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Mayor's letter to Chick-fil-A: Go away

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Jeez. Menino really getting his jimmies rustled this time. Way to cash this in for votes Tom.

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Freedom of Religion? Menino didn't say Dan Cathy had to give up his personal religion.

Freedom of Speech? Menino didn't censor or jail Dan Cathy for what he said.

This isn't a First Amendment issue. Regardless of the reason, this would be Menino impinging on a business's fair access to the marketplace, not their freedom of speech or religion. Now, remember, this is a mayor that doesn't want another liquor store in Hyde Park or another coffee shop in Mission Hill...simply because they claim there's too many of those things in those places already. So, if we're talking about problems with the Mayor impinging on a business's access, let's talk about that and not the First Amendment which is just a dog whistle to get people to care about what the Globe has to say.

However, while Menino's comments in the Herald were beyond the pale, I find this letter to be much more congruent with both his position and the legality of what he's allowed to do and say regarding this issue. Would we have editorials about the Mayor abusing his position and breaking the First Amendment if he went out attempting to woo a certain business to come to Boston based on its owner's statements? Then, this letter which simply states that the business will not be welcomed (but says nothing about preventing it from arriving if it chose to come here) is entirely within the mayor's purview just the same.

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Well said!

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http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/07/23/boston-mayor-b...

Except Menino will do everything in his power to block licenses for Chick-Fil-A

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I think the cc: to some random landlord who's only rumored to be in talks with this place is a pretty obvious threat not only to CFA to find some place else, but also to that landlord that life could get very difficult if they did indeed go ahead with signing a lease with CFA.

I don't like CFA any more than any other guy who'd like to find a suitable husband some day, but this really rubs me the wrong way. Unless and until the city adopts an ordinance or licensing requirement requiring a survey for every business in the city, and not just those in the headlines, asking about their political view points and the degree to which they line up with our all-powerful fearless leader, this is a major abuse of power.

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fill out such a survey as a condition of the application process would still be an abuse of government power.

Why? Because you would be basing the licensing decision on subjective issues such as religion and politics.

If the business is willing to comply with all applicable laws regarding the establishment and operation of the business, then they should be allowed a chance to open up. As I stated in another post on this thread, if you don't like Chik-A-Fil's politics (and I for one don't care for them myself), you don't have to patronize them.

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This letter wasn't sent by T. Menino, private citizen, who can say whatever he wants. It was sent on City of Boston letterhead by the "Mayor, City of Boston." Menino was speaking ex cathedra, in his official capacity as Mayor. So it's not a free speech / free speech battle, this is a government official attempting to punish another person for exercising his speech rights.

Also, Menino has gone on the record as saying "If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult." The threat to use the government's power to punish another for free speech is just as bad as actually doing it.

The Globe said it well: "using the power of government to freeze the company out of a city sends a disturbing message to all businesses. If the mayor of a conservative town tried to keep out gay-friendly Starbucks or Apple, it would be an outrage."

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Are they assuming Menino is denying them licenses? Because so far it's been a campaign of words: "You're not welcome here".

And that's free speech too.

The Mayor has every right to point out the rather public agenda of private businesses and make it known to the community. He has every right to send sternly worded letters, and organize constituents to put pressure on the business in any legal way possible.

Sorry Chick-fil-A and the Globe, but speech comes with responsibility.

As long as the mayor isn't doing anything illegal to withhold the place going in, should they still want to, then this campaign to bring awareness to their shitbag CEO is fine by me.

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I think it should be noted that you calling the guy a shit bag because he doesn't support gay marriage is the same as him calling you a sinner because you do. You both differ in opinion, so what? I could very well be wrong, but as far as I know, Cathy hasn't done anything to act on his beliefs other than saying he doesn't believe gay marriage is right. Just like Jews don't think it's right to eat shellfish, Hindus don't think it's right to eat beef, just like some people believe in extra terrestrial life and other people find the notion absurd.

Personally I don't agree with Dan Cathy, but he shouldn't vilified just because you don't see where he's coming from (again, just like he doesn't see where we're coming from).

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Because he's forcing his views on other. I'm not nor never will discriminate against others views, because I don't believe that's morally defensible. Even when I don't agree with your politics or religion.

Persuasion sure, but not forcing; as this shit bag does (forcing workers to pray, not hiring gay and lesbians, forcing is own views on his workforce, promoting only the line toe'ers, ect.)

And he has, he's settled out of court quite a few times to keep things "not illegal".

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the same be said about the Mayor and yourself? Your very post is opinionated which in turn is a view of yours!

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but thanks for trying Anon.

The guys views are his own and I don't have an issue with him espousing them. I'm perfectly fine with him pushing his own agenda and putting his name out there in the name of what he thinks is right, as is his first amendment right.

The guy also has a history of worker discrimination and favoritism to those that goose step with his views, to which I say he's a shitbag.

That's not personal views or speech, and it shouldn't be protected. It's discrimination because others don't hold his views or convert to his ideology, they don't sit in a circle and pray every morning, or adhere to his religious sect, and are at a disadvantage for doing so.

Ex. white nationalists of MA decide to open a whites only dinner, employing and serving whites only in Boston, discriminating against everyone else. We should just sit around and allow that sort of thing? It ain't free speech when you start applying litmus tests to who you're going to do commerce with based on ideology or religion, and communities should stand up against such nonsense.

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Do you have anything to back up the allegations of CFA:

"forcing workers to pray, not hiring gay and lesbians, forcing is own views on his workforce, promoting only the line toe'ers ... settled out of court quite a few times to keep things not illegal"

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Yes, more documents less tales of his shit baggery please. I didn't turn up anything conclusive to support claims of forcing workers to pray or discriminating hiring practices. It's fun to say, and maybe you heard it from "someone", but can we get some documents?

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The guy who got fired for not praying in 2002:

http://austin.ynn.com/content/top_stories/49360/ho...

Chick-fil-A settled.

Forbes read on their practices, including 12 settlements since 82'

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2007/0723/080.html

There's more out there too. And these are the guys that at least took it upon themselves to lawyer up and not put up with the cult like BS handed down from above.

MA prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation and martial status. All of which CFA has done in the past.

I'm thinking the mayor should encouraging them in but work with LGBT groups to flood them with legitimate applications and then sick the AG/DA on them when they refuse to hire even one of them.

:popcorn:

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1. These articles are 10 years and 5 years old, respectively. Doesn't really tell us how things are today. Maybe they got better... maybe they got worse. No way to tell.

2. 12 discrimination lawsuits in a 25-year period (82 - 07), one every two years, is pretty darn low for a $4 billion company.

3. Just because a disgruntled former employee files a lawsuit doesn't mean their allegations are true. Nor does a settlement mean the case had merit - most settlements are to avoid the cost of litigation. Nor does it even reflect on senior management (necessarily). There are plenty of lawsuits against Apple alleging discrimination (google 'apple discrimination lawsuits') - I wouldn't call the late Steve Jobs a 'shitbag,' or castigate AAPL as a bunch of bigots.

4. In any event, the litmus test for whether a business can move into the City isn't whether it's been sued before - if that was the case, there'd be a lot of empty storefronts.

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Nice deflection. I knew that was coming, eventually. Cast doubt, write it off!

Unfortunately you're not going to change my mind after the very vocal screeds coming from the CEO and higher ups; the litany of reports on the company. The admittances that in other states they flat out discriminate against unmarried persons.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

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Plus you could certainly call Jobs a shitbag because he was a dick to a lot of people, notwithstanding his shit products that are worshiped by the sheeple.

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...and his products are made by Chinese slaves.

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Apple NEEDS to make 15% more by moving production to China.

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Cathy has done more than just state his opposition to equal marriage. His company has given millions of dollars to anti-gay groups that actively work to deprive our fellow citizens of their rights and to perpetuate prejudice and discrimination:

http://equalitymatters.org/blog/201103220005

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His right as an American to do so, just as it is your to donate to Pro-Gay groups.

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absoutely nothing to do with Cathy's right to operate a business in the City of Boston. And if the Mayor of this "progressive metropolis that suppports freedom" is so eager to deny that right to a private business on the basis of personal religious views (ever hear of separation of church and state?), then perhaps we need to seriously reconsider the Mayor's right to continue to run this City.

Having said that, here's how I see this playing out. Chick-a-Fil will apply for a license, eventually be denied after a lengthy "review period", and then turn around and file a lawsuit against the City - which the City will then lose. And all the evidence Cathy will need to win the case will be Menino's letter on City stationary.

For the record, I do not support Cathy's position on gay marriage, nor anybody who advocates discrimination against homosexuals, etc. in any form. However, for those of you who don't like his religion or his politics (and that includes Mumbles), there's a simple solution to this "pressing problem" - just don't buy chicken (or other items) at any of his restaurants.

If enough people who are truly concerned about Chik-A-Fil's policies and politics do that, then the problem will eventually solve itself - when the restaurant shuts down for lack of business..

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Franchisees must be married.

They have to "espouse Christian (as defined by Cathy) Values".

They have to be involved with a religious organization.

They have to pray at business meetings.

All of this is illegal in MA, dear.

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addressed. It's too bad Menino didn't raise a single one of these issues in his letter.

And the proper forum for airing concerns about a business that may not conform to the law is at a licensing hearing, not by the Mayor sending out implied threats that "you'll never get a license if I have anything to say about it."

So, unless there's any documented evidence that Chik-a-Fil has previously violated current Massachusetts state law in running its present stores in Massachusetts - oh wait, they don't have any stores in Massachusetts do they, then that other American principle - you know, innocent until proven guilty, still applies.

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At the Burlington and Northshore malls.

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Jinx.

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Not sure when that ended, but they aren't there anymore.

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There's one in the Burlington Mall and one in the Northshore Mall in Peabody.

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Promoting bigotry against gay people is not the same thing as saying it is ungodly to eat shell fish. A better analogy would be a restaurant owner who promoted reintroduction of anti-misogeny laws so that black and white people could not marry. Likewise, the analogy would be that the restaurant owner donates corporate funds to other political groups that denegrate black people. Most people would agree that this would be considered bigotry. It is based on an irational prejudice held against a group of people based solely on a quality with which they are born and they cannot change, and it is not acceptable in civilized society. The same is true of prejudice against gay people. The only difference today is that a large group of people still attempt to justify their opinion about gay people based on religious beliefs. The same thing was once done by people to justify their opinions about black people. Both views should be held by everyone with the same degree of scorn in a civilized country such as ours. This is all a long way of saying that there is more at issue here, and in the Mayor's letter, than just free speech or chicken sandwiches.

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Part of this whole issue is that Dan Cathy has spent thousands (if not more) funding organizations that are attempting to undermine or undo equal rights and same-sex marriage whenever and wherever they can politically. It is not just that he runs his company on a distorted take of Christianity, but that he has taken the money from that venture and funded efforts to harm equal rights.

That makes him a shitbag in many people's books.

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But last I checked, citizens of this country have the right to spend *their* money in an effort to change the laws and influence opinion. Just because I don't agree with the opinion he's pushing doesn't give me, and certainly not the government, the right to quash those efforts.

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They don't just stop with throwing money at hate causes - Cathy also has gone on record as saying that they don't give franchises to unmarried people and they do "background checks" to make sure that they only work with "family men" of good standing - including interviewing anyone who is connected in private life. Note "men" and "married" and other discriminating terms here.

There is another term for this - violation of laws.

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http://smallbusiness.chron.com/approved-open-chick...

You don't have to be a Christian - just willing to espouse "Christian Beliefs".

Right.

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glad he doesn't mind getting his name out there, because so many of these guys hide behind anonymity and firewalls of millions of dollars. At least he has the balls to stand for what he does believe in and show face. At least there's a discussion to be had.

But ultimately, that's not the issue here IMO. The problems of discrimination in his workplace to those that don't hold his ideology, discrimination against LGBT's workers and those of different religions, ect is the problem. The settlements and the way he runs his business, which is far from blind.

His speech might be disgusting, but it ain't the issue.

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These are completely different issues than those being raised by the mayah. If these are true, then the place to adjudicate them is in the courts, not through thinly-veiled threatening letters from a government official overstepping his bounds.

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with the court of public opinion?

Plus love it or hate it, it's good politics going my whats been popping up on my news feed from my peers all day. Menino just got a pretty big boost in the younger demographic that really doesn't pay much attention to him.

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The Globe says that the difference between Northeastern and Boston was that Northeastern is a private institution and responded to public outcry, but I think we can all agree that if Chick Fil A got as far as the licensing process, there would be massive public outcry from residents to block it.

The city does have the right to refuse licenses to businesses for any number of reasons. If the various community associations can block new businesses because "there's already too much coffee on that street" or "closing McDonald's one hour later would cause a plague of locusts o'er the Earth," then "not wanting Boston money to flow into the coffers of organizations that delight in abusing gay kids for profit" is a valid reason too.

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So if the mayor did the same thing to a Planned Parenthood clinic, or any number of other controversial entities, the reaction would be the same?

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Because the good people of the Commonwealth are on the side of woman's rights, and don't think the governments job is getting between a doctor and their patient.

Menino would get quite a bit of heat for it, but if that's his view and what he wants to bring attention to, it's his prerogative.

Anyways, I fail to see what your argument is? People don't want businesses that are known to discriminate and preach fundamentalist religious ideals in their city, so are putting pressure on them to rethink, and it's a bad thing?

People are also free to support them. Just because you feelings might get hurt, doesn't make it wrong or bad. And if you're too embarrassed to publicly support them, that's on you cupcake. Whining about people that get off their butts and get politically involved is fubar.

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While I support what he says in the letter and his right to say it. it was reported that he separately said he would not let Chick-Fil-A go in there. Something like it would be very hard for them to get permits/licenses and you know he can make it hard. This is not right and is out of line.

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Freedom of speech is for us - not you.

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Government should facilitate business, not stifle it. It's up to the individual citizen to decide whether or not he or she wants to support a business with their wallet. Mayor Menino already has a track record of anti-business practices by actively trying to block Walmart from coming into Boston in order to protect his union cronies. This is not simply a gay rights issue, as many of you would like it to be.

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Also, Walmart vs. Unions, and you support Walmart, the face of corporate greed and brutality towards its own employees? Piss off.

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Sadly many unions are just as greedy and brutal toward their dissenting membership as corporations. Monopolies on anything lead to abuses.

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Good for the Mayor! Hate and discrimination are not welcome as business practices in the city of Boston.

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So he's vehemently opposed to supporting someone who opposes gay marriage. Ok, then why do I always see him playing grabass with the Cardinal? Does the Catholic Church support gay marriage? What if Catholic Charities wanted to open a store at that location, would they get licenses?

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A Chicago ward alderman: "I don't want you in the 1st Ward."

http://www.northjersey.com/news/national/163815936...

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Someone Is Defending Chick-Fil-A With Fake Facebook Profiles
http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/chick-fil-a-gets-ca...

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