Chick-Fil-A has the right as a corporation to say whatever it wants with respect to any issue. Recently its CEO has come out strongly against gay marriage and, of course, hypocritically, pro God. We who value civil liberties know its right to say that is what free speech is all about. One may not like the content of speech but one, in a democratic society, must, as the French philosopher Voltaire said, “… defend to the death your right to say it.”
Having said that, I did dash a note to Mayor Menino containing high praise for what he said. He said “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it. I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston.”
I also blogged on Facebook to boycott Chick-Fil-A. I did so because espousing those beliefs not only is noxious but also creates a threatening atmosphere for those minorities against whom the hateful speech is directed. As long as Chick-Fil-A does not discriminate in hiring or create a hostile atmosphere for those who are “perceived” to be gay, it stands within its legally correct boundaries. Want to bet that Chick-Fil-A has rejected employment to someone whom they thought or knew was gay? If someone said they were against equal rights for African Americans and thought the 1965 Civil Rights Act was wrong how likely would it be that they would refuse to hire an African American? I aver it would be very likely.
Being gay is much harder to discern but one can at times discern it. I would NOT bet the house on the fact that Chick-Fil-A with its backward views would not discriminate in hiring a homosexual, would you?
I suppose the mayor had no right to say Chick-Fil-A cannot set up a business in their city but we are within our rights to boycott a business that espouses malodorous prejudicial views. Yes, Nazis can march in Skokie and I do NOT have to like it BUT I do not have to remain silent against it either. I applaud Mayor Menino’s statement. Those who have felt the sting of anti-gay sentiment know that it is one short step from advocating anti gay views to acting on anti gay views.
In this instance, I thank the few mayors that do support the civil rights of everyone and who are particularly sensitive to a group that has suffered the slings and arrows of Biblical nonsense for millennia. I am Jewish and a part of the people who WROTE the Biblical text of Leviticus. Anti-gay groups use its terrorizing words as justification to assault this minority and deprive it of its Constitutional rights. Moreover, the Biblical statement against homosexuality has served to do nothing but make a huge number of people feel terrible about themselves and even suicidal because of it. It is one reason, among many, I have turned my back on the ritual of the faith into which I was born. Shame on that man-made anti-science Biblical text which creates a Chick-Fil-A in the first place. Am I angry? YOU BET I AM and I am not ashamed to say it.