Cathy Young's attempt to equate the actions of the owner of Chick-fil-A and his corporation with the actions and opinions of those who are boycotting the company is laughable ["On gay rights, tolerance is a two-sided coin," Opinion, Aug. 7]. She should have a better grasp of the free speech issue as well.

Chick-fil-A owner Dan Cathy is free to express his beliefs, just as those who have organized the boycott are. The political boycott is not to stop him from speaking; it is to engage the public in an action to express opposition to his opinions and actions. His company has donated millions of dollars to groups such as the Family Research Council, which has supported anti-gay "curing therapies."

The fact that the profits from this company are used to spread anti-gay propaganda has spurred the boycott. Many individuals are exercising their right not to spend money at a business that will end up in the hands of bigots. This boycott is not directed at conservative religious attitudes.

I wish that we could all begin the process of accepting each other, differences and all, rather than just tolerating our differences.

Patricia Costell, Port Jefferson Station

Chick-fil-A is not a 1960s Woolworth's, where company policy was to racially discriminate against patrons. Chick-fil-A is not refusing to serve patrons. Let's not bully Chick-fil-A because of its owner.

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We are reaping the consequences of teaching zero-tolerance policies in our public schools. It has infiltrated our political thinking. The application of zero tolerance will always lead us into the tyranny of bullying. Zero-tolerance thinking has no tolerance for democracy.

Nancy Macnab, Port Jefferson

Editor's note: The writer is the author of a book on bullying in schools.