For a group that purports to be about tolerance and love, same-sex marriage advocates are showing neither as they strive to block Chick-fil-A from setting up shop in Boston and expanding its presence in Chicago.
Remember, Chick-fil-A isn't refusing to serve openly homosexual patrons. The restaurant chain's only "crime" is that its owners as Christians who hold to the Good Book's clear teaching on sexual morality.
As Fox News reports, though, Chick-fil-A foes don't have a legal leg to stand on — and support is coming from an odd quarter in the ACLU:
Barring the popular fast-food restaurant over the personal views of Cathy is an “open and shut” discrimination case, legal scholars told FoxNews.com.
“The government can regulate discrimination in employment or against customers, but what the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words,” said Adam Schwartz, senior attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. “When an alderman refuses to allow a business to open because its owner has expressed a viewpoint the government disagrees with, the government is practicing viewpoint discrimination.”
The ACLU “strongly supports” same-sex marriage, Schwartz said, but noted that if a government can exclude a business for being against same-sex marriage, it can also exclude a business for being in support of same-sex marriage.
“But we also support the First Amendment,” he said. “We don’ think the government should exclude Chick-fil-A because of the anti-LGBT message. We believe this is clear cut.”
When even when the ACLU isn't on your side as a liberal, it's time to rethink your strategy. Big time.
Later in the article, Chicago Alderman Proco Joe Moreno performed the following verbal two-step:
Reached by phone Thursday, Moreno first appeared to back away from his stance, saying traffic concerns drive his objections to the store. But when pressed, Moreno refused to back off his criticism of Cathy’s position on same-sex marriage.
“No, I’m not saying that, I’m not walking back about from that,” Moreno said when asked if his objection to the restaurant has nothing to do with Cathy’s beliefs. “That’s another part of it .. I think businesses should be neutral on that. They should be selling chicken.”
OK. And Starbucks should be selling coffee.
Here in the South, we virtually have a Chick-fil-A on every corner. They serve delicious, high-quality food in a clean atmosphere. Their service is always excellent, and their employees courteous. As a Christian, I feel doubly good giving them my business because the owners share my faith.
But for any defender of free markets — regardless of faith — there can be only one side on which to fall on this issue ... that of Chick-fil-A.