Chick-fil-A flap reveals opponents' intolerance
The Kansas City Star
Chalk this up as another example of how we often say about others what most applies to ourselves. After Chick-fil-A chief Dan Cathy said he opposed gay marriage and backed the “Biblical definition of the family unit,” a Chicago Alderman declared that he would deny the company a permit to open a store in his ward.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel made similar noises about thwarting the company’s efforts to expand. Ditto for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
Emanuel and Menino have backed off their initial knee-jerk reaction, but it was revealing nonetheless. How much more intolerant can you be as a public official than to say, “I don’t agree with your stand on (choose an issue), so I’m going to use my power to shut you down”? It’s one thing for people to organize boycotts and protests, but bullying on an official level is banana-republic stuff.
The Chicago alderman, Proco Mereno, has acknowledged that under the First Amendment he couldn’t deny Chick-fil-A a business permit based on Cathy’s gay marriage views. But he said he would still fight the company.
Mereno said he couldn’t back a company that won’t pledge not to discriminate — even though Chick-fil-A says it treats every person with “honor, dignity and respect, regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”
How much smarter would it have been for these politicians to simply say, “We strongly disagree with Mr. Cathy’s views, but his company is welcome to invest in our town, employ our citiizens, and see if it can build a market.”