Crucifying Chick-fil-A Owner for his Beliefs

George E. Curry | NNPA | 8/8/2012, 4 p.m.

Politicians on the left and on the right have injected themselves into the controversy.

Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee picked Aug. 1 as the day for people to eat at Chick-fil-A to show their support for the company. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLADD) is promoting a National Same-Sex Kiss Day to be held Aug. 3 at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country.

The most disturbing part of this controversy is that elected officials are threatening to block Chick-fil-A from building restaurants in their communities. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino have said they might seek to block Chick-fil-A from expanding in their communities. That would amount to government censorship; no one should be punished by elected officials for exercising their right to free speech.

It's outrageous that the president of Chick-fil-A, exercising his constitutional rights, is being persecuted for expressing support for the Bible. It's outrageous to try to prevent gay and lesbian advocates from directing dollars away from a business that they deem unsupportive. And it's outrageous for anyone on the left or right to think that they should dictate the personal views and opinions of others.

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA) and editorial director of Heart & Soul magazine. Curry can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com. You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge.