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The dust-up over Chick-Fil-A seemed to be all over the news this week. The ABC News report above is decent enough, but like much of the coverage, including a report that aired on CNN Friday morning, it breezes very superficially over the nature of the complaints the LGBT community has with Chick-Fil-A in favor of adopting the Right's spin that it's just about the president expressing "disagreement" on gay marriage.

For the most part lost in the facile conversation is the fact that Chick-Fil-A has donated almost $5M to groups, many of whom are found on Southern Poverty Law Center's hate group list.

Like much of the mainstream discussion of LGBT rights, marriage has eclipsed all else.

In fact, Chick-Fil-A funds groups that fight LGBT-affirming initiatives in whatever form they take: non-discrimination protection in housing and employment; repealing "Don't ask, don't tell"; any form of equitable partner benefit compensation in public or private employment; forming gay/straight alliance student clubs in schools; the rights of gays and lesbians to adopt or even have custody of their own kids; many of these groups openly extoll the virtues of professionally repudiated, dangerous "gay reparative" therapy. It isn't as simple as Chick-Fil-A "just has a different opinion" on marriage. Zack Ford at Think Progress has a great overview of exactly how thoroughly anti-gay Chick-Fil-A is, and how poorly most of the mainstream media has communicated that to their audiences.

We can argue whether they "hate" gay people, but there's no argument the groups Chick-Fil-A supports don't wish to see LGBT people make any progress in any avenue of life at all. They not only approve of the oppressive status quo, they'll gladly walk it back (like reinstating and enforcing sodomy laws) and work tirelessly to do so.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

Now, a number of elected politicians have jumped into the fray, including Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston. The Boston Herald describes the mayor's involvement as thus:

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.”
Menino's quotes are rather more ambiguous than "blocking," which appears to be a word the Herald choose, not Menino. “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.” A copy of the letter sent to Cathy (pdf) only says, "I urge you to back out of your plans to locate to Boston." Menino later backed away from the position he'd "block" Chick-Fil-A, conceding he didn't have the power.

Meanwhile in Chicago, a city alderman Joe Moreno has gotten into the act and seems to be a little more aggressive and unrepentant about exercising the power he feels he wields. From the Huffington Post:

Chick-fil-A has obtained a zoning permit for the restaurant but needs approval from the City Council to divide the land, Moreno said. And in a city where the City Council rarely go against the wishes of the alderman, Chick-fil-A needs Moreno's help.

Moreno said holding up construction would be as simple as refusing to introduce an ordinance to subdivide the land where Chick-fil-A wants to build.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel jumped in this his agreement, and later walked it back somewhat.

"take a hike and take your intolerance with you"
And in Philadelphia, James F. Kenney, city councilman At-Large released a rather scathing letter of condemnation. He also announced his intention to present a resolution of condemnation to the Philadelphia City Council. It appears this is a non-binding resolution of condemnation although it has apparently not been released.

I totally appreciate and applaud politicians attempting to help through the power of the bully pulpit by expressing their personal views on Chick-Fil-A. But politicians should resist the urge to play to the cheap seats with promises to use government mechanisms to block Chick-Fil-A's expansion or livelihood.

Let's be clear on the nature of complaints about Chick-Fil-A. They are mostly surrounding the political speech of its president and the political donations of the corporation.

And although, I believe what Chick-Fil-A is involved in is egregious, offensive, divisive, hurtful and a root cause of rising LGBT hate crimes rates, extraordinarily high rates of homelessness among LGBT youth and the bullying and suicides of LGBT youth, I also believe what they are doing is legal. Speech and corporate political donations are constitutionally affirmed, even lamentably so, by the Supreme Court in Citizen's United. These are the rules of the game.

I've been very outspoken critic of Chick-Fil-A's activities (duh, see this, this, this and this). I'm no fan of Chick-Fil-A.

But, I am a big fan of the First Amendment. I think people should be free to speak their mind however they see fit. As the most devoted among us believe, especially when it offends people (even me). Free speech belongs to the gays and atheists, and Chick-Fil-A and the Klu Klux Klan and Fred and Margie Phelps, or it belongs to no one.

Let's not confuse a right to free speech with the right to be insulated from the consequences of offending people, as the Right likes to do. They love to complain about "being silenced" when they are protested. Although, we have yet to see any evidence any anti-gay people have ever been "silenced," alas. For a people so vulnerable to "silencing" they sure are relentlessly noisy in expressing their opinions. I present exhibit A:

Sarah and Todd Palin express their support for Chick-Fil-A.
Always classy: Sarah and Todd Palin exercised their First Amendment right to free expression
in support of Chick-Fil-A on Friday. (Facebook)
The thing about free speech that seems to escape such people is no one has a constitutionally guaranteed right to get the last word in any disagreement. Mr. Cathy is entitled to say any disgusting thing that comes into his mind, and those who disagree are free to express that disagreement ... and in perpetuity.
Protestors at a Chick-fil-a
The kids are alright: Thursday, at a store grand opening in Laguna Hills, CA,
Youth from Youth Empowered to Act distributed fliers to inform potential customers of Chick-Fil-A's
donations to anti-LGBT organizations. (GLAAD)
But politicians and even people who are viscerally charmed or delighted by the mayor and alderman's threats should remember there's a big difference between individuals, even groups expressing disagreement or protesting, and the government using brute force to punish any business based on the companies' political speech and donations. The latter is a bridge too far for me. We don't deny building permits because we don't like what the proprietor says or who he supports with his perfectly legal political donations. That isn't the reason the government is empowered to grant or deny building permits.

Menino and Moreno's comments have unfortunately derailed the conversation to some extent and moved it into some uncomfortable and unflattering territory even prompting some unlikely people to give perhaps a reluctant defense to Chick-Fil-A. Agreeing with Kevin Drum, his colleague at Mother Jones, Adam Serwer said, "Menino and Moreno have it wrong."

Chick-fil-A should not be prevented from opening business because of the views of its leaders, or his donations to anti-gay causes. But gays and lesbians in Illinois and Massachusetts have the right to be free from discrimination in employment based on who they are. They also have a right to protest, boycott, and make Chick-fil-A's customers aware that their purchases fund anti-gay activism. If Chick-fil-A discriminates in hiring or refuses to serve customers on the basis of sexual orientation, the local authorities can and should hold him accountable.

Until then, the politicians should get out of the way.

Digby adds her concurrence to Serwer succinctly: "We don't do that here."
It's tempting to leverage whatever state power we have to fight [bigotry]—and there may even be legitimate ways to do that. But that's all the more reason to be vigilant about the Bill of Rights. It's a bulwark against what could happen if [bigots] are successful [at seizing control].
Indeed, there are legitimate ways. Unfortunately for Chick-Fil-A, their higher profile may invite heightened scrutiny of their questionable employment practices which have been said to include religious discrimination (including a 2002 lawsuit by a Muslim restaurant owner who refused to pray to Jesus) and gender discrimination. They are currently facing a gender discrimination suit from a woman who claims to have been fired and told she should be a stay-at-home mom. But these and possible LGBT employment discrimination in states where such laws apply, like IL, CA, NY, NJ and NM, are an entirely separate matter from their political views and donations.

So, I feel compelled to voice my agreement with Serwer and Digby, and a handful of others, like and Glenn Greenwald. and his Salon colleague Mary Elizabeth Williams, and James Peron at the Moorfield Storey Institute who writes at Huffington Post, "Shut Down Chick-fil-A Properly." Utilizing a regional upper-hand is a tactic that is at best, ill-advised, and at worst, a blatant violation of the First Amendment.

I confess, I have little optimism an organized boycott of Chick-Fil-A will deliver serious damage to their fiscal bottom line, or ever "shut down Chick-Fil-A." I suspect it might play out much like National Organization for Marriage's failed boycott efforts aimed at Starbucks and General Mills, as a laughable and embarrassing demonstration of impotence.

Which is in no way to say protesting Chick-Fil-A is pointless.

But Chick-Fil-A's critics would be well-served to recognize it's time to settle in for a long game. There is gain to be made by focusing a public education spotlight on the groups Chick-Fil-A supports, like Bryan Fischer's American Family Association and Tony Perkin's Family Research Council whose nefarious, hateful rhetoric and activities are masked by innocuous-sounding names and a veneer of "good Christianity."

Activists too might hope to make Chick-Fil-A a corporate pariah so other companies won't be inclined to sully their own brand by association. Leaning on sponsors to distance themselves from Rush Limbaugh has proven been a very effective tool.

Getting a big karate chop from Miss Piggy and the Muppets this week was doubtlessly a big embarrassment for Chick-Fil-A, particularly evident as they've since they've taken to lying about the reasons the relationship with the Jim Henson Company was severed.

And Chick-Fil-A is doubtlessly rich with partnerships and joint ventures that could be vulnerable. They currently have a four-year marketing agreement with PBS, as well as a high-profile one with ESPN in the annual college football Chick-Fil-A bowl. ESPN recently launched ESPN Equal Ally an extension of ESPN Equal program aimed at educating people to LGBT discrimination in the work and play space. The question is begged, can they really work to end homophobia in sports while partnering with corporations that openly foment it?

Do the college football organizations affiliated with the Chick-Fil-A bowl really want to be associated with the company? Leveraging college football was a particularly effective tool at ending the Mormon Church's racially discriminatory practices back in the 1970s. College student councils might provide some serious pressure by taking up a cause of demanding their university boycott the event. Just a few big colleges saying no might create an existential threat to the entire venture. Imagine the public embarrassment of a southern company getting kicked out of football event.

Human Rights Campaign organizes LGBT protests of a Chick-Fil-A food truck in DC July 2012 to raise awareness about the millions of dollars the company has donated to anti-LGBT organizations
We got this: Thursday Human Rights Campaign staged a protest outside of a Chick-Fil-A food truck
in downtown Washington, D.C. Protestors pass out fact sheets to raise awareness about the millions of
dollars the company has donated to anti-LGBT organizations
Those fighting for equality have lots of tools in the tool box. Let's trust in them, because they can ultimately get the job done. Big government social engineering and feckless disregard for the Constitution are not among the right wing's tactics the Left needs to imitate.
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Comment Preferences

  •  George Will (28+ / 0-)

    was his usual dreadful self on ABC's This Week this morning. He called early voting trends "deplorable" because it "complicates campaigning terribly" (because elections should favor the convenience of candidates over voters,  of course).

    But one thing he said in the discussion of legal threats against Chick-Fil-A's expansion that made me nearly fall out of my chair was this:

    "The gay rights movement isn't driving this. The gay rights movement is far too sensible."
    Thank you for that George.

    David Chaliian acknowledged that Menino had walked back his initial statements. Unfortunately most of the focus of the conversation was these threats.

    None was on Chick-Fil-A's political donations, which weren't mentioned, nor the groups they support.

    "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

    by Scott Wooledge on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:05:39 PM PDT

  •  Well said. (12+ / 0-)

    And FWIW, Mayor Menino has backed down:

    “Originally, I said I would do every­thing I can to stop them.’’ Menino said in an interview at City Hall. “And that was mostly using the bully pulpit of being mayor of the city and getting public support. But I didn’t say I would not allow them to go for permits or anything like that. I just said we would do everything we can, bully pulpit-wise.”

    ...Menino clarified his view Thursday, saying that it would not be within his power to take any steps to prevent the business from establishing a franchise in the city and that he could not deny permits to the company. His only recourse, he said, is expressing his disapproval.

    “Yes, people have criticized me; I understand that,” Menino said. “But I have feelings . . . I have my First Amendment rights also. I’m expressing them.”

  •  I agree. (11+ / 0-)

    I think the political bullying is hurting our side more than it is theirs, in regards to Chick-fil-A.

    I support free speech, but you can make damn sure I won't ever eat there again.

    •  I respectfully disagree (0+ / 0-)

      I understand where you're coming from, but I don't think this is a good message for Democrats. Having a bleeding heart and a humongous set of balls are not exclusive concepts, nor should they be.

      As much as I admire Mayor Menino's letter, if I were him, I would have hedged my statements, and added a course of action (LGBT grassroots hostility - free speech is an expressway, Chick-fil-A better speed up or get off at the next exit).

      Still, I can't imagine a more effective way of kickstarting a LGBT grassroots campaign. The only thing that Republicans have on this is "free speech", "free enterprise", and "jobs destroying".  Democrats and LGBT groups can say "Promoting violent infringement of LGBT rights" (which trumps all (R) arguments, just do the research of all the groups C-F-A supports), "McJobs are not of economic focus", and "Food sucks anyway."

      I think, with the best messaging minds on hand, Menino can really turn this to his advantage.  

  •  Sarah Palin doesn't eat Chick-Fil-A (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rightiswrong, qofdisks, dwayne, sethtriggs

    Notice the picture was of her and Todd with bags of food that you couldn't see inside.  Say what you want about Sarah, she's probably way too healthy to eat that food on any sort of a regular basis.  I'm guessing she took a  few bites and threw out the rest.

  •  I don't eat cat, and I don't eat Chick-fil-A (19+ / 0-)

    and I don't eat racist, homophobic, teabagger Linda Bean's lobster, either.

    I get to decide where I put my money. I don't put it, if I can help it, into the hands of people who see me as less than human, or worse.

    Had Romney gone to Dublin: "The babies are just the right size. To eat."

    by commonmass on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:10:56 PM PDT

  •  I'll never eat there (6+ / 0-)

    (I'm an Orthodox Jew; Chick-fil-a isn't kosher.) But they have the right to their opinions and the government should not interfere. If they wanted to put a store in my neighborhood I'd support it if it had the right zoning. (A heavily Orthodox Jewish area isn't a good place to put a non-kosher restaurant.)

  •  How closely involved we want elected (5+ / 0-)

    officials to be in progressive movements is always a tricky subject. Most of the time we want them to voice support and maybe help with fundraising, but to be actively involved can create problems.

    Sometimes movements need to undertake actions (boycotts, loud protest) that politicians may later find difficult to support while they also carry out their duties (law enforcement).

    This is a long winded way of saying I agree with you Scott.

    As to the real issue of our problem with Chick-Fil-A, their funding of homophobic organizations. This is a continuation of the bad messaging of progressives. We need to find a better way of making sure our surrogates who get interviewed in traditional media, have a better grasp of our "talking points". Not sure hwo we do that?

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:14:09 PM PDT

    •  The problem too... (5+ / 0-)

      is this:

      better way of making sure our surrogates who get interviewed in traditional media,
      On This Week this morning it was a ton of republicans and no one actually involved in the issue.

      Actually getting genuine members of the LGBT community on MSM, more difficult than you'd imagine. (Unless your name is Dan Savage.)

      "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:22:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pretty much sums up what I think.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8, Scott Wooledge, luckylizard

    The only thing I don't like is the phrase "Big government social engineering," which (ironically) sounds like something a right-wing talk show host would say to describe Head Start, Social Security, and all the other programs they don't like.  I pretty much agree with the point of the diary, though.  

    Don't crash the gate--take back the keys.

    by lungfish on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:14:37 PM PDT

  •  Corporations are people, my friend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExStr8, qofdisks

    Bigoted, opinionated Republican people who are your betters. And don't forget that, my friend.

  •  Does anybody else want (6+ / 0-)

    to hang onto this photo to post on the inevitable day when Todd Palin's "big secret" comes out in some tabloid rag?

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:18:47 PM PDT

  •  38 links ? (0+ / 0-)

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:19:53 PM PDT

  •  Great post... (10+ / 0-)

    I saw your tweet this week in support of Digby's piece and was hoping you'd use your megaphone here to elaborate. If we want to have gay bars, bookstores, and coffee shops in red states, then we have to accept the right of objectionable beliefs in businesses in blue states as well. Doesn't mean we can't be vigilant about their employment practices and it doesn't prevent us from preaching against supporting their bottom line.

    •  Really if you support (12+ / 0-)

      government blocking Chick-Fil-A because they're objectionable, in political speech and donations....

      You really can't complain when the mayor of a southern town blocks a Ben & Jerry franchise for opening because Ben & Jerry's supports letting gays get married.

      I mean, you could, but you'd be a big hypocrite, imo.

      "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:26:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I admire your self-control; (4+ / 0-)

        your focus on the long game; and your recognition of the universality of rights, even when it isn't easy.

        I wish I had more of all of that.

        •  I'm a fan of systems... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          this just in, Ahianne, sethtriggs

          introducing into the system a mechanism to push people and companies for political activity makes me very nervous.

          Actually, I think a lot of the LGBT community actually feels that way BECAUSE we've been on the receiving end of that tyranny for a long time. ei: "No liquor licenses for perverts!"

          As George Will said, this isn't coming from the gays so much.

          And thank you.

          "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

          by Scott Wooledge on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:55:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see the logical connection there, BUT... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, mrblifil, qofdisks, sethtriggs

        let's assume there is for the moment.  THAT ALREADY HAPPENS, albeit in various forms.  

        The state of Mississippi is in the process of closing down the last of the state's abortion clinics.  They're not doing that for non-partisan reasons.  Shit, they are open and aboveboard about it, and even if they lose this one in court, they are still a tremendous success because it's THE ONLY clinic left in Mississippi and they have managed to hassle it nearly to death.

        We need to start fighting back and get rid of this superior-tactics crap.  It has served us very, very poorly.  

        •  I agree we can learn from the right (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BradyB, Ahianne

          on how to fight, but I stop short of employing tactics that I personally believe violate the Constitution.

          "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

          by Scott Wooledge on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:57:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's already a procedure in place (0+ / 0-)

            to determine what's constitutional or not.  It's called the courts.  They make us sweat it out in courts.  We should do the same to them.  If we lose, that's fine.  But we'll never get there because by this reasoning which you adopt, we never try.  One more case of preemptive surrender.

            •  No. (8+ / 0-)

              It's really not fine.

              If we lose, that's fine
              It delivers a huge vindication to the Christian fundamentalists that they've been unfairly bullied by the gays. And just as they've been saying they are the real martyrs.

              And they probably would win at the Supreme Court, if it even gets there before they win.

              Especially by this Supreme Court, that never met a political donation that was off limits and has been deferential to even Fred Phelps "political speech" of protesting military funerals.

              It's a definite loser. Only fools and morons pick fights they know they'll lose.

              "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

              by Scott Wooledge on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 08:17:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No it harasses them out of viable business. (0+ / 0-)

                That is the message that comes through. I do think that harassing a private business with bad press and boycott is way legit. If they discriminate, that is likely against the law.  In which case, they can be prosecuted or sued.

                •  I am 1000% behind individuals (4+ / 0-)

                  and advocacy groups harrassing Chick-Fil-a out of business. This should be self-evident by my posting history.

                  I think people elected to positions of power are obliged to exercise their power judiciously and abstain from the temptation to punish people and businesses they disagree with, and just let the free market play out.

                  I rather guess Chick-Fil-A's expansion plans may soon be stymied by a reluctance of qualified individuals ponying up to buy a franchise. Who would Wang to step up and plunk their life savings on a faltering brand?

                  "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

                  by Scott Wooledge on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 07:24:33 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  To me the larger point is (5+ / 0-)

      Do those gay bars, bookstores, and coffee shops finance anti heterosexual hate groups? I don't think so.

      I'm not gay but I'm in a minority group. If Sheriff Arpaio wanted to open a chain of Mexican food restaurants and used some of the money I spent there on financing the Minutemen, I would have some issues with that. On the other hand, if he only wanted to make a profit and retire with the promise of stitching his bigot-ass mouth shut until he died, I'd be the first in line for the tacos.

      •  Financing hate groups wouldn't be it. (0+ / 0-)

        We've already seen the arguments they'd use countless times during their successful ballot initiatives against marriage equality: we "undermine family values" and we're "predators for their children" and we "promote promiscuity" and such. Using those arguments and others like them would have essentially the same effect if permitted to silence expression.

  •  The sort of social engineering I'd like to see? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, rightiswrong, qofdisks

    Designated 'chain-free' zones, where only locally owned and operated restaurants are permitted, no franchises or other sorts of chains, so that no money from those restaurants is flowing out of the city to corporations elsewhere.

    •  This is economic test. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Which at least has the possibility of quantifiable benefit to the local economy.

      Although with locally owned franchises, I'm not sure you're really seeing all that much money flowing outside the community. And that might be offset by the possibility a McDonald franchise may generate more biz, revenues and jobs, than a local mom and pop burger shop, for example.

      "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:32:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would like to see only locally processed foods. (0+ / 0-)

      Local food processing could provide fresher more wholesome food and employment.

  •  I have another reason not to eat there (4+ / 0-)

    Their menu sucks.

    I'm not making light of the fact that they're the fast-food version of Westboro Baptist.

    I'm just saying, I ate there out of necessity, once in the last 20 years, and I wouldn't go back if they weren't owned, run, and managed by a bunch of bigoted assholes.

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:29:18 PM PDT

  •  Yup. (9+ / 0-)

    I agree.

    It's easier to covert others to our outraged point of view when politicians aren't bullying anyone on our behalf.

    I give them an A in good intentions and a D in execution (The somewhat prompt walk-backs prevented them failing entirely).

    We win these battles person by person, community by community, state by state.  The fewer people that are righteously alienated, the swifter our progress.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:31:03 PM PDT

  •  This is why the Democratic Party is such a failure (3+ / 0-)

    I remember when John Cole posted:

    I never knew the amount of depression and self-loathing that was involved in becoming a Democrat. I honestly think I hate Democrats more now that I am one than I did when I was a Republican.
    I thought, sheesh, welcome to the club, John.  It really is a party of failure and self-loathing.

    Part of the eternal failure of this party comes from the need of some within it to express their moral superiority of those others within the party that actually want to take a stand and fight for something.  There is something so ungentlemanly about hard knuckles combat.  Usually, this expression of disdain is accompanied with some bullshit speech about how we have to be better than the other side.  

    I don't want to be better than anybody else.  Maybe that's what motivates you, but not me.  I used to be a Republican as well, like John Cole, and I hold no elitist illusions of being better than Republicans or of having to hold a higher standard than they are by not fighting for my cause.

    But we see this shit over and over again.  I remember when Obama caved on the Bush tax cuts and some of us were tearing our hair out, there were people who were calling him courageous for being better than the Republicans, for not fighting like them.

    Let's be clear -- the Republicans pull this shit all the time.  Write a letter to Planned Parenthood and ask them about it.  There's no need to worry about establishing a precedent by doing this.  The precedent that this is how political combat is waged has already been set.  It's up to the courts to decide whether it's really fair or not.  We are not the courts.

    If Chik-Fil-A doesn't like what the city councils of those towns are doing, then Chik-Fil-A can do what any of us would have to do, and file a fucking lawsuit.  Let them drag this shit for the courts for a year and see how much sympathy that generates for them and how much it increases their sales as week after week, the headlines mount up, "Chik-Fil-A presents new evidence in lawsuit claiming their inalienable right to be homophobic bastards."  They might even succeed.  Yay for them.

    •  Well, I guess we disagree. (8+ / 0-)

      I don't think I'm everything that's wrong with the Democratic party, or climbing too high on a moral horse.

      I actually don't really think it's a party issue.

      And I'm not really totally on board with the American philosophy that the proper response to every injustice and every outrage is:

      Some people are dicks, bigots and homophobes.

      We can't legislate that out of them, anymore than they can legislate their "good Christian morality" into us.

      It's a job for grassroots movement and public education, not lawmakers.

      "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:51:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And well.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This already happened:

      "Chik-Fil-A Boy Scouts presents new evidence in lawsuit claiming win Supreme Court case affirming their inalienable right to be homophobic bastards."
      And boy that's been a laugh a minute for the gays. We just LOVE how that turned out for us and we really are looking forward to our next big loss at the SCOTUS! (This one well-deserved.)

      "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 07:58:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've never eaten there, even though (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge

    people tell me the food is relatively good. But I heard a long time ago about how the owner's conservative
    Christian views influence the restaurant. I don't have anything against that in theory, but I'd feel a bit weird patronizing it. Now I have even less reason to go there. But I agree with you that they should have the same rights as any other corporation, and the owner's speech is protected by the constitution.

    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:38:05 PM PDT

  •  Yes, better they don't threaten a company (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge

    Better they bring up the protections their states or cities give LGBT people and then wonder if a company which gives money to the group the company gives money to can comply with them.  They can even say they'll be watching them.

    I never have, and I never will, and in places where there ARE Chick-Fil-As, I can eat somewhere else.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:45:46 PM PDT

  •  in other news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge

    VP of Corporate Public Relations, Donald Perry, is dead of an apparent heart attack.  He was an employee of Chick Fil A for 29 years.  News of his death was released to the press on July 27.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:46:14 PM PDT

  •  Great Song For Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day (0+ / 0-)

    The Republican Party is Simply a Coalition of Greed and Hate

    by kerplunk on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:48:45 PM PDT

  •  Screw the First Amendment (0+ / 0-)

    when it comes to these guys.  They don't deserve the rights that it provides until they start acting like humans.

  •  I've changed my mind on this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BleacherBum153, vcmvo2
    Free speech belongs to the gays and atheists, and Chick-Fil-A and the Klu Klux Klan and Fred and Margie Phelps, or it belongs to no one.
    I used to believe this fervently, but after forty some-odd years of watching the rising tide of bigotry and intolerance whipped up by a relatively few rabble-rousers, and seeing the bloody violence it reliably produces as a matter of statistical certainty, I've had to rethink my position. It seems to be almost inhuman to take a position that boils down to accepting innocent victims as a fair price for what is actually a fallacious and superficial conclusion of logical consistency.

    Inciting hatred isn't an ideology or a philosophy. It is an act with material consequences, not an opinion or belief. It is -- or should be -- viewed under the First Amendment in much the same way as shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater. When what someone says produces panic -- including moral panics -- it is reasonable for the speaker to bear the extra burden of demonstrating its factuality.  Failing that, I believe our responsibility to prevent the inevitable murders and abuse outweighs our responsibility to protect the right to cause them.

    Scott's quite noble good intentions here unfortunately boil down to a First Amendment version of a familar Second Amendment tautology, "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." Only in this case, it reads, "If inciting hatred is outlawed, only outlaws will incite hatred."

    You know what? I think I can live with that.

    Yes we can! The president, however, I'm not so sure about.

    by eodell on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:55:17 PM PDT

  •  i believe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge

    Politicians and policy makers should confine themselves to complaining about Chil-Fil-A's record of blatant discrimination. That said, until Chik-Fil-A finds themselves actually thwarted by meaningful official action, this angst about pro-gay reaction seems like a bunch of pearl-clutching to me.

  •  So if I have this straight, (0+ / 0-)

    We have our leaders, such as the alderman in Chicago, forego their power to block this business from opening. Then we boycott it and plug our nose and hope to die until the business finally succumbs and closes. (It's not like the owners are going to suddenly change their practices).

    Why wouldn't it better to have our leaders in BLUE territories, elected by progressives, carry out our values in the first place, to the extent that they have the legal power to do so?

  •  I Have Taken The Ed Schultz Approach When It Comes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge

    to threatening advertisers of broadcasters who we find offensive. Doesn't win any friends here when the issue comes up. All for politicians using the bully pulpit.  When it comes to this issue I am glad that many have tried to reign in politicians in Boston and Chicago.

  •  It Is Among My Favorite Food. (4+ / 0-)

    Until this.

    Never again. Which is a great sadness to me, because I have a lot of personal history associated with some very good times here.

    I do, however, have a very strong suggestion to make, Scott.

    As you have followed the money this organization has given to anti-LGBTQ causes, I challenge you to follow the money through the philosophy it's CEO alleges.

    Clue. They are, and have been since their inception, closed on Sundays.

    S. Turett Cathy received, along with Mitt Romney, an honorary Doctorate in Business from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA in May, 2012.

    His is a remarkable story of living your principles, even when those principles conflict with society, or even reason.

    His organization proudly states that they have made annual sales gains every year since first opening "The Dwarf Grill" in Hapesville, GA in 1946. That he would allow his son to utter such insanity speaks much more of him than the quality served to the public six days per week, or the rather intense focus the chain puts on education, especially via "select scholarship" opportunities to his employees (so long as they agree to go to "his" universities.)

    If there is anything progressives can do in this disturbing time, they could take up the goal that I have: make 2012 a year the organization, and its leadership will never forget: the first year of declining sales due to an ignorant loudmouth!

    I cannot imagine such an organization being a "good corporate citizen" to any community so long as the leadership of that organization so openly, and purposely sets out to harm members of the community it would purport to serve.

    This alone should make existence in any reasonable community, if nothing more, completely unnecessary. Yes, every citizen has the right to free speech. Every one of them, including me. And, I vote. In this instance, I will vote with my words, my wallet, and my feet.

    Less than 1 month ago, my community had it's very own Chik-Fil-A franchise open. Before that, I was compelled to travel some 35 miles to even be near one. I have enjoyed saving the fuel.

    Now, I can enjoy that even more. I will never eat there again, and will work very hard to convince everyone I know to refuse to support such homophobic, anti-Christian ignorance, bigotry, prejudice and hatred.

    That I can do.

    Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
    Left/Right: -7.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

    by Bud Fields on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 08:30:41 PM PDT

  •  Excellent Post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge

    I do not approve of the threats against Chick Fil-A.  

    Check out my new blog:

    by SoCalLiberal on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 08:33:21 PM PDT

  •  I wonder when Rahm Emmanuel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge, johnny wurster

    will ban the Catholic Church from Chicago since they apparently don't share the "values" of Chicago politicians.

    Thanks for the diary.  This bravado by politicians who immediately walk back their statements when told they are blatantly anti 1st Amendment needs to stop.

    I don't agree with Chik-Fil-A, but they have a right to say whatever they please.

    •  They do have the right to SAY anything the want... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Wooledge, AaronInSanDiego

      And no politician, no one has the right to stop them from saying it.
      On the other hand, I and all private citizens also have the right to boycott them, work to change their mind, take direct action to see that such a pernicious and un-American (in the sense that America's mission since it founding has been to continually expand civil and political rights to ever more Americans) philosophy can no longer impose their prejudices on others and to use the "free market" to do so.

  •  legal? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    Once upon a time, slavery was legal.
    Once upon a time, women couldn't vote.
    Once upon a time, apartheid was legal in South Africa, until our corporations started pulling out.
    Once upon a time, lots of stuff was legal,until it wasn't.

    We should use any means possible to advance the cause of liberty and freedom.

    Didn't we boycott Coors beer because of their hatred?

    To say that even though hatred and bigotry lead to death and despair, we have to allow the head of chick fil-a to speak and  spread hatred without any consequences is inane.

    How many cities don't allow Walmart in their communities, and how many here have written in favor of that.

    I'm not saying the head of a company can't say things I disagree with, but, I am saying that our state and local officials are totally justified to respond in a way that suits their communities.

    •  Well, there's a difference (3+ / 0-)

      between keeping a business out solely because of their political views (Chick-Fil-A) and keeping a business out because of their business practices (Walmart).

      San Francisco Ed Lee has said that Chick-Fil-A shouldn't try to open a store in San Francisco. However, SF has strict zoning regulations on chain operations in general; both Trader Joe's and Whole Foods have had to fight to show that they're not your average chain. That alone would probably make it difficult for Chatty Cathy to find a franchiser for his establishment, much less open a store there.

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 09:55:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Precisely the reason Bush cited for invading Iraq. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, SoCalLiberal, Ahianne
      We should use any means possible to advance the cause of liberty and freedom.
      So now, we're just arguing whose freedom and liberty is supreme.

      Banning Chick-Fil-A privileges LGBT people's pursuit of freedom and liberty over Dan Cathy's freedom of speech, freedom to legally spend his money has he sees fit and his freedom to pursue his livelihood.

      But LGBT freedom and liberty doesn't have to come at that cost. It will come, regardless of how many chicken shacks Dan Cathy does or does not open.

      Dan Cathy's chicken shacks don't scare me. I have justice on my side that's worth a whole lot more than Sarah Palin's endorsement.

      "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 10:26:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  FYI -some want boycotts to be made criminal. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Wooledge, SoCalLiberal

      It's true. Some people just worship "the free market" until it stops benefiting them.

  •  The Mayor's comments (3+ / 0-)

    were simply wrong. As much as I detest Chick-Fil-A (I have been well aware of their stance on LGBT issues for a couple of years and have not eaten there in at least 3 years) the way to deal with this dominionist headed company is to shine the light on this and don't eat there. My friends have stopped eating at CFA once they learned about the craziness of that movement. Them being anti-gay was just the last straw for the few remaining friends that ate there on occasion.

  •  C'mon. It's Tom Menino. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is what Tom Menino does. He throws his weight around while mangling the English language.

    Honestly, that he's throwing his weight around at homophobes is far superior to his usual gig of throwing his weight around at people wanting to do business with the City without stopping to kiss his ring first.

    "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

    by ChurchofBruce on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 10:50:57 PM PDT

    •  I honestly don't know him (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalLiberal, Ahianne

      this was the first he pegged on my radar. And it doesn't much matter to me what his usual modus operandi is. I was just evaluating his comments in this particular situation and consider to have ultimately been problematic. As another poster said upthread: "A for good intentions, D for execution."

      I actually much, much prefer Nancy Pelosi's take on all this:

      At least we won't spend the next week discussing if gays and progressives are fascists and hypocrites who want to punish the wrong kind of free speech.

      "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 11:22:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She's got better taste (3+ / 0-)

        KFC really is better.  I haven't eaten at either in a long time.  The joys of being on a diet.  

        What people fail to recognize is that that our Constitutional protections come from the same document.  We can't claim them at disclaim them depending on what we personally like and dislike (that's Scalia's job).  So I won't be eating at Chick Fil-A.  But I will defend their right to advocate politically.  

        Check out my new blog:

        by SoCalLiberal on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 11:44:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, this is the problem when local pols... (0+ / 0-)

        ...go national.

        Because nobody in Boston took any note of this. It's Menino being Menino. Every single time he opens his mouth, it's "problematic" and "D for execution".

        There is a reason this man is nicknamed Mumbles :). I mean, he once, very famously, screwed up Vinatieri (NE Patriots kicker) and Varitek (Red Sox catcher), because, apparently, they both begin with V, and that was too much for the poor tortured part of his brain that processes language to handle.

        His explanation, that he was just trying to use his bully pulpit and it came out wrong, is very very likely to be true. Because the guy has to 'splain just about everything. They still play that Vinatieri/Varitek gaffe on sports radio, and it happened something like 8 years ago. That's Menino: never expect coherence :).

        So, yeah, when he popped up with his blather, everybody here in MA was, "There goes Menino again, Mister Diahrrea Of The Mouth."

        Unfortunately, we have people actually taking him seriously here. Yikes :)

        "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

        by ChurchofBruce on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 04:48:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's an irony: (0+ / 0-)

    One of the hate groups which Chick-fil-A donates to, the FRC, also lobbies against the legal rights of Muslims to build mosques.    In fact the new executive VP of the FRC is a real Islamophobe, who wants to ban mosque construction in the US.

    Moreover, the FRC says that Muslims have no 1st Amendment rights.

    Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam. Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. While there certainly ought to be a presumption of religious liberty for non-Christian religious traditions in America, the Founders were not writing a suicide pact when they wrote the First Amendment.
    So here's my question - if Chick-fil-A donates to a hate group which says Muslims should have no 1st Amendment rights, why should a Southern Baptist like Dan Cathy have any 1st Amendment rights?
  •  This is the gift that keeps on giving!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Jumping on this bandwagon costs nothing, loses no votes that the elected official would have lost anyway, and can possibly pick up some votes. This beats the hell out of tackling unemployment, endless war, skyrocketing prison populations of minorities, and other problems that take some effort. Of course, I could be wrong and these formally disinterested officials have devoted their lives to non-discrmination. RIGHT?

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 04:04:22 AM PDT

  •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, Adam B

    Chick-Fil-A is horrible and should be shut down - but not because of some government guy saying so. It should be shut down because of the loss of sponsors and customers as a result of their bigotry.

    How does the right say it? Oh yeah. Let the free market decide.

    16, Progressive, Indian-American, Phillies Phan. Obama/Om/Chase Utley

    by vidanto on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 04:42:36 AM PDT

  •  Forgive me (0+ / 0-)

    if I am jumping to conclusions, but I strongly suspect that the person who types this:

    Free speech belongs to the gays and atheists, and Chick-Fil-A and the Klu Klux Klan and Fred and Margie Phelps, or it belongs to no one.

    has never been the grieving relative of some poor sod whose funeral the Westboro Baptists have shown up at with their disgusting hate-a-palooza roadshow.

    That or you place empty and irrational idealism above human decency and respect. Easy to do till its your father or brother or relative in the coffin. I can not even begin to imagine the added pain and grief the WBC must add to grieving relatives already back braking burden.

    That self same idealist absolutist no brainer soundbyte is the one some RKBA loons use to try to justify owning any old firearm they want. As "Rocket Launcher" Scalia seems to agree.

    And do me a favor = NEVER lump me in with the WBC and the KKK. Even as a strident anti-theist I would NEVER turn up to a funeral and bad mouth religion. NEVER.  

    There is a time and place for expressing dissent, and funerals are not ever that time. You stay silent, bow your head and pay respect or stay the hell away altogether.

    Maybe that's because I'm a Brit and we don't tolerate these noisy intolerant twats who want to hijack funeral corteges, public events or our streets and market squares. We prefer our streets free of white power thugs, religious bigots and street preacher fundys whether they are evangelical anti-gay swine or Muslim hate groups like Islam4UK (who are now proscribed for their shabby funeral protest tactics).

    Free speech is never free. It always comes at a dear cost, and the butchers bill you Americans are willing to pay for it is one I'm damn glad my countrymen will never agree to.

    But, as we Brits say.... Your Gaff, Your Rules.

  •  A MORMON FRIEND OF MINE (0+ / 0-)

    proudly declares that he has no prejudice against gays.  I've known him for many years and know this to be true.  As a Mormon "in good standing" he donates 10% of his yearly income -- off the top, no deductions -- to his church.  When last he assured me that he had no prejudice against gays, I felt compelled to point out that he paid his church to do it for him.  We're still friends.

  •  Chik-fil-hate (0+ / 0-)

    They're a private sector company and have every right to take the position they've taken and we, as private citizens have every right to boycott them for it.  If they were racists, would cities have the right not to extend them a welcoming hand because of their views?  Yes.

    I didn't patronize them because they have crappy, nasty, greasy food.  And now I won't patronize them because they're also bigots.  

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 06:48:05 AM PDT

  •  I disagree - this isn't a First Amendment issue (0+ / 0-)

    The First Amendment in my Constitution pertains to Congress, and the last time I checked, city councils aren't Congress. Chick-Fil-A and their corporate executives can continue to say any stupid thing that falls out of their mouths. This fast food joint doesn't have a First Amendment "right" to prime retail real estate.

    The only waters being muddied here are by folks trying to turn this into a First Amendment issue.

    •  No. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FogCityJohn, BradyB, Adam B

      I'm sorry you're totally wrong here:

      The First Amendment in my Constitution pertains to Congress, and the last time I checked, city councils aren't Congress.
      The First Amendment pertains to a citizen's rights and their freedom not have them abridged or infringed upon, or to be harshly punished for exercising them. Whoever is infringing on the citizen's constitutional rights is in violation of the Constitution, not just Congress.

      The assurance of protections written into the Bill of Rights extends to actions performed by Federal, State and City government, and private citizens.

      By this logic, a city government could pass a law banning all abortion and it wouldn't violate Roe v. Wade because in your interpretation only Congress is obligated not to violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion? But that isn't how it works.

      By your logic, Brown vs. Board of Ed could never have been decided that segregated schools were unconstitutional, because it wasn't Congress that segregated the schools, it was local school boards, a arm of local government.

      "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

      by Scott Wooledge on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:07:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All right, I'm "totally wrong" (0+ / 0-)

        "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

        Please to point out where Congress is involved in a local zoning dispute as in the cases of that odious fast-food joint: Which law has been instituted by Congress that establishes a religion, prohibits the free exercise thereof, abridges the freedom of speech or of the press, abridges the right of the people to peaceably assemple or petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

        I'll check back later for your doubtlessly sterling legal analysis.

        •  Please tell me why (0+ / 0-)

          Brown vs. Board of Ed found school segregation is unconstitutional if the Constitution only applies to acts of Congress.

          "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

          by Scott Wooledge on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:27:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Brown case was decided . . . (0+ / 0-)

            Okay, so you don't have a First Amendment argument, thanks. If you'd care to read the opinion in Brown v. Board of Education, you would see that the case was decided solely on Fourteenth Amendment grounds (equal protection), not the First Amendment. The First Amendment isn't mentioned anywhere in Brown.

            The First Amendment, as I quoted above, applies exclusively to laws passed by Congress.

            Agree or disagree all you want with the horrid treatment the good people at Chick-Fil-A are having to endure by not being granted prime retail real estate, but it's not a First Amendment issue.

        •  The First Amendment applies to the states . . . (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Scott Wooledge, BradyB, Adam B

          and to subdivisions of states, like cities and counties.  This has been true at least since Gitlow v. New York was decided in 1925.  The case of DeJonge v. Oregon applied the freedom of assembly clause of the First Amendment to the states.  It is now established in constitutional law that the First Amendment applies to state and local governments through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

          So yes, you are "totally wrong" on this point.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:57:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  See Gitlow v New York (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Wooledge, FogCityJohn
      For present purposes we may and do assume that freedom of speech and of the press-which are protected by the First Amendment from abridgment by Congress-are among the fundamental personal rights and 'liberties' protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment from impairment by the States.

      I am proud to be a Contributor at Courage Campaign Institute's
      @indiemcemopants on Twitter

      by Scottie Thomaston on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:45:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, I saw Gitlow (0+ / 0-)

        A 1925 case overturning the conviction of Mr. Gitlow for "criminal anarchy." I'm not quite seeing a parallel between a criminal charge for publishing a manifesto and the Chick-Fil-A situation. Nobody from Chick-Fil-A has been sent to jail. They haven't been fined. They haven't even really sustained any legally cognizable "harm."

        But, since this has become some kind of a First Amendment test in so many people's minds, I'm sure there's some nexus of commonality between Gitlow (a criminal case) or Brown v. Board of Education (a Fourteenth Amendment case) and the Chick-Fil-A situation (purportedly a First Amendment case) that's totally escaping my feeble little mind. Unfortunately, the excuses proffered so far have been . . . lacking.

      •   (0+ / 0-)

        A 1925 case overturning the conviction of Mr. Gitlow for "criminal anarchy." I'm not quite seeing a parallel between a criminal charge for publishing a manifesto and the Chick-Fil-A situation. Nobody from Chick-Fil-A has been sent to jail. They haven't been fined. They haven't even really sustained any legally cognizable "harm."

        But, since this has become some kind of a First Amendment test in so many people's minds, I'm sure there's some nexus of commonality between Gitlow (a criminal case) or Brown v. Board of Education (a Fourteenth Amendment case) and the Chick-Fil-A situation (purportedly a First Amendment case) that's totally escaping my feeble little mind. Unfortunately, the excuses proffered so far have been . . . lacking.

    •  Volokh has the analysis (0+ / 0-)

      Including the Supreme Court case forbidding a local govt from discriminating on the basis of a contractor's political activity.

  •  There are lots of Catholic churches... (0+ / 0-) Boston and Chicago.  They don't approve of same sex marriage.  Are they to be run out of town?  What about the 44 halal restaurants in downtown Chicago alone?  It is doubtful the owners of those businesses approve of same sex marriage.  Are they to be shut down?  If not, it isn't clear to me why this franchise should be, under color of law, treated differently.

    •  Not a very good argument (0+ / 0-)

      1. Do you have evidence on those 44 halal restaurants? Are they really against same sex marriage? Even publically? are they pooling their resources together and attacking LGBT rights by supporting anti-LGBT rights like Chick-fil-A?

      2. The Catholic Church has been around for a lot longer than LGBT groups. They also run their own social justice charities and support others like it - Something that Chick-fil-A can't touch. Hopefully, in time, the Church's dwindling numbers will cause a Vatican III, where they come to their collective senses and stop being assholes to the LGBT community. Maybe some outside pressure could help, but I can't put the two groups on the same pedestal.

      Also, the Church isn't for profit, and would provide assistance to any LGBT person of faith (Ideally. This might be a stretch). Chick-fil-A profits enormously from enticing Americans to make bad food/health choices.

      •  It still seems an inconsistent application of law (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Scott Wooledge

        I don't have evidence regarding the position on same sex marriage of the owners of halal restaurants.  I think it is a fair assumption, however, that if they are so strict in their adherence of the dictates of Islam that they follow its dietary rules, they are unlikely to ignore its rules on homosexuality.  

        I wasn't aware that the quality of the food sold by the chain was at issue here.  Other fast food chains with no better fare are allowed to locate in these areas.  Why should the healthfulness of this chain and this chain alone enter into your reasoning?

        Same sex marriage is illegal in Illinois. Isn't it a bit of a stretch to use political power to restrict access to a business entity that is promoting a position that is consistent with the law?

      •  I think it is, good, at least as a question. (0+ / 0-)

        How do we determine which marriage equality-opposed businesses get shut down?

        Do you have evidence on those 44 halal restaurants?
        Well, it's not hard to acquire. Political donations to a group like National Organization for Marriage are public record.

        Many people poured over the records of Prop 8 donors, and 1. Some of those businesses did feel consumer pushback, Marriot's name is still mud in the LGBT community. 2. To my knowledge, no politicians threatened to shut them down.

        Both of these are correct. We don't have to look to the politicians and the law to solve EVERY problem. We are the ones we're waiting for, and all that happy horseshit.

        "When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it." ~ Oscar Wilde

        by Scott Wooledge on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 12:37:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What makes it different is the sense of betrayal (0+ / 0-)

        Many young people are fans of Chick-Fil-A. They are popular in MANY large college and university lunchrooms. Even more, young people are very pro-gay. Hence, the sense of betrayal that this "controversy" has generated.

        It has been well known in the LGBT community some of the very worst corporations and Chick-Fil-A has always been on the list.

        Perhaps the best

        What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

        by equern on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 05:55:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

    We should hit these businesses and organizations in the pocketbook with boycotts.  Using the power of the state to suppress speech is something we should eschew.  To quote Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

  •  Best ways to fight back? (0+ / 0-)

    There are two ways to hit back at Chick-Fil-A because the nature of their business makes them very vulnerable in two key areas.

    1) College campuses and lunchrooms. Many campuses have a very strong LGBT organizations. Not only are they excellent organizers, but they can also help pressure the school's board of trustees to take appropriate measures. Whether that is an outright request to leave, to boycotts and protests.

    2) Employment. Some states also have equal protection laws for employment by sexual orientation. What is the company's history and practice toward LGBT employees?

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 05:59:20 PM PDT

  •  By all means... (0+ / 0-)

    let's start a trend by which we measure business' politics before we allow them to operate in an area.

    We are on the losing side of this, as liberal businesses will lose out in all the "fly over" zones.  

    Agree with Greenwald on this.  Be careful what you wish for.

  •  I agree. (0+ / 0-)

    It IS bridge too far.

    ...there's a big difference between individuals, even groups expressing disagreement or protesting, and the government using brute force to punish any business based on the companies' political speech and donations.
    There's a difference between private consumers pushing back, versus using the power of local government to push back.  It crosses the line.  Otherwise, you'll find that your local GLBT Youth Center has a hard time getting a permit.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 12:21:34 PM PDT

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