But there were sane liberals on this issue. The American Civil Liberties Union quickly denounced those who wanted to prevent Chick-fil-A from doing business. One of the more lucid voices on the left during this controversy was Mother Jones’ Adam Serwer, who wrote:
Blocking construction of Chick-fil-a restaurants over Cathy’s views is a violation of Cathy’s First Amendment rights. Boston and Chicago have no more right to stop construction of Chick-fil-As based on an executive’s anti-gay views than New York City would have had the right to block construction of an Islamic community center blocks away from Ground Zero. The government blocking a business from opening based on the owner’s political views is a clear threat to everyone’s freedom of speech — being unpopular doesn’t mean you don’t have rights. It’s only by protecting the rights of those whose views we find odious that we can hope to secure them for ourselves.
I somewhat agree with Dan Cathy’s controversial statement. From a religious perspective, I find gay marriage to be absurd.
But the gay marriage debate in the United States, in stark terms, is not primarily religious. It is a legal debate. If a same-sex couple wishes to enjoy the same tax, contractual and other legal advantages that heterosexual married couples are afforded by their governments, I think it would be unjust to deny them that. What makes us equal in the eyes of God is beyond our control. What makes us equal before the law is not.
Many Americans disagree with me on this. Until a few months ago, the president of the United States disagreed with me on this. That’s fine. In this country we are free to debate such subjects.
And we are free to debate them without fear of government persecution. An American selling chicken sandwiches is free to say anything he likes. We are also free to say anything we like about what he says. But no government should be able dictate what any of us is allowed to say.
Jack Hunter (also known by his radio moniker the “Southern Avenger”) is a frequent guest on Fox Business, Michael Savage’s nationally syndicated radio program “The Savage Nation” and a frequent guest host on “The Mike Church Show” on Sirius XM. Hunter is the co-author of “The Tea Party Goes to Washington” by Sen. Rand Paul, assisted Sen. Jim DeMint with his book “Now or Never: How to Save America from Economic Collapse” and writes the Paulitical Ticker blog for the Ron Paul 2012 Campaign.