First it was the Mayor of Boston who announced his intention to block business permits for Chick-fil-A not because there is any evidence that it discriminates in employment or services, but because its founder and his son (now the President) support keeping the definition of marriage as one man – one woman.
Now an Alderman in Chicago is joining in on the act:
A Chicago alderman wants to kill Chick-fil-A’s plans to build a restaurant in his increasingly trendy Northwest Side ward because the fast-food chain’s top executive vocally opposes gay marriage.
Ald.Proco “Joe” Moreno announced this week that he will block Chick-fil-A’s effort to build its second Chicago store, which would be in the Logan Square neighborhood, following company President Dan Cathy’s remarks last week that he was “guilty as charged” for supporting the biblical definition of marriage as between a man and woman.
I hate situations like this because my sympathies are with the people I have to disagree with. If I speak my mind I run the risk of upsetting people I like.
First of all let me say I fully support LGBT rights and gay marriage. (Why should straight people be the only miserable ones?) I have never even been to a Chick-fil-A but I understand they have a very good product.
This is not a case where a business is discriminating against LGBT customers or employees. This is a case of trying to punish someone for exercising their 1st Amendment rights. Remember that old saying that goes “I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it?”
I really don’t think this is a road we want to go down. If we do we will have to face the Law of Unintended Consequences. Taken to its logical extreme these boycotts will just further polarize the nation as each side plays tit for tat. They can also backfire. (Remember Carrie Prejean?)
I do not trust the motives of the politicians leading this controversy. Rahm Emanuel? Gimme a break. This all feels staged and I think the LGBT community is being used and manipulated.
Ask yourself why this fight, why now?
It gets the troops riled up and changes the headlines for a few days. Funds are raised. Then after the election the new franchises are quietly approved. At best, Chick-fil-A has to struggle along with its existing 1614 outlets for a while.
We need to pick our battles carefully. I don’t think this is one we should be fighting. YMMV