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Free Speech Needs No Government License

Recorded on May 31, 2012

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

Some states want to use business licenses to control what we can say.

California 's state senate passed a bill making it unlawful for a licensed counselor or mental health professional to tell minors they can overcome same-sex attraction. Instead, counselors must re-affirm same-sex attraction involving youngsters. It's the latest extreme effort to outlaw statements that don't follow a certain agenda.

In North Carolina, a lawsuit will decide whether someone not licensed as a dietician can nevertheless use his Internet blog—a free blog--to promote his healthy eating habits. He lost 78 pounds on his diet, so he wants to share. No way, says the state, you're not qualified and licensed.

So one state says you have no free speech without a license, and another says free speech will cost you your license. I say both are wrong. The Constitution protects our free speech. Period.

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.