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In Chick-fil-A flap, major misconceptions about the First Amendment

As a practicing attorney, I am compelled to correct the many misstatements in the media and in letters to the editor regarding the role of the First Amendment in reference to the controversy stirred up by Chick-fil-APresident Dan Cathy ("Chick-fil-A controversy raises free speech issues," Aug. 7).

The First Amendment begins, "Congress shall make no law," and thus, it is a limitation placed upon our government, prohibiting it from "abridging" citizens' freedom of speech, among other rights. Commentary or statements that reference the First Amendment within this controversy display the public's misunderstanding of one of our most basic rights. Only until the government acts is the First Amendment triggered. Otherwise, it's just a matter of opinion.

Alex Allman, Bel Air

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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