Defending Freedom Of Speech at WVU

Institutions of higher learning pride themselves on being bastions of intellectualism. That is a quality requiring free exchange of ideas as well as information. Too often, however, colleges and unversities are places where political correctness, not the First Amendment as both law and preference, is king.

West Virginia University should not become such a campus.

Many people are familiar with the controversy over comments by the president of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain. Recently, he commented that he opposes same-sex marriage. “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’,” he said.

That drew fire from gay rights activists and from politicians pandering to them. The mayors of some big cities threatened to retaliate against Chick-fil-A.

It is being suggested WVU should retaliate, too, by closing down the Chick-fil-A outlet at the Mountainlair student union building.

Chick-fil-A does not discriminate in hiring or serving customers on the basis of sexual preference or, to our knowledge, anything else. The company president was merely stating his opinion.

Yet some are ready to punish his company – as well as employees of the Mountainlair Chick-fil-A restaurant – because they disagree with the executive’s personal opinion.

That is not the American way. It is not how most West Virginians view freedom of speech. It should not be tolerated on the WVU campus. The Chick-fil-A outlet in the Mountainlair should remain open.