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Chick-fil-A Meets a First Amendment Buzzsaw in Chicago

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#1 dippednbutter

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 23:01

http://swampland.tim...o/?iid=tsmodule

Dan Cathy, the CEO of Chick-fil-A, is a self-described Christian businessman, who proudly runs his fast-food chain according to his own vision of Christian principles. His stores close on Sundays, for instance, and the company gives money to nonprofits that support limiting marriage to unions between a man and a woman. A couple of weeks ago, Cathy explained this in an interview with the Baptist Press. “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit,” he said. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

For this reason, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has urged Chick-fil-A to “back out” of its “plans to locate in Boston.” And Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Chick-fil-A has no place in the city of Chicago.

“Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values,” Emanuel said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Alderman Joe Moreno says he will seek to block a permit for Chick-fil-A in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. “Same-sex marriage, same-sex couples — that’s the civil rights fight of our time. To have those discriminatory policies from the top down is just not something that we’re open to,” Moreno said.

No evidence has been presented to suggest that Chick-fil-A discriminates against gay or lesbian customers or employees.

There is nothing to suggest that the company has broken the law in any way. In his comments to the Baptist Press, Cathy did not even mention same-sex marriage. He simply said that he and his company supported traditional marriage. The only issues at play are the personal view of the owner of the restaurant chain and the philanthropic efforts of the private company.

That puts the political leaders of Boston and Chicago in tricky legal waters. Generally speaking, governments have a responsibility to not discriminate against businesses on the basis of personal beliefs, just as restaurant chains cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of personal beliefs (or sexual orientation). “It’s very problematic,” explains Alan Weinstein, a law professor at Cleveland State University who studies municipal zoning. “The political, ideological and theological views of a person seeking the land-use permit are entirely irrelevant.” Mayors are free to speak their minds, and city councils can pass resolutions expressing their views, but a judge would almost certainly toss out any punitive action taken against the restaurant chain on such grounds, Weinstein says.

And in other contexts, the same sort of tactics would be clearly repugnant to the liberal constituencies of Menino and Emanuel. Would it be O.K. for a mayor to reject a business owned by a Muslim because the mayor was offended by the teachings of Islam? Would it be O.K. for the mayor of a coal community to deny a building permit to a newspaper that planned to write critically of the coal industry? (The Boston Globe editorial board makes a similar point here.)

Robust public disagreements over issues like the definition of marriage are a symptom of a functioning democracy, not evidence of its dysfunction. A recent poll in Massachusetts found that 30% of the state believes same-sex marriage should be illegal. In the Chicago area, 42% of residents support same-sex marriage, while the same number, 42%, oppose it. (Indeed, Emanuel’s depiction of “Chicago values” is misleading; the city is divided on the issue of marriage.) Presumably, many business owners in both states are among those who oppose same-sex marriage. Should those businessmen and women worry that their hopes for city permits or mayoral cooperation could be jeopardized if they express their opinions publicly?
Consumers have every right to patronize or boycott any restaurant they choose for any reason. But a government’s responsibility is different. It is one thing for big-city politicians to voice their own views. It is another thing for them to threaten businesses with the power of their elected office for not sharing those views.




#2 Growled

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 23:08

No evidence has been presented to suggest that Chick-fil-A discriminates against gay or lesbian customers or employees.


Bingo. This is much ado about nothing.

#3 seta-san

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 23:08

http://swampland.tim...o/?iid=tsmodule


Emanuel should hide his shameful face. He's actually BRAGGING about Chicago values. Those are the values of criminal corruption, gangsters and terrorists and common street thugs. You would have to go to Detroit to find anything worse.

#4 Enron

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 23:10

While I'm not a fan of corporations getting involved in politics period, I don't really see what wrong Chicken Fil-A is doing here. Basically the governors are dictating what is right and wrong in a subject that doesn't have overwhelming support on either side. I say they stay out of the way and let the people decide where they want to take their business.

#5 roadwarrior

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:13

It's funny how the liberals who preach diversity and inclusiveness fail to see that they do everything they can to exclude Christians from their world.

#6 Perfect72

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:22

^That's not exactly the same...

Either way, Chik-fil-a was good, but I'm not eating there and supporting them. Welcome to the 21st century.

#7 ArialBlue

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:29

So wait .... Boston mayor is awesome and tries to portray his people as awesome as well, but in reality a lot of them are stuck up conservatives?

Edited by ArialBlue, 29 July 2012 - 01:30.


#8 Yogurtmaster

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:39

It's funny how the liberals who preach diversity and inclusiveness fail to see that they do everything they can to exclude Christians from their world.


I agree with this statement. The only people who can have rights in this country are liberals. Sorry, everyone else, but our military men didn't die for you, they died for us liberals.
You only have freedom unless you are a liberal, anyone else sorry...

By the way Chick-fil-a still serves food up for everyone. It's not like if you are (insert whatever here) and they don't serve you food.
If they did that then yes I would be against them. Obama just changed his mind on gay marriage, where some people going to vote for someone else before he changed his mind? yeah of course not. Derp

The entire city is having serious issues of unemployment and murders and they are worried about this? Derp

#9 Yogurtmaster

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:48

^That's not exactly the same...

Either way, Chik-fil-a was good, but I'm not eating there and supporting them. Welcome to the 21st century.


Nobody on Earth cares about you and where you want or don't want to eat, they are actually going to get more business as this controversy (free advertising) means more money for them (no matter what Boston or what Chicago does or doesn't do), they can't go against the rights of a company like that, just like the update on the last paragraph says.

You are not that important and the 21st century started a while ago, it's 2012.

#10 Perfect72

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:58

Nobody on Earth cares about you and where you want or don't want to eat, they are actually going to get more business as this controversy (free advertising) means more money for them (no matter what Boston or what Chicago does or doesn't do), they can't go against the rights of a company like that, just like the update on the last paragraph says.

You are not that important and the 21st century started a while ago, it's 2012.


<snipped>

And no, they won't get more business. More shunning, more like it. I'm leaving this thread now. Being insulted by a clear degenerate is good enough reason for me to leave.

Edited by Calum, 29 July 2012 - 12:42.


#11 soniqstylz

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:06

Bingo. This is much ado about nothing.


That's factually wrong. Chick-Fil-A has been sued 12 times for employment discrimination, for things like refusing to take part in a group prayer to Jesus (the plantiff was a Muslim). They prefer that operators be married (which would, in most states, preclude gays), and the CEO has been quoted as saying he would probably fire and employee or terminate an operator "who has been sinful". Operators can also be terminated for refusing to comply with the rule about being closed on Sundays.

http://www.forbes.co...7/0723/080.html

While I don't think it's within the rights of the mayors of Boston or Chicago to refuse to allow the company to open stores (see Bloomberg's comments), to think that CFA is a victim in all this is an absolute falsehood.

#12 Growled

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:12

It's funny how the liberals who preach diversity and inclusiveness fail to see that they do everything they can to exclude Christians from their world.

I agree. If you truly believe in diversity you should believe that even those who believe different from you should have their say. That is not we see from the left now.

#13 Rudie32

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:13

Chick fil a gave around 2 Million dollars to anti gay groups who tried to eliminate the whole "all men are created equal" and introduce laws based on the christian faith to the entire country. Gave money to exodus who pushed for the "kill the gays" bill down in uganda. (before it became public and was "halted") It's a lot more than just freedom of speech. We have seperation of church and state for a reason. Imagine the hissy fit everybody would have if the Scientology group or Muslims pushed for laws based on their belief.

#14 vetJohn S.

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 02:32

Does Rahm Emanuel Not Know That Louis Farrakhan Agrees With Chick-Fil-A?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to ban Chick-Fil-A in Chicago because of their biblical stance on marriage, while at the same time welcoming the racist Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to the city to help with crime control. Remember how I pointed out the hypocrisy of Emanuel and Alderman Joe Moreno over their “disrespect” and “intolerant” statements about Chick-fil-A? Well, their hypocrisy is even more evident, because Louis Farrakhan, at least on the issue of homosexuality and homosexual “marriage: agrees with Chick-Fil-A.


[full story]

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#15 PGHammer

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 03:02

Bingo. This is much ado about nothing.


And one would think Rahm Emanuel would know better.

Emanuel is (or at least should be) quite familiary with Farrakhan and the Nation - as the Nation's primary mosque is, in fact, in his old Congressional district. There is ONE - and only one - difference between Farrakhan and Cathy - skin color (in this context). In fact, if anything, Farrakhan is more extremist than Cathy. Yet Farrakhan is excused for it because he's Black.

No - I didn't excuse it out of Farrakhan when I first heard it out of his own mouth - and I won't excuse it now. This is not about good vs. bad (in the PC sense) - this is about bad vs. worse. Both are intolerant against same-sex marriage - the difference is that Farrakhan is also a racist - something that can't be said about Cathy. (In fact, there isn't even so much as a viable allegation of racism against Cathy, let alone Chick-Fil-A; Farrakhan has said he is a racist - and has utterly refused to apologize for it.)