There's a popular restaurant chain known as Chick-fil-A, which specializes in southern-style food. Like many restaurant chains, they're looking to expand in various locations.
But apparently they're going to be blocked from doing business in some locations simply because of the owner's personal views on same sex marriage:
A Chicago alderman wants to kill Chick-fil-A's plans to build a restaurant in his increasingly trendy Northwest Side ward because the fast-food chain's top executive vocally opposes gay marriage.
Ald.Proco "Joe" Moreno announced this week that he will block Chick-fil-A's effort to build its second Chicago store, which would be in the Logan Square neighborhood, following company President Dan Cathy's remarks last week that he was "guilty as charged" for supporting the biblical definition of marriage as between a man and woman.
"If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don't want you in the 1st Ward," Moreno told the Tribune on Tuesday.
Moreno stated his position in strong terms, referring to Cathy's "bigoted, homophobic comments" in a proposed opinion page piece that an aide also sent to Tribune reporters. "Because of this man's ignorance, I will now be denying Chick-fil-A's permit to open a restaurant in the 1st Ward."
The alderman has the full support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel:
"Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values," the mayor said in a statement when asked about Moreno's decision. "They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty."
Leaving aside a discussion of what constitutes Chicago values (entertaining though it might be),let's look at this strictly along legal and constitutional lines.
An owner of a legitimate, legal business is being denied business permits for one reason and one reason only..his political beliefs. As a matter of fact, homosexual marriage per se is not even legal as of today in Illinois!
Moreover, the comments by Alderman Moreno and Mayor Emanuel are curious.
There's no discrimination involved, since Chick-fil-A's owners have not said or even intimated that they will refuse to serve gay couples. And Mayor Emanuel's comment about an empty investment is another variation on the theme President Obama sounded so recently, about how a businesses success wasn't built by those who created it.
Unless the City of Chicago is planning on buying the land, building the restaurant,paying all the government fees involved, paying the taxes, paying the employees,and buying the food and restaurant supplies involved I fail to see what the City government of Chicago is 'investing' in.
And it's not just Chicago.In Boston, Mayor Thomas Menino jumped on the same politically correct trolley:
Mayor Thomas M. Menino is vowing to block Chick-fil-A from bringing its Southern-fried fast-food empire to Boston … after the family-owned firm’s president suggested gay marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”
Note that these politicians are all Democrats.
What comes next? Stopping someone from doing business because they donated to the wrong people? It's perilously close to that already as far as the Obama Administration is concerned.
I realize the Contitution doesn't mean much to these folks unless they can use it for their own partisan purposes, but this is a clear violation of Dan Cathy's First Amendment rights, and there are numerous precedents that support that.
Not patronizing someone's establishment because you don't like their politics, personal conections or hairstyle is one thing. Using your political office to demonize them and engage in what amounts to restraint of trade is something very different, and I think Mr.Cathy has the basis of a very lucrative lawsuit.