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View Diary: Glenn Greenwald and Chick-Fil-A (46 comments)

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  •  On the flip side (1+ / 0-)
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    we have a tradition of respecting and defending religious freedom in this country that's more deeply-entrenched than the defense of the innocent, even: laws targeting religious groups require strict scrutiny, which is a higher standard than the one for women (intermediate), the disabled  (rational basis), or LGBTs (none yet determined).   The IRS would actually have a harder time instituting a discriminatory policy based on religion, if such a thing were ever proposed.

    While the president of Chik-Fil-A's comments are indeed unnerving, they aren't relevant to legal action against the company, as long as their treatment of employees and customers falls within the boundaries of the law.  There are examples of employees filing discrimination lawsuits, but I'm not aware of customers ever being discriminated against in the store.  I understand why you're trying to extend the context of the corporate mission - believe me, I'm sympathetic - but that's not how courts judge whether companies are abiding by the law or not.  If I were to walk into Chik-Fil-A today (blech), they'd serve me like any other customer and not harass me for being gay.  The president's remarks are a clear-cut case of free speech.

    Boycotts are useful here because they signal that the company is not wanted, or that its corporate policy stinks.  That's great.  There's just no legal grounds to punish the company, outside of the cases of discrimination against employees.  

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 01:14:56 PM PDT

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    •  Rejoinder (0+ / 0-)

      Let's remember that we had a lot of "traditions" that we aren't so proud of anymore.  I mean, Brown was probably a much sharper break with precedent than anything I'm suggesting.  And respect for religious freedom  is not a viable defense for race-based discrimination.  I just don't think there's any justified basis for establishing different scrutiny levels for race and sex-preference discrimination.

      You may know more than I do about the legal consequences of discriminating against employees vs. the legal consequences attendant to discriminating against certain customers, so I can't really engage with you.  I'd just point out that to the extent corporate officers are liable for their statements - and my first take is that  his statements would constitute legal evidence, relevant to establishing whether or not Chick-Fil-A is a company that systematically discriminates.  And I'm not sure if a local gov't is allowed to deny permits as opposed to enforcing its laws after a business breaks them (although lawyers aren't entitled to bar membership, and bars aren't entitled to liquor licenses without proving good character), but assuming they have discretion to deny permits, I think the statements could be one consideration in a totality of the circumstances analysis.

      Again, no specific legal expertise.

      And I'd agree that politically, the mayors erred.  They effectively validated the "Big Gov't Liberal" myth.

      Was never very good at math. Oddly, though, I can count by twos if I start at the number 1.

      by Mike Stark on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:16:57 PM PDT

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