Chick-fil-A (and Allies) vs. Boston

by Betsy Woodruff

You’d think that individuals decrying groups led by anti-gay-marriage advocates would also oppose groups led by those who think homosexuality should be a capital offense. But apparently that’s not always the case, at least in Boston.

As I explain in a piece on the homepage today, Mayor Tom Menino recently said he would do everything in his power to keep Chick-fil-A from opening up shop in his city because of the owner’s support for groups that oppose gay marriage. But, as Michael Graham wrote for today’s Boston Herald, this same person basically gave land for the building of a mosque to the Islamic Society of Boston, the leader of which is a tad more extreme than Dan Cathy — he thinks homosexuality should be punished by death.

Fortunately, the backlash against Boston and Chicago’s anti-Chick-fil-A leaders seems pretty bipartisan. Adam Serwer wrote for Mother Jones:

The government blocking a business from opening based on the owner’s political views is a clear threat to everyone’s freedom of speech—being unpopular doesn’t mean you don’t have rights. It’s only by protecting the rights of those whose views we find odious that we can hope to secure them for ourselves.

At The Atlantic, Jonathan Merritt criticized “the ineffective boycott culture that’s springing up across America” and emphasized that “Chick-fil-A isnot a hate group.” He also pointed out that the company gives to a plethora of charitable causes, most of which have nothing to do with gay marriage. And a Boston Globe editorial asked a sensible question: “[W]hich part of the First Amendment does Menino not understand?”

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