By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." (The Constitution of the United States of America)

While the case for Chick-fil-A began as a flap over support for traditional marriage between a man and a woman, it quickly became a rallying cry for free speech guaranteed to every American citizen under the US Constitution. Vilifying Dan Cathy, President of Chick-fil-A, because he stated his opinion supporting marriage between a man and a woman is no more acceptable than vilifying those who state their opinion supporting gay marriage.

First, we need to address the issue of marriage. For a couple married almost 46 years, who have studied and written about marriage for more than 30 years, it is clear to us that marriage around the world is defined as a union between a man and a woman. And frankly, it has been that way for time immemorial. Our position is reinforced by our decades of research in 47 countries on all of the world’s seven continents, by our own marriage, by history, and by biology itself.

It is clear that the Christian tradition, the Hindu tradition, the Islamic tradition, and the Jewish tradition all support the notion that marriage is between a man and a woman. In a religious sense, marriage is almost exclusively the committed union between a single woman and a single man. Defining marriage, as a union between a man and a woman should be reinforced, not redefined.

It is abundantly obvious to us that our position on this issue will subject us to ridicule among some, downright vilification amongst others, and a full in-box of hateful emails from those who orchestrate malicious anger towards others who have opinions different from their own. This is no different than the attacks on Chick-fil-A just because Mr. Cathy stated his support for traditional marriage. As marriage researchers, we are use to it.

The bottom line is when the president of Chick-fil-A pronounced that he supports marriage between a man and a woman, he was expressing a point of view shared by an overwhelming number of Americans. More than 80% of all Americans alive today will be married at least once in his or her lifetime to a person of the opposite sex. Simply put, that is what the data show. Mr. Cathy’s perspective supports 3000 years of human history, where marriage between a man and a woman has been the glue of social order in the world.

The Chick-fil-A incident is yet another perfect example of chiding a person who disagrees with you at the expense of the truth. What we ought to be interested in is this – did the president of Chick-fil-A violate the Constitutional rights of other Americans by his support for the notion of marriage between a man and a woman? We think not.

In the end, our rights of free speech without fear of governmental reprisal are guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Mr. Cathy of Chick-fil-A was only expressing his opinion – his point of view. To suggest that he had no right to present his point of view is scary – very scary!

We are amazed that the media is not strongly advocating for the free speech issues here. We are amazed that there are those amongst us who believe that the First Amendment of our Constitution only applies to those who agree with their point of view.

When you can be persecuted and threatened with governmental reprisals for expressing your opinion, America is in trouble. The Constitution is in trouble. Free speech is in trouble. Several big city mayors have apparently not learned this lesson – the Constitution belongs to all of us, not just to them and those who agree with them.

In love and marriage the simple things matter.

By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

For marriage advice and hundreds of practical tips, get the Doctor’s best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts : The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage (Jossey-Bass/Wiley) Available wherever books are sold.
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book

Author's Bio: 

As America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts and award-winning authors, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz help international audiences answer questions about love, marriage and relationships. With 30 years of research on love and successful marriage across six continents of the world and their own 45-year marriage, the Doctors know what makes relationships work.

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