I recently had a letter to the editor published in the Middletown (CT) Press. You can view it online here or read it below.
Everyone has right to express opinionGregory Koch
To the editor:
I am very disappointed by Wolcott High School’s actions in forcing Seth Groody to remove his anti-gay T-shirt. Although I fully support gay rights and marriage equality, I also fully support the right of Mr. Groody to express his opinion.
As Voltaire said, “Think for yourselves and allow others to do the same.”
I do not support Mr. Groody’s opinion. In fact, I find it morally repulsive. However, the First Amendment clearly guarantees his right to hold and express it.
It is easy to give “free speech” to those who we agree with. Even the most totalitarian of regimes do so. However, true free speech is afforded equally to those who we disagree with, and even to those whose opinions we find morally repulsive.
The December 2002 Supreme Court case Virginia v. Black upheld the right of the Ku Klux Klan to burn crosses, explaining that it was constitutionally protected free speech.
Although I find the KKK far more repulsive than Mr. Groody’s ideologies, I concur with the court’s ruling. Our Founding Fathers felt that everyone had the right to freedom of speech.
This does not just mean everyone who supports gay rights, or even everyone who supports racial equality. To paraphrase Evelyn Beatrice Hall, although I disapprove of Mr. Groody’s opinion, I will always defend his right to express it.