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Chick-fil-A controversy raises free speech issues

I believe The Sun, along with many other news outlets, misses the major issues regarding the Chick-fil-Astory: Why is there such intolerance for CEO Dan Cathy's personal views, and such disregard for his freedom of speech ("Chick-fil-A gets busted by the thought police," Aug. 2)?

In his business practices, the man never treated gay individuals prejudicially, nor did he post his views in his restaurants. Instead, he responded honestly to a direct question about his views on marriage in a few interviews and chose to contribute to organizations that supported traditional family values.

Is it not a matter of concern that there has been such a negative reaction to his freedom to voice personal views and donate personal funds to causes of his choice? Would there be similar reaction if another food chain was attacked in this manner by a Christian group because its owner was gay and contributed to gay causes?

Do the same people who are protesting Chick-fil-A even have a clue about the views and behaviors of the owners of other businesses they patronize? Are they willing to boycott businesses because their owners have been unfaithful to a spouse, cheated on taxes, been a negligent parent, belong to a specific political group or watch pornography?

We each have a right to choose which businesses we patronize based on any criteria we desire. We do not have a right to protest a business owner's freedom to express beliefs and bully him into silence with the threat of destroying his business.

Unless Chick-fil-A has treated gay customers or employees in a prejudicial manner, we should leave its owner's personal beliefs alone. The Sun would do better to explore the implications of this controversy rather than simply fuel the fires.

Charlotte Eliopoulos, Glen Arm

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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