This behavior by the mayor of Boston is appalling:
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.
. . .
If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies,” he warned.
Ken at Popehat comments:
…the government doesn’t get to pick and choose what social causes are permissible, and any government actor who aspires to that power is a lowlife thug. What’s particularly alarming about Menino’s thuggery is how openly his referencing to licensing “difficulties” reveals how things really work in government: whatever rights you think that you have, practically speaking some bureaucrat can punish you for exercising them on a whim, and there’s very little you can do about it. Menino represents the ethos of government actors who think quite frankly that this is right and just and how it should be — that they, our masters, should be able to dictate what we think and do and say if we want to do business in their fiefdom.
Freedom of speech requires that the government not discriminate against or punish people for the expression of their political views1 – even those views I most strongly disagree with. Leave that sort of thing to private citizens acting in a private capacity.
- If the business has a history of breaking laws against discrimination, I think that would be a different matter — that’s a pattern of lawbreaking behavior, not just an expression of political views. [↩]