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    When political correctness runs amok, it will look like the Mayor of Boston

    When political correctness runs amok, it will look like the Mayor of Boston

    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?


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    pilgrim1949 | July 23, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I seem to remember some loquacious (easily confused with eloquent) orator during the last Presidential campaign clearly stating that he himself personally believed that marriage was something that should be reserved for being between a man and a woman.

    Ozymandias-on-the-Potomac (who currently occupies the People’s Outhouse) might remember who said those rather clear and unambiguous (a rare and unintended-for-sure anomaly for him) words…

    Nah, that was then, this is now in more desperate vote-grubbing times.

    stefan | July 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    First point: what Mayor Menino did is profoundly stupid and is political correctness run amok. The article is spot on. Many of the comments in this thread, though, seem to be grounded in some grand delusions about gays, gay marriage, and what it means to be American.

    This might surprise you, but many gay couples (including me and my partner) are very traditional and very conservative. We adopt and raise children, are Christian and attend church every week, are involved in our community, and don’t take “pride” in anything except hard work, charity, and how our children behave. We don’t march in parades. Maybe we should; perhaps our invisibility has caused you to think we don’t exist. We don’t want to have three way marriages, we don’t have orgies, and we don’t obsess about sex. We care about young kids because they’re the future, just like you do. And we try to be careful about where we spend our money but don’t need the government to be a watchdog for us. We’re often pretty libertarian and distrusting of government and politicians (can’t imagine why!). Certainly we care that we spend our time and money on a society and government that still regularly treat us pretty shabbily, but that’s just because we don’t like hypocrisy.

    When I look at our family, I have a hard time figuring out what is not traditionally American or Christian about us. But the law almost everywhere says we aren’t. I know of marriages in which there is spousal abuse, child abuse, drug abuse, and known mutual infidelity. I know married couples who have no interest in having kids and ensured this through surgery; they simply got married because it made good business sense. But, somehow, those relationships are socially superior and mine is inferior. My family probably looks a lot more like yours, and maybe even a lot more traditional, than you’d be comfortable admitting. You might have trouble admitting just how much more qualified for special status my family is than yours. You’re always arguing about how important traditional marriage is for its societal benefits, but when it comes time to define its boundaries you seem quite preoccupied with bedroom activities.

    Yes, marriage is an institution that can bring a lot of benefits–important society building benefits–to this country. That should be rewarded. But it is also an institution that can be abused and denigrated. Having two people be opposite sex or same sex is not what is going to determine whether a society has an interest in giving benefits to that relationship. There are very easy ways to set up a system in which we can decide if two people should get access to marriage, but it would probably involve a lot of you never having that right or having a very limited ability to divorce. But you’re the majority, so you make the rules.

    Honestly, I’m tired–as an American and as a human being–of having my sexual orientation used as a proxy for what my marriage and my family contributes to this society and how we should be rewarded. Many of you like to fancy yourselves as proud conservatives and true Americans fighting against a “gay-stapo” (however inappropriate that reference is, as many of my veteran relatives would point out) and a progressive agenda. In reality, your position is the one progressing away from what is truly American.

    I’m already waiting for the irrational, boilerplate counter-arguments and ad hominem attacks.

    beanyncecil | July 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I haven’t heard a word about either of the mayors blocking Muslim-owned businesses from locating in their cities even though it’s well-known how women and gays are considered by most persons in that religion. Therefore, I can only conclude that the mayors have not taken a pro-gay position–no, what they have actually done is taken an anti-Christian stance. And if you actually study message boards where most of the posts are by gays, you will find there is almost never a word about the Muslim treatment of gays on them, even though executions of gays are known to occur in Muslim nations. It appears that either many gays are more anti-Christian than anything else, or they are afraid to say anything about Islam. I guess their willingness to stand up for their rights goes only as far as their ability to find someone they believe they can easily bully–usually a Christian.

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