For those of you who have been living under a rock, the president of the outspokenly conservative Christian Chick-fil-A came out last week and expressed his opposition to gay marriage. People were shocked, appalled, etc., because, you know, CEOs shouldn't have personal opinions.
Since the bad-for-business statement, there have been protests, Jim Henson's Muppets have abandoned the chain, and now certain political leaders are talking about banning the fast food restaurants from their towns, reports The Associated Press.
Seriously? This ain't communist Russia.
One of the more glorious attributes of this country, besides being the incubator of hip-hop music, are the freedoms of religion, speech, etc.
Politicians in Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston have all said that Chick-fil-A is not welcome in their cities, due to this personal and political belief. Anyone else see the obvious problem?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, on the other hand, stated that the controversial opposition to gay marriage is none of "the government's business."
And for once, Bloomberg makes sense. Cities cannot, and should not, ban businesses that have unpopular opinions.
First the chicken joint, then the Church of Scientology, then we start muzzling those Occupy weirdoes. (Too late).
Look, citizens can boycott and protest businesses for their idiotic or upstanding (take your pick) opinions. They can picket, write letters, and surround the restaurant with people eating KFC.
When cities get into policing opinions, we get into violations of constitutional rights. The restaurant can then file Section 1983 lawsuits for violations of their constitutional rights and then the city ends up paying the restaurant's bills for the next few years.
And law and constitution aside, isn't it a little hypocritical to restrict the rights of a corporation, which has the right of free speech, possibly even more so since that Citizens United disaster, because the president of that company is intolerant?
- Speak to a New York Personal Injury Attorney (FindLaw)
- Freedom of Speech (FindLaw's LawBrain)
- MTA Loses First Amendment Pro-Israel Ad Case ... Kinda (FindLaw's New York Personal Injury Law Blog)
- Bloomberg: No Chick-fil-A Ban in New York (The Wall Street Journal)