Letter: Billboard companies limit 'free' speech

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I was distressed to read that YESCO and other billboard companies refused to place a message that read "Utah families. All religious? Think again." The billboard companies did not want to offend local sensibilities. Hence, they censored free speech (Atheists' billboards should offend no one," Opinion, Oct. 27).

So much for Milton Friedman's argument that a virtue of free markets is that anyone can express their viewpoints, so long as one can pay.

I tell my students that the test of freedom is not having the right to say something with which everyone agrees; it is having the right to say something with which no one agrees. Unfortunately, Utah has failed that test.

John Watkins

Economics professor

Westminster College

Salt Lake City