In the wake of Chick-fil-A's president, Dan Cathy, making anti-gay remarks and disparaging gay marriage, Mayor Thomas M. Menino is pledging to block the chain from Boston.
On Friday, Menino sounded off on the chain's discriminatory positions, with clear disdain and a little bit of venom. From the Boston Herald (emphasis mine):
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.”Or whatever the hell the name is. Indeed!
“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.”
Under fire, Chick-fil-A released a statement in which it claims to apply "biblically-based principles" to all its business practices, and that this precludes any forms of discrimination.
Menino clearly disagrees. And yet, undeterred by Menino (whose stated refusal to allow the city to grant a business license is apparently not God's will), the company is scouting a location in Boston across from the Holocaust Museum. The chutzpah.
As was pointed out on Daily Kos in a fantastic post, the company's executives need to read their bibles a bit more closely. But more than that, Chick-fil-A's top brass must come to realize two facts:
A) So-called "pro-family" and "traditional family" stances discriminate against and disparage gay couples in a false pursuit of biblical harmony, and that their narrow, fundamental biblical approaches are nothing more than swigs of hate being taken from a Christian chalice.
B) Growing segments of America's consumer base are rejecting such "biblically-based" discrimination, and the company will, if it continues down this road, martyr itself upon the sword of its bigotry.
There may come a point when Chick-fil-A will be forced to distance itself from its current leadership and anti-gay stances in order to remain viable.
Until that point, though, count on the company continuing to, well, behave like a dick. And in response, count on more people like Menino and myself to reject what they're serving.
Follow me on Twitter @David_EHG
Author's Note 1:
Adam B (and others) have raised very interesting First Amendment issues regarding a government's ability (or non-ability) to block a business for its expressed philosophical views. In all honesty, I had not considered the connection between a government's refusal to grant a business license and the curtailing of free speech.
It's an important discussion. What I want to know is this: does Chick-fil-A's explicit financial support (through its charitable arm) for anti-gay organizations which work to discriminate against segments of the population cross any municipal (or MA) codes which would legally allow the city to refuse a license? And even if such codes existed, would they hold up to Constitutional scrutiny? I suspect not.
Author's Note 2:
If you'd like more reason to have disdain for Chick-fil-A, watch this beautiful trailer for a documentary on how Chick-fil-A is trying to shut down a small Vermont business owner who makes "Eat More Kale" shirts, and how the business owner is fighting back.
It's called "A Defiant Dude," and is absolutely worth three minutes of your time.
Author's Note 3:
Thanks to We Won for passing along a link to this change.org petition, which I encourage you to sign. (Support the Students: Stand Up Against Chick-fil'A's Anti-Gay Agenda.)