**Written by Doug Powers
People incapable of telling the difference between a boycott activated by the private sector and one that is publicly enforced should never be given reins of power in government, but all too often some slip through the ever-widening cracks. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino have vowed to either prevent or make it very difficult for Chick-fil-A restaurants to open in their cities. Yes, their side has taken on Big Tobacco and Big Oil, so the logical progression leads them to do battle with the scourge of “Big Homophobic Chicken.”
Editorials in two of their respective hometown papers, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Boston Globe — not exactly conservative publications (both endorsed Obama in 2008) — took their mayors to task for their threats against Chick-fil-A.
Excerpts of the editorials via Ken Shepherd at Newsbusters:
“[W]hich part of the First Amendment does Menino not understand? A business owner’s political or religious beliefs should not be a test for the worthiness of his or her application for a business license,” the Boston Globe complained in a July 25 editorial. “History will render judgment on the views of Chick-fil-A executives. City Hall doesn’t have to,” the editorial board concluding, having noted that there’s no evidence that Chick-fil-A breaks any anti-discrimination laws.
Mayor Emanuel should “back off” thundered the Chicago Sun-Times. “Government has no business withholding zoning permits and licenses just because it objects to a businessman’s religious or political views,” the editorial board added in its July 25 opinion. It’s one thing for private organizations to boycott or pull out of business arrangements, but it’s another thing entirely “for government to put on the squeeze.”
Oh come on, Sun-Times, Rahm recently said it’s because he’s looking out for Chicago values — his “Chick-fil-A offends who we are as a people” speech punctuated by gunfire echoing in the distance. Emanuel also welcomed Louis Farrakhan, whose own view on same-sex marriage doesn’t seem to offend the mayor’s Chicago values for some reason. Why doesn’t Rahm try to close Farrakhan’s restaurant? (rhetorical question, don’t waste any time on it)
Supporters of these mayors’ crusade against Chick-fil-A might want to flip around the scenario and ask themselves how they’d feel about a conservative mayor who refused to allow Ben & Jerry’s to be sold in his or her city because of that company’s support for gay marriage (aside from calling the hypothetical mayor a fascist before returning to lauding Emanuel and Menino as champions of freedom for doing the same thing).
Even Michael Bloomberg — the nanniest of all nannies and pro gay marriage NYC mayor — is saying Chicago and Boston’s mayors are wrong. Bloomberg obviously hasn’t yet found out that Chick-fil-A serves 32 ounce sodas. Dealbreaker!
Update: San Francisco’s mayor joins the anti Chick-fil-A chorus:
Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.
— Edwin Lee (@mayoredlee) July 26, 2012
Update II: Sad news… Chick-fil-A’s VP of Corporate Public Relations has passed away from a heart attack.
Update III: The boycott so far appears to be pretty much of a fail.
**Written by Doug Powers
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