Assemblyman Hagman’s HR 38 Commemorating the First Amendment of the United States Constitution Denied Passage Despite Necessity After Attacks on the Private Business Chick-Fil-A
Sacramento – Today, Assemblyman Curt Hagman’s House Resolution 38 honoring First Amendment rights was suppressed by the Assembly Judiciary Committee. Under the First Amendment, individuals are provided with freedoms of speech, religion, press, petition, and assembly. According to the Democratic majority on the Committee, however, these rights apparently only merit recognition on their own terms. With a mostly party line vote, the measure received two Republican votes in support, four Democrats in opposition, and four not voting. Those in opposition and not voting chose not to exercise their freedom of speech in explaining the reasoning behind their votes, except for two Members who essentially disregarded the measure as unnecessary. First Amendment rights do not have terms, however, and the measure was most certainly necessary.
Recently, local elected officials in the state and country-from San Francisco to Boston and Chicago-unjustly called for a prohibition in some form against a certain business within their cities-Chick-Fil-A-due only to its owner constitutionally exercising his rights under the First Amendment. Many people may not agree with the beliefs behind the controversy, nevertheless, it brought to light the need to acknowledge the right to voice them if we are to remain a true free and just democracy. Suggesting exclusions from commerce in response to exercising one’s constitutional rights violates the First Amendment and under no circumstances should ever be condoned or disregarded, especially by government bodies whose essential function is to protect such rights. It is therefore even more ironic that the act prompting this resolution was met by a similar one in the state legislature.
“Freedom of speech and religious liberty are fundamental rights that should never be applied selectively,” stated Assemblyman Hagman. “I am disappointed in my colleagues across the aisle for disregarding such a simple but essential measure.”