The Mayor of Boston thinks he has the right to deny business permits to a business if he doesn’t like the views of the owners of the business on gay marriage.
From The Boston Herald:
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.”
“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.”
Read the whole article. There is no allegation that Chick-fil-A discriminates either in employment or in servicing customers on the basis of sexual orientation. In fact, Chick-fil-A affirms that it does not discriminate, but that’s not good enough for the Mayor:
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” the statement [from Chick-fil-A] read. “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
But that isn’t cutting the mustard with Menino. He said he plans to fire off a letter to the company’s Atlanta headquarters “telling them my feelings on the matter.”
“If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies,” he warned.
While a governmental entity may be able to regulate employment and business conduct as regards various groups, what gives the Mayor of Boston the right to punish a business because of what its owners think or the views they express?
There is a pernicious side to the political correctness which is being enforced on the issue of gay marriage. The topic has been manipulated so that support for the unique status of traditional marriage in society has been equated with being “anti-gay.”
A writer at Mediaite plays the card:
Because, hey, who doesn’t love their chicken seasoned with delicious, unrepentant bigotry.
Once the issue was so formulated in the media and academia, it has become unacceptable on campuses and now in the City of Boston to express a view that traditional marriage is unique and worthy of a special status.
Regardless of your view on private boycotts of Chick-fil-A, such private boycotts are qualitatively different from a government official threatening the power of the state not because of the conduct of a company, but because of the thoughts expressed by its owners.
When we involve government as thought police we are in dangerous territory which supporters of the Mayor of Boston’s threats ignore.
If it is acceptable for the Mayor of Boston to deny business permits to a business whose owners express support for traditional marriage, would it also be acceptable for the Governors of and Mayors in the 30 states which have passed legislation or constitutional amendments rejecting gay marriage to deny business permits to companies whose owners support gay marriage?