, but businesses are regulated by law. Businesses are subject to operate according to the wishes of local constituents. Businesses are not "people" somehow entitled to all the rights under the Constitution.
The Family Policy Council exists to deny basic human rights to women and to gay couples. This is not based on religion; it is based on politics. The rights of women to make choices about their own bodies, and the rights of gay couples to marry, should not be abridged.
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