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Old 07-22-2012, 02:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Boston Mayor Vows to Block Chick-Fil-A

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has vowed to block Chick-Fil-A from building a location in Boston because of the company's financial support of anti-gay groups and recent comments by their president.

Mayor Menino on Chick-fil-A: Stuff it - BostonHerald.com

He previously blocked Walmart from opening a new store because of their low wages and impact on local businesses.
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I never really liked that place. When I learned about their bigotry I've been shouting it on the mountaintop to all my RL Friends and family. I hope he's successful and that other Mayor's follow suit. Then we'll see the courage of their convictions.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had missed the comments by Cathy, the President of the company so had to do a little digging. It seems this puts a different perspective on the idea that the company's stores that were supporting an anti-equality stance were isolated to just those stores. Oh well, that's the price of doing business really. If you support an agenda that people find unethical, then expect to get treated like an unethical company.

Maybe Westboro will capitalize on it, cows at their demonstrations with "God Hates Everybody" posters.
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Chick Filler?
What a weird name for a restaurant.
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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fillet
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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nah, they knew most of their customers couldn't be able to pronounce "fillet" so you're doing better then their target demographic, and their attempts at making it clearer actually made it worse for people that can read.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The legal blog, Popehat, has a rather different take on this.

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I haven't seen any evidence that Chick-Fil-A discriminates in hiring or service. Rather, they give money to a cause I despise, one that promotes social discrimination. But 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.
If the Mayor were to call on Bostonians to boycott Chick-Fil-A because of the owners' donations to anti-gay causes, he argues, or to join in picketing the place, that would be one thing, and something he'd consider laudable, but if the Mayor
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says he'll use the coercive power of government to retaliate against Chick-Fil-A for views he doesn't like, he's totalitarian. If you support him because you agree with him (and with me) that Chick-Fil-A's stance on gays is worthy of condemnation, then you're a damned fool, and don't let me catch you whining if some other government actor retaliates against an individual or business because of a political stance you like.
There seems to me a degree of force in that argument. And I think it's a rather different matter from stopping Walmart opening, since the objection to Walmart is based not on the owners' political activities but on their business practices, which would remain equally objectionable even if Walmart started making large donations to laudable causes.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Innula Zenovka View Post
There seems to me a degree of force in that argument. And I think it's a rather different matter from stopping Walmart opening, since the objection to Walmart is based not on the owners' political activities but on their business practices, which would remain equally objectionable even if Walmart started making large donations to laudable causes.
Or if you agree that all social causes/beliefs are on the same playing field and equal of the same consideration. But this goes back to the thread we had several weeks ago about the KKK and free speech, and personally speaking I am fine with more and more people supplying pressure to bigots to evolve or keep their stupidity to themselves.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't like Chick-Fil-A or their policies. I'll never set foot in one. That said ... I hope Menino has some legal justification for this, maybe Chick-Fil-A violates equal opportunity laws, or something like that?

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Originally Posted by Mayor Menino
If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies
Abstractly speaking, shoe on the other foot, etc, if an elected government official threatened to make it difficult for a company to obtain licenses because of their vocal and financial support of some other kind of politics (pro-gay, secularism, etc.) I'd probably not feel comfortable with it.

ADDED: Looks like Innula and Popehat were thinking the same thing.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Or if you agree that all social causes/beliefs are on the same playing field and equal of the same consideration. But this goes back to the thread we had several weeks ago about the KKK and free speech, and personally speaking I am fine with more and more people supplying pressure to bigots to evolve or keep their stupidity to themselves.
No, my point was more about artificially using problems with permits and so on to block somewhere opening because you don't like the owners' social views.

Maybe I've misunderstood what happened in the case of Walmart, but over here in the UK, it's perfectly usual for local councils to stop supermarkets from opening in particular places because they're concerned about the effect that's going to have on existing business or the character of the area. It's not the same as saying the supermarket would be welcome were it not for the owner's political views.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I understood your point, I disagree with the "if this were him blocking it because they supported gay rights" analogy.

At a certain point society-wide we need to have certain standards for what is considered appropriate; the US unfortunately hasn't gone so far as to codify into law those standards the same way that the UK and EU has, but even in the US it would be socially inappropriate for a business owner, politician or celebrity to say something like "I think this city was best when we were still lynching darkies." Boycotts and other social pressure would be employed against them, and people who do business with them would be pressured to distance themselves as well.

Society-wide, there's more or less the same standard agreed by the majority on what is over the line, and now even the majority believes that discrimination against gay people is wrong.

Double standard or not, I have no issue with anybody making life difficult for bigots. I don't feel hypocritical about it.
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I have no problem with the Mayor saying, "As Mayor, I am horrified at the prospect of this restaurant opening up, and encourage Bostonians to boycott it because of the owners' deplorable views, and to picket the place."

And if it's within the City Council's lawful authority to refuse restaurants permission to open because they don't like the owners' views, then I might raise my eyebrows at the existence of such a power, but this would be a good occasion on which to exercise it.

But I'm afraid I do have a problem with the implication that stuff like fire safety and public health inspections become more or less rigorous, or applications for permits and licences are more or less likely to get lost somewhere, depending on what the Mayor makes of the owners' views, no matter how much I might agree with him. That seems to me like an abuse of authority, which I agree is less objectionable when unpleasant people are on the receiving end of it, but still shouldn't happen.
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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But I'm afraid I do have a problem with the implication that stuff like fire safety and public health inspections become more or less rigorous, or applications for permits and licences are more or less likely to get lost somewhere, depending on what the Mayor makes of the owners' views, no matter how much I might agree with him.
I don't know how it works in Boston, but it just read to me like he was talking about denying zoning permits.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm not exactly sure of Boston (Metrowest) way of doing things, but the central part of Mass is a mix of "good-ol-boys" network, business/political networks and straightforward honest town governments. I have no reason to believe the eastern part of the state is any different.

I've seen permits denied and approved for some of the craziest things.

Though I can get on board with giving Chick-Fil-A a hassle because of their views and can't think of a better reason for "grey-areas" of the law, I'm a little uncomfortable with this use of power. This is because I often see this same tactic used against teen related parks/businesses.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:19 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I don't know how it works in Boston, but it just read to me like he was talking about denying zoning permits.
As far as I can make out from the report, an existing restaurant business is giving up the lease because it's too expensive, and Chick-Fil-A want to take over the premises. So I don't really see it's a zoning issue, if that means what I think it means.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I agree with popehat on that... if only because when you open the door to legislating a specific morality, you open it to doing the same for any morality. and that's exactly how minorities get screwed.

in fact this smells very much like the inverse case of the tennessee mosque... some bureaucrat rewritting the law that's supposed to treat people equally to suit their own viewpoint.... I'd much rather THAT behavior was stopped regardless if I benefit or not.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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It's entirely an abuse of power for an elected official to use the power of the office to punish political enemies.

Keep in mind, though, that this is a pretty routine practice in just about every county and city everywhere in the United States. Zoning laws are used to reward those with political connections and punish those without. Frequently and pervasively.

It does violate the original intent and text of the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment Takings Clause. However, the Takings Clause has been completely gutted by the Supreme Court over the past few decades. So it's pretty hard for any person or business to defend themselves against abuse by zoning laws.

Chick Fil-A isn't running into anything in Boston that thousands of businesses have not run into everywhere in the United States all the time.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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"The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD"
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'll just leave this here.

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Old 07-22-2012, 11:25 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:41 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Can he say McD's can not be in the city next? Please?
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:09 AM   #23 (permalink)
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We have a Chick-Crap-A here in the mall. It's closed on Sundays (of course). I also have a problem with Hobby Lobby, run by folks who have strong ties to several Dominionism groups and have a history of refusing to serve gay and lesbian patrons whom they apparently identify on sight (.....lame.) They are financially involved with very questionable charities and anti-gay groups. My wife loves shopping here in spite of my comments about the place.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has vowed to block Chick-Fil-A from building a location in Boston because of the company's financial support of anti-gay groups and recent comments by their president.
Dang, I didn't know CFA was anti-gay? I'll just add them to my list of other organizations not to do business with :\ And YAY Mayor!
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:27 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I also have a problem with Hobby Lobby, run by folks who have strong ties to several Dominionism groups and have a history of refusing to serve gay and lesbian patrons whom they apparently identify on sight
I won't go to Hobby Lobby for this very reason. I get that private business can do what they please but really???
I just cannot imagine the cruelty of people who will actually refuse service to anyone like this. It would hurt me to turn someone away, but then I am a heathen yanno.
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