Regarding Mr. Doug Patton’s guest commentary “Marriage, Free Speech and Chicken Sandwiches” in the East Valley Tribune, Aug. 3, Mr. Doug Patton and Mr. Dan Cathy (of Chick-fil-A) have every right to profess whatever they believe.
I support their right to speak and I am appalled at attempts to restrict Mr. Cathy’s right to do business wherever he chooses. Mr. Patton will likely be surprised that I, as a gay man, even support Mr. Cathy’s multi-million-dollar donations to pass legislation to take away my civil rights, as well as his donations to anti-gay groups calling for me to be labeled as a criminal. These are part of Mr. Cathy’s rights to political speech.
But Mr. Cathy’s statements and his donations make it morally imperative that I speak as well.
Mr. Doug Patton asserts that my working to gain the same marriage rights he enjoys is putting his marriage “under assault.” This is nonsense. If I, as a gay man, have the same civil rights Mr. Patton enjoys, nothing changes for him. He is not required to have a same-sex marriage himself. His church is not required to marry same-sex couples. I can’t imagine why he would change his commitment to his own marriage based on others acquiring the same civil rights he has.
“Under assault?” Merriam-Webster defines “assault” as “a violent physical or verbal attack.” I would certainly not “assault” marriage when I want one so badly.