The ACLU just stepped into the ChikFilA scandal to add a nuance to the debate, and that is to ask again: What is the value of “free speech”?
We are very gay and lesbian friendly criminal defense attorneys in New York. Our gay clients come to us for assistance with their estate questions, immigration questions, marital disputes and criminal concerns. As always we support all humans in their rights and fight for justice. Many of us have been watching the situation with politicians from Chicago to Boston, and most recently here in New York where Councilwoman Quinn used New York City letterhead to a local university asking them to ban ChikFilA from campus.
Our concern, as always, is the law.
The Bill of Rights, where the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States can be found, was intended to be a restraint against the government, not the people. The right to free speech is not simply your right to speak freely, but it is also your right to be free of government-imposed tyranny on that speech.
There are many unpopular positions that Americans can take, positions that we don’t like. However, we will fight for your right to make them. Boycotts are the people’s way of speaking out against an unpopular view, action, or position. They are not for the government to support to prohibit.
In this matter we wish to support the good people of these United States in their speech either for or against the policy and position of ChikFilA, and to support the ACLU in demanding that government refrain from intervention in the people’s right to speak freely.