Chick-Fil-A First Amendment Controversy
The Wall Street Journal article written by Jack Nicas titled “First Amendment Trumps Critics of Chick-fil-A” overviews the hotly debated topic of Chick-Fil-A and it’s CEO Dan Cathy’s comment that he supports “the biblical definition of a family unit”. His comments have sparked outrage, assertions of bigotry, a record revenue day, millions of social media postings, hundreds of thousands of protestors, and even comments from mayors in Chicago and Boston that they will not allow Chick-Fil-A to open new stores in their cities. The debate over whether or not Mr. Cathy’s comments were “anti-gay” or not is irrelevant in this case, as what is important is the test of whether or not a local government leader can essentially block free enterprise in this country. The article states that after the initial comments of not allowing Chick-Fil-A to open new stores by these mayors, they have subsequently retracted and/or clarified their statements on the grounds of the First Amendment. The First Amendment allows free speech by individuals and by corporations. For corporations, it is more specifically that commercial speech that is tested in the legal system with regard to the First Amendment. This is speech that is done with the intent of making profit. In this article and this situation, the comments by Mr. Cathy were not made as an official corporate speech with the intent of driving revenue. Instead, his comments were made as his own personal viewpoint and therefore should be regarded as his right to free speech and opinions. The problem has occurred since he is the CEO and many are interpreting it that Chick-Fil-A as a corporate entity made these comments, and as such many are exercising their own First Amendment rights to protest and voice their own opinions in response. On the other side of the spectrum are those who support everything Mr. Cathy stated and wish to support him and the corporation which he runs and in doing...
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