Boston, Chicago Go Off the Rails on Chick-Fil-A


The president of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, is a first-class bigot who has donated large sums of money to hate groups like the Family Research Council. And I’m all for a boycott of the company and for criticizing the man in very strong terms. But two cities, Boston and Chicago, are taking this entirely too far in attempting to prevent the company from opening stores there.

In Boston, Mayor Tom Menino is not merely criticizing the company, which he is entirely justified in doing, he is vowing to prevent them from opening new restaurants by denying them licenses:

Mayor Thomas M. Menino is vowing to block Chick-fil-A from bringing its Southern-fried fast-food empire to Boston — possibly to a popular tourist spot just steps from the Freedom Trail — after the family-owned firm’s president suggested gay marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion,” Menino told the Herald yesterday.

“That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.” …

“If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies,” he warned.

And in Chicago, at least one member of the city council is promising to do the same thing:

Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) is using the same argument to block Chick-fil-A from opening its first free-standing restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood.

Chick-fil-A already has one Chicago store — at 30 E. Chicago near Loyola University’s downtown campus.

“Same sex marriage, same-sex couples — that’s the civil rights fight of our time. To have those discriminatory policies from the top down is just not something that we’re open to. …We want responsible businesses,” Moreno said.

“If he’s in the business of selling chicken in Chicago, he should be in the business of having equal rights for everyone. Period …. If it looks like a chicken, talks like a chicken, walks like a chicken, it’s a chicken. If you’re saying you don’t respect the values and rights of same-sex couples, that trickles down through the organization. … That’s paramount to the way the company behaves.” …

On Wednesday, the tag team of Emanuel and Moreno joined the chorus, citing Cathy’s anti-gay views. The only question is whether they have a legal leg to stand on.

“Absolutely not,” said former Ald. William Banks (36th), the longtime chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee who presided over a massive re-write of the city’s 1957 zoning ordinance.

“Any alderman can hold a development issue for virtually any purpose. But if he’s doing it for the wrong reasons — if he’s citing a gay rights issue — there’s nothing illegal about that.”

Moreno said he has an ace in his back pocket if he runs into legal trouble: traffic and congestion issues caused by the store that have been the subject of behind-the-scenes negotiations for the last nine months.

So he’s willing to use a pretext to deny a permit to a company when it’s really just about political disagreement. And in the process, he’s going to cost the city a lot of money when they get sued and lose — which they will, and badly. All of this is both absurd and dangerous. Both cities can certainly enforce whatever anti-discrimination laws they have in place, but those policies cover hiring decisions, not giving money to organizations or speaking out on an issue.

If a city tried to deny a license to a business because the owner gives money to and supports pro-gay rights causes, would there be any question that this is a clear abuse of authority? Of course not. But the government doesn’t get to decide whether to grant business licenses and permits because they don’t like the political viewpoint of the owners of that business, even if it’s owned by the grand wizard of the KKK. If the business complies with the law, that is all that matters.

The good news is that many voices on the left are standing up against this abuse of authority, including Glenn Greenwald and Adam Serwer, who gets it exactly right:

Menino and Moreno have it wrong. Blocking construction of Chick-fil-a restaurants over Cathy’s views is a violation of Cathy’s First Amendment rights. Boston and Chicago have no more right to stop construction of Chick-fil-As based on an executive’s anti-gay views than New York City would have had the right to block construction of an Islamic community center blocks away from Ground Zero. The government blocking a business from opening based on the owner’s political views is a clear threat to everyone’s freedom of speech—being unpopular doesn’t mean you don’t have rights. It’s only by protecting the rights of those whose views we find odious that we can hope to secure them for ourselves.

“We think there’s a constitutional problem with discriminating against someone based on the content of their speech,” says John Knight, director of the LGBT rights project at the Illinois branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Chick-Fil-A deserves to be strongly criticized. Chick-Fil-A deserves to be boycotted. But neither of those things violates anyone’s rights. Denying them a license to operate clearly does. And no court in the country would allow it, which means the only thing such political posturing would do is cost the cities money in a court case they can’t win. It’s time to stop this nonsense.

Comments

  1. daved says

    Menino has backed off fast on denying the company licenses, and is now saying that he was only “expressing his opinion” of them. He admitted he doesn’t have the authority to keep them out of Boston. It was all over the news here this morning.

  2. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    Thanks for posting this. While I have no love lost for CFA, when I heard about this, when I heard about this, my first thought was that it was… wrong somehow. You’ve articulated the constitutional problem well.

  3. DaveL says

    I think it’s time for that venerable quote from “A Man for All Seasons”:

    Roper:So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

    More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

    Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

    More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?
    This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down (and you’re just the man to do it!), do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?

    Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

  4. Gregory in Seattle says

    I would dispute that this is a political disagreement. It is a legal one.

    Chick-Fil-A has a notorious record of discriminating against employees who do not adhere to a narrow, fundamentalist Christian viewpoint, including making attendance at religious events a requirement for continued employment and a “code of conduct” that prohibits pre-marital sex and homosexuality. There have been many, MANY complaints filed against the company for similar discrimination against customers. I will find the link, but Cathy said a few years ago that the reason the chain has not spread as far as it could is because they wanted to keep it in localities where their policy of bigotry was either legal or would be ignored by authorities.

    The current brouhaha is simply the last straw in an ongoing pattern of behavior, and one that has caught enough attention that politicians feel free to speak out. And the fact is that companies with a strong, well documented record of violating civil rights should not be welcomed into localities where such violations are illegal.

  5. Kengi says

    A couple of thoughts.

    Chick-Fil isn’t a place of worship, so comparing a fast-food restaurant to a mosque isn’t fair. Places of worship actually do have special constitutional protections when it comes to zoning. Chicken stores aren’t covered under freedom of religion.

    In Chicago there is a long-standing tradition of Alderman having the final say on all zoning and license decisions for their ward. Technically the city council could over-ride the decision, but the other alderman would never do such a thing and set a precedent for ending this privilege.

    This privilege has been used to stop all kinds of legal businesses from opening their doors in communities in and around Chicago. Our city council (as well as those of suburbs) routinely block businesses such as Hooters-style bars, strip clubs, bikini car washes, and mega stores (such as Walmart).

    Moreno’s argument is that his Chick-Fil decision is no different.

    I think it may be different. But it’s not different because Chick-Fil has a constitutional right to open a place of worship under the First Amendment. Unless you consider the fast-food worship to be a religion…

  6. busterggi says

    Chick-Fil-A thinks its a place of worship and so will its troglodyte customers who will now attend services there rather than at KFC or Popeye’s.

    Its really a mastepiece of marketing to capture the southern Christian market.

  7. thalwen says

    If it is based on actual discrimination and a violation of non-discrimination codes then by all means keep them out. However, if it is just based on Cathy’s statements and the company’s history of donating to bigoted groups then it is viewpoint discrimination and a violation of the First Amendment and the local zoning rules don’t trump the Constitution.

    I’ve been boycotting CFA for years and am quite glad to see people finally speaking out against, what is, a long-standing commitment to bigotry. However, I don’t want them to be able to use stuff like this to further their delusional persecution complex.

  8. says

    Ed, I sort of half-agree with you, half-not. I haven’t been paying much attention to the Chicago side of things, but from Menino’s standpoint, the fact that he acknowledges that it’s non-binding indicates it isn’t a First Amendment violation. At this point we get into questions of the greater good, but as long as the legal power isn’t there to back up the threat, I think reasonable people can disagree.

    I think there’s also a question of just how intertwined Chick-fil-a is with its founder’s political activism. As they say, the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact, and it’s no secret that a big chunk of CFA’s profits are going towards political causes that take rights away from other people. At some point you do have to draw a line; I’m not exactly sure where that is, but not too long ago indirect links like ALEC were on one side and direct links like the Cathy family were on the other. We do know which direction that line is moving; Abercrombie and Fitch got stuck on the wrong side of it a few years back, and Wet Seal is finding that out now.

    Like I said, I think at this point reasonable people can disagree, and I can see why the ACLU and others would take the position they have. I disagree, but I’m okay with it. (Besides, IANAL and they are.)

  9. Alverant says

    CFA discriminates in its hiring practices and violates the first ammendment rights of its employees. Why should they be allowed to do business?

  10. left0ver1under says

    Gregory in Seattle (#4) says:

    Chick-Fil-A has a notorious record of discriminating against employees who do not adhere to a narrow, fundamentalist Christian viewpoint, including making attendance at religious events a requirement for continued employment and a “code of conduct” that prohibits pre-marital sex and homosexuality. There have been many, MANY complaints filed against the company for similar discrimination against customers.

    Walmart and other rightwing-owned companies have sordid company-wide histories of sexual harassment of women and discrimination in promotions and hiring. I wouldn’t doubt the same is true of Sick-Fil-A. It happened in at least one restaurant, in San Diego.

  11. Randomfactor says

    he was only “expressing his opinion” of them.

    On official letterhead.

    And to answer Alverant, first of all they don’t violate the first amendment (and can’t), and they should be allowed to do business because we don’t “do” anticipatory punishment in this country. If they’re not in business in Boston, they haven’t violated any discrimination laws there either.

  12. Scientismist says

    Menino’s letter to Kathy is widely available on the internet. It says nothing about using any extra-legal means to prevent CFA from opening a store. It only says that the city and mayor are indeed “proud” of their support for equal rights, in spite of Kathy’s religious antipathy for human moral leadership, and that he feels a discriminatory business has “no place” near the Freedom Trail. All I see is a warning that CFA should not expect a warm welcome, and may be watched closely for any violations of existing anti-discrimination laws. You might argue that such a strong expression of disapproval is unbecoming to a mayor, but that, I would think, should be Menino’s own political decision. If he were to violate existing law and so invite a lawsuit, that might be another matter, but I see no evidence of any such intention. So I see nothing wrong with Mayor Menino’s expression of his moral opinion.

  13. says

    Since the KKK was brought up in the post, what about this hypothetical…

    The owner of a national chain is well known for his outspoken racist views, and has donated millions of company dollars to white pride and other racist organizations. On the other hand, his company has always complied with the law when it comes to hiring and employment practices.

    Now suppose the company wants to expand further into a city, and seeks planning permission for a store next to a majority black area. Why is it wrong for the local government in charge of zoning and approving planning permission when it is clearly not the interests of the local black population to have a racist-owned business in the neighborhood. Don’t the (elected) local representatives have a duty to represent the views of those who elected them?

    Local governments make these kinds of judgement calls all the time–who gets to build what where–and it’s not all that unusual for the views and personality of those who want to set up shop in the community to be taken into account when the decisions are made.

  14. says

    Keep in mind Chick-Fil-A is a franchise. Chick-Fil-A itself wouldn’tbe building stores and the hiring practices are those of other franchise owners. They just happen to attract that kind of owner, but it isn’t grounds to deny somebody else a business license.

  15. abb3w says

    I think it’s constitutionally sketchy, and definitely an offense against libertarian principles. And Menino looks to have gone way too far.

    Moreno may be another story, given the existence of Aldermanic Privilege. Whether that privilege stands up to legal challenges is questionable; Chick-fil-a seem likely to take the matter all the way to the SCOTUS. They have the money and religious/political motive to do so.

  16. says

    Scientismist:

    Please see the quotes above, not from the letter but from an interview with the Boston Herald where he says that the city could deny permits to the company. He did indeed go much further than mere criticism, which he is now trying to back down from.

  17. says

    I think there is some confusion here about anti-discrimination laws. Those laws forbid a company from discriminating on several grounds (though at the federal level, sexual orientation is not one of them). But that doesn’t mean that a company can be denied the right to operate if they’ve been accused of discrimination; it only means that the person who is discriminated against has grounds to take the company to court. There is no legal authority for a city, state or federal entity to forbid a company from operating on the basis of violating those laws, but they can force the company to abide by those laws through court injunctions — and the person discriminated against can win a judgment against them and cost the company money.

  18. Abby Normal says

    Tacitus, what about local governments who don’t think a Jewish-owned business, who’s CEO extols the supremacy of the chosen people, is a good idea in a Christian neighborhood? How about a pro-legalize marijuana business owner in a conservative district? At what point is protecting the sensibilities of the community become discrimination in its own right?

    I think the government wisely prevented from making that determination. The government is barred from punishing people for exorcising their constitutionally protected rights. Denying someone a business license because they expressed an unpopular political opinion would do just that.

  19. Gregory in Seattle says

    @Ed #17 – I’m just saying that there is a potentially legal basis for denying a business license on the grounds of past discrimatory behavior and documented corporate policies that would put the business in violatio of local law. Whether or not such a basis exists would be something for the courts to decide.

  20. says

    Gregory —

    But as I explained, there isn’t any such legal basis. There is nothing in the Civil Rights Act or in Massachusetts state law that gives any authority for denying a license on that basis. Those laws give the person discriminated against the right to sue. If there is no explicit authority for such a denial in the law, then there is no legal basis for it.

  21. says

    I’m all for making Chick-Fil-A feel unwelcome in the civilized world, but I agree denying licenses and such is a bad way to go about it.

    If there’s a legal, ethical way to punish the company for a history of discrimination, I’d be interested. For now, that seems like something for the direct victims to do. Those of us who simply disagree with their politics just have protests, boycotts, and free speech in our arsenal, as far as I can see.

  22. charlesminus says

    There is no “right” to a business license, it is a privilege. The license is being denied in Chicago for valid reasons and the alderman knows what he is doing. You do not have the right to come into my neighborhood and set up any business you want to. I wish more city officials would show this kind of guts. Is it discrimination? Yes. Is it illegal? No. Remember that many forms of discrimination are legal. E.g. voting age, drinking age, citizenship requirements for public office, etc. This alderman is keeping unsavory characters out of his district; more power to him.

  23. says

    Since the KKK was brought up in the post, what about this hypothetical…

    The owner of a national chain is well known for his outspoken racist views, and has donated millions of company dollars to white pride and other racist organizations.

    Are we talking about a fried chicken chain? Because an outspoken racist running one of those makes about as much business sense as a neo-Nazi running a kosher deli.

  24. DrVanNostrand says

    @charlesminus
    If the government denies a business permit based on political speech, that is government punishment based on speech. It clearly violates the 1st amendment. If a pro-gay company were facing the same treatment in the South, the company would similarly be protected by the 1st amendment.

    @Ed
    The statements from officials in Boston and Chicago are clearly aiming to punish based on speech, which is wrong. However, I’m somewhat unclear on is if it is really illegal to deny a permit based on objectionable business practices. Walmart is a classic example. Their permits are frequently scrutinized, delayed, denied due to their long history of mistreating workers. Does a city have no right to reasonably infer how a business will be run? Or must they allow them to offend and then punish them?

  25. slc1 says

    Re DrVanNostrand @ #25

    Hey, their is no evidence so far presented that Chick-a-Fil’s franchisees discriminate either in hiring or service. The franchiser has a right to say anything he/she wants but is prohibited from requiring the company’s franchisees to discriminate in hiring and service, at least in Massachusetts, which, I believe, has an anti discrimination law that, unlike the federal statute, includes sexual orientation. As long as the company’s franchisees do not discriminate in hiring or service based on sexual orientation in Massachusetts, they cannot be denied a license to operate on the basis of speech.

  26. cptdoom says

    I completely agree that the government has no ability to stop a person from doing business just because that person is a loathsome, disgusting, embarrassment of a human begin – after all, if it did then there would be very few people left to run Wall Street and Donald Trump could never build anything again (wait, maybe there is a positive here…). However, there is an issue with Chik-Fil-A that I think could provide a legal means to stop them from operating or at least force a change in business practice.

    As I understand it, to be a franchise owner for this company, you have to agree to their operating rules, including shutting down your stores on Sunday so employees can go to church. Of course, this leaves Jewish, Muslim and members of some Christian sects, like Seventh-Day Adventists, at a huge disadvantage, because if they do no work on their own Sabbath, they lose out on weekend shifts, which are often the most numerous because the stores are the busiest. That could have a huge impact in their ability to earn a living (and perhaps keeping out “those people” is in fact a rationale behind the policy).

    Clearly a franchise owner is acting of their own free will in agreeing to these rules, but don’t they put that owner in the position of being forced to discriminate against people who don’t worship on Sunday?

  27. marcus says

    Here in the mountains of Colorado a bar can be denied a license on the grounds of moral turpitude. We have successfully fought off the incursion of big-box by zoning regs based on the type of business based on size restrictions and infrastructure usage but those are obviously different issues.

  28. DrVanNostrand says

    @slc1
    I agree that there is no airtight evidence about discriminatory business practices at the moment. However, I’ve read several links accusing them of religious discrimination. My comment addressed to Ed was about whether discriminatory practices could be a reason to deny permits if it were true.

  29. says

    I think there is a difference here that makes Chick-fil-a worthy of special attention. Corporations for the most part are amoral. Their abuses are about money; mostly they go where the profits are and if that means employees get hurt and customers get shafted, they don’t care. Nothing personal, just business. Chick-fil-a is different — their leaders directly get involved in causes that are explicitly intended to hurt people who don’t toe the evangelical line. They’re not the only one either, although the only one I can think of off the top of my head is Hobby Lobby. Essentially they openly and actively support the subversion of the Constitution — they want their rights protected but don’t want others to object. Like I said above, there’s a fairly clear line here. That said, testing this situation in court would probably be a good thing in the long run, so there’s an established precedent.

  30. slc1 says

    Re cptdoom @ #27

    I don’t think that argument would fly in court. There is nothing in the law requiring a company to open for business on a particular day. In fact, in some states, there are or at least used to be, blue laws that prevented most businesses from opening for business on Sundays. This was certainly true in New York State when I was a graduate student in a school in upstate NY. Supermarkets for instance closed at 6:00PM on Saturdays and did not reopen until 8:00AM on the following Monday. AFAIK, the blue laws were found constitutional.

  31. says

    abb3w “Moreno may be another story, given the existence of Aldermanic Privilege.”
    Now you’re just being ridiculous! Alderman was blown up by the Death Star!

  32. says

    So he’s [Moreno] willing to use a pretext to deny a permit to a company when it’s really just about political disagreement.

    And this is nothing new to Chicago. I was appalled when I moved here from the East Coast. Back then it was even more deeply corrupt.

    The aldermen actually have no legal power to block anything in their wards. Legally, they’re only part-time reps to the city council, but, in fact, the informal system gives the aldermen the power to rule their own wards with near total dictatorial power, with the support of other aldermen and the mayor’s office. Quite often they’ll use some flimsy pretext to block a business for political purposes and sometimes it’s about their own quirky beliefs.

    In a recent case, a hot dog stand was pushed out of the city by Ald. Bob Fioretti.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/04/felony-franks-to-close-ow_n_1567666.html

    A famous case involved the alderman in my home ward, Bernie Stone. We bordered the City of Evanston. The border street, Howard Street, was the site of a big shopping construction project on the Evanston side of Howard. Bernie Stone, the alderman on the Chicago side of the street, was pissed off about how it would affect traffic on the Chicago side. When Evanston officials weren’t responding to his satisfaction, he simply called streets and san and told them to put up a fence down the middle of street blocking traffic between Chicago and Evanston in the area of the mall. He had no legal authority to do this, but no one in Chicago was going to stop him. These alderman reliably deliver votes to the mayor in elections that historically looked like vote totals from the Soviet Union.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Stone#.22Berny.27s_Wall.22

    This is so common that most of the time it isn’t even news. On the corrupt but bright side is that if you have a problem, you can call your alderman and often get an incredibly speedy solution, particularly if you’ve got an in. It isn’t right, but that’s how Chicago politics works.

    About 15 years, my partner and I bought a condo that we converted to an office in a Chicago high rise. The building itself was in the midst of converting to condos. On the day before we were supposed to commence business, the approved contractor working with the developer wasn’t even close to finishing the work and we were getting shabby treatment and runaround from the developer. I was on the phone with my then girlfriend who asked me if I wanted her to take care of it. She was acquainted with the alderman. Almost everyone knows somebody who knows somebody. Literally, a half hour after we got off the phone, there was a crew in our office and they finished the work that day. Alderman and city government have such a life-and-death power over businesses that they can seemingly move mountains when you have a problem, provided the business involved doesn’t have a hotter aldermanic or city hall connection than yours. And even then, they’ll often broker a quick solution. Weird city.

  33. Michael Heath says

    If the Chick-Fil-A issue has any traction, the opportunity here isn’t to deny their entry into a certain locale, but to instead pass laws in those locales prohibiting employers from discriminating against GLBTs.

  34. says

    If the Chick-Fil-A issue has any traction, the opportunity here isn’t to deny their entry into a certain locale, but to instead pass laws in those locales prohibiting employers from discriminating against GLBTs.

    The laws are long on the books in these locales. Chicago was a latecomer passing its antidiscrimination law in 1988. It was first proposed in 1973. Like quite a few other cities, Chicago has a Domestic Partner Ordinance that entitles domestic partners to register as domestic partners and requires all employers in the city to provide the same health benefits that are offered to married spouses. This was enacted before the state passed the civil unions law which effectively granted the same rights. The Catholic Church here complied by offering all employees the right to coverage for one other person in their household, making it technically not a grave sin to provide the coverage.

  35. paul says

    In Massachusetts, gay marriage is legally recognized. Any business that offers benefits would have to treat married same sex couples the same as married heterosexual couples. Is CFA complying with this?

  36. raven says

    ..Chick-fil-A’s Vice President of Public Relations Dies of Heart Attack
    By Amy Bingham | ABC News – 5 hrs ago…….
    ..
    Chick-fil-A’s Vice President of Public Relations Don Perry died “suddenly” Friday morning, the company confirmed. Perry was based in the Atlanta area and worked in Chick-fil-A’s corporate communications department./blockquote>

    Hmmm, maybe there is a god after all.

    If he exists, there is a lot of evidence he hates fundie xians.

  37. d cwilson says

    Give them the license.

    Then have the city health inspector do a surprise inspection every week.

  38. says

    charlesminus wrote:

    There is no “right” to a business license, it is a privilege. The license is being denied in Chicago for valid reasons and the alderman knows what he is doing. You do not have the right to come into my neighborhood and set up any business you want to. I wish more city officials would show this kind of guts. Is it discrimination? Yes. Is it illegal? No. Remember that many forms of discrimination are legal. E.g. voting age, drinking age, citizenship requirements for public office, etc. This alderman is keeping unsavory characters out of his district; more power to him.

    Right. And when some city council decides that gay people are “unsavory characters” and they want to deny a permit to a company whose president gives money to the Human Rights Campaign, will that still be your answer? I doubt it. And it shouldn’t be.

  39. says

    Mumbles Menino is not a diplomat.

    Having said that if Chick-Fil-A’s corporate policies are in direct conflict with Boston/Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination laws I can see where a consent decree might be in order.

  40. jayarrrr says

    “It’s time to stop this nonsense.”

    Ain’t that the truth. This bullshit has gone on about a week longer than it should.

    Ask yourself, “Am I willing to take up my pitchfork, storm and torch my neighbourhood Chik-fil-A?”

    If the answer’s “No”, then it’s time to move on to the next bright shiny object.

    If the answer’s “yes”, Get Help.

  41. thalwen says

    Like I said, it does not matter what their zoning and non-discrimination laws are because the Constitution is supreme. If an alderman has zoning discretion, s/he still does not have the discretion to violate the Constitution. Now, I can see a company being denied a zoning permit if it explicitly denies access to a group because that would make it fall under the public accommodations doctrine and a state would be able to enforce that. If a company formed and actively discriminated against LGBT then it would also be liable for all the sanctions and fines and open to private lawsuits. It is the right and responsibility of politicians to speak out against discrimination but that’s as far as it can go.

    @44 This is a company that has been virulently anti-gay for years and years. It is only now getting attention and all the bad press it has avoided for whatever reason is well deserved and I hope it keeps coming. No, not willing to storm a Chick-Fil-A because bigots aren’t worth it, but more than willing to exercise my free speech to call them out on their homophobia.

  42. beergoggles says

    Give them the license. Then have the city health inspector do a surprise inspection every week.

    Good one #40.

    So much this. Republicans in the south use tactics like this and more to constantly harass and shut down gay bars, bookstores and health clinics. They are even more overt with their persecution of Planned Parenthood. If it’s good for the goose it’s good for the gander. I hope these mayors make CFA’s life in these cities miserable every chance they get.

  43. frankboyd says

    Full credit here; these two are way out of line.

    Right. And when some city council decides that gay people are “unsavory characters” and they want to deny a permit to a company whose president gives money to the Human Rights Campaign, will that still be your answer? I doubt it. And it shouldn’t be.

    That’s an admirably principled stand. Couldn’t agree more.

    There’s a few little details that seem to be ignored by those who are always hot for state power to shove the citizenry around.

    Up until very recently, Obama’s position on gay marriage was identical to that of Chick-Fil-A. Any complaints then from Rahm Emmanuel? Don’t be silly. As I recall, it was the Clinton administration that rammed that piece of gay-baiting demagoguery through, the Defense of Marriage Act. Any complaints from this member of that administration? Again, don’t be silly.

    Now mark Mayor Merino’s sequel. While this chap’s been thundering about how “bigots aren’t welcome here”, he has also been doing things like donating $1.8 million in federal land to the Islamic Society of Boston, one of whose trustees is a certain Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Whose views on gays are not “Should they be allowed to marry?” but “How is the best way of killing them?”

    In the UK with fantastic Ken Livingstone, who also used to be known for his excellent stance on gay rights, similarly finds there’s now more votes in the literally militant anti-gay lobby.

    For the record, I support gay marriage and think that I could make a better argument for it than most, but I am deeply suspicious of all politicians who are too loudly for it. Because of the foregoing. One day it’s “We won’t tolerate any dissent from our view on gay marriage!”, the next it’s “Kill the gays? No problem, as long as you deliver me enough votes.”

    These people are snakes, and are not to be trusted even slightly.

  44. says

    Fucked Boyd sez:

    “As I recall, it was the Clinton administration that rammed that piece of gay-baiting demagoguery through, the Defense of Marriage Act.”

    And as everyone else who comments here likely recalls, Franky is a fucking liar.

    From wiki:

    “Georgia Representative Bob Barr, then a Republican, authored the Defense of Marriage Act and introduced it in the House of Representatives on May 7, 1996. Senator Don Nickles of Oklahoma introduced it in the Senate.”

    Correct that, you misearable fucking piece of shit.

  45. frankboyd says

    Ed, you really have one classy crowd around here.

    Sorry, sorry my bad, Clinton just rushed to sign it and then hired seventy spots on Christian radio stations to brag about the fact.

    But, hey! First rule of American “leftism”: “it’s only the other party that does the bad things, durka durka.”

    Neat way to skip the other points by the way. Well done.

  46. dingojack says

    You really are going to have to buy yourself an alarm clock Cranky so you don’t keep missing your ‘two minute hate’ sessions.

    Up until very recently, Obama’s position on gay marriage was identical to that of Chick-Fil-A“.

    Really? Identical were they? So Obama gave huge amount of cash to individuals, organisations and campaigns supporting bigotry against homosexuals, and (allegedly) discriminated against homosexual employees and customers, did he? And you’ve got a heap of citations for this claim I suppose?

    As I recall, it was the Clinton administration that rammed that piece of gay-baiting demagoguery through, the Defense of Marriage Act“.
    Ooops, someone caught me out. No one will notice if I just shift the goal-posts to:
    Clinton just rushed to sign it and then hired seventy spots on Christian radio stations to brag about the fact”.

    Any evidence Clinton ‘hurried’ to sign, or that he hired 70 spots to brag about it? Any at all?

    Now mark Mayor Merino’s sequel. While this chap’s been thundering about how “bigots aren’t welcome here”, he has also been doing things like donating $1.8 million in federal land to the Islamic Society of Boston, one of whose trustees is a certain Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Whose views on gays are not ‘Should they be allowed to marry?’ but ‘[What] is the best way of killing them?'”.

    Really, Cranky? Did he donate cash to anyone else? Did he donate anything at all?
    So ‘One of whose trustees [of The Islamic Society of Boston] is a certain Yusuf al-Qaradawi’, and if one one shareholders of Chicka Fill A was one ‘Don L. Duck’ would that make the organisation a Disney cartoon?

    For the record, I support gay marriage and think that I could make a better argument for it than most, but I am deeply suspicious of all politicians who are too loudly for it. Because of the foregoing. One day it’s ‘We won’t tolerate any dissent from our view on gay marriage!’, the next it’s ‘Kill the gays? No problem, as long as you deliver me enough votes.’

    These people are snakes, and are not to be trusted even slightly”.

    Your concerns (along with your homicidal fantasies) are noted, and you can rest assured that they are been given all the consideration they’re due.

    Dingo

  47. says

    Franky teh fuckbag sez:

    “Ed, you really have one classy crowd around here.”.

    Well, gee, fucky, he actually does have a “classy” crowd. He also has a number of people who haven’t the good manners to ignore asshattery from human excrement like you. Here’s a hint; if you want to stop being treated like a piece of shit, stop being a piece of shit–or, since being a piece of shit is WHO you are, go leave your slimetrail elsewhere.

    BTW, the Mayor Menino “donating” land thing; you have that citation, too, yes? Otherwise we’ll just have to add that whopper to the growing pile of fecal matter that comprises your contribution to discourse.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply