Bloomberg Comes Out Against Boston & Chicago Mayors’ Anti-Chick-Fil-A Messages

While New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a supporter of same-sex marriage, he says he disagrees with the way some of his fellow mayors have responded to the ongoing Chick fil-A controversy.

Both Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel have been very vocal in opposing the opening of Chick fil-A restaurants in their cities after the fast food chain’s president’s recent remarks against same-sex marriage.

However, Bloomberg said this morning that it’s none of “the government’s business” what some fast food executive’s beliefs may be.

“You can’t have a test for what the owners’ personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city,” explained Bloomberg. “You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs before you issue a permit, that’s just not government’s job.”

The NYC mayor’s remarks mirror those expressed by the ACLU in response to statements made by Menino and Emanuel that seemed to imply Chick fil-A would not be permitted to open new eateries within their city’s limits.

“This is just a bad idea, and it’s not going to happen in New York City,” said Bloomberg.

Of course, it’s worth noting that there is currently only one Chick fil-A in all of New York City and it’s hidden away on the New York University campus.

Bloomberg: No Chick-fil-A Ban in New York [WSJ.com]

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  1. Mr_Magoo says:

    Just wait until Bloomie finds out that Chick-Fil-A sells 32 oz soft drinks.

    • StatusfriedCrustomer says:

      What if they sell 32-oz soft drinks imprinted with the phrase “We Support Same-Sex Marriage”… Bloomberg self-destruct sequence activated… 10…9…8…

  2. Coffee says:

    Agree with Bloomberg…it’s fine for politicians to express personal opinions, but the moment you start saying things like “Because of your religious views regarding homosexuality, we’re preventing you from…” you cross a line of Constitutionality that you shouldn’t be crossing.

    All that said, I hate Chick-Fil-A and all the love it’s currently getting from the Right.

    • Golfer Bob says:

      Agreed. I wish that Huckabee and Santorum would have not stirred it up further. Now that they have used the controversy to make themselves relevent again, you can see message boards and twitter on fire with comments that go past just expressing political opinons and into very virulent hate speech. A lot of this is right on the official Chick Fil A twitter page. All of this from so called “Christians.”

      • nogaymarriage says:

        The only hate speech is coming from the leftwing bigots. I wish the liberals would quit trying to force normal people to embrace abbnormal marriage.

    • MeowMaximus says:

      This is one of those cases where most of the people involved are wrong. First off, Bloomberg is a jerk. He has no business trying to regulate the health of the people of NYC, and should be recalled for wasting the money of the city. The Mayor of Boston has every right to complain about the actions of Chick-Fil-A (which I also abhor), but no right to try to keep them out of the city. A better way would be to educate the people of Boston about the situation, and organize protests.

      • cactus jack says:

        What is with people demanding recalls lately? You want to know what a true waste of money is? Keep pushing for that stupid recall and you’ll definitely see it.

        A recall is a powerful and expensive tool that should only be used for serious offenses made by a politician. Not because you do not agree with his agenda.

        • Gad.Fly says:

          Actually, this is precisely what recall elections are for. What you’re describing is “impeachment”.

  3. mbd says:

    All this free publicity makes me want to go out and get one of their delicious chicken sandwiches. I don’t care one way or the other about the political views of one of the owners.

    • dush says:

      I wonder if that was the point all along.

      • BorkBorkBork says:

        Enter text…

        • BorkBorkBork says:

          Sigh…I wasn’t done typing.

          I wonder what the net effect will be? With the angry people boycotting while the opposing side goes and buys more ChickfilA in support.

          • xspimpin says:

            I can now say I had my first chick-fil-a sandwich yesterday. All the publicity surrounding them had me wondering why I never tried it anyway. I can say this nonsense definitely got my attention.

  4. Marlin says:

    Unless there is something I have not seen nobody has stopped chickfila from setting up, just the standard political grandstanding “I hate that group you all hate and would stop them if I could legally but legally I can’t so I am going to do some more grandstanding.”

    I think their chicken taste weird from all the junk they put in it, the whole anti-gay thing just means i will not even give them another chance.

    • Cerne says:

      The Chicago alderman said he would use his powers to deny them a permit, the mayor of Boston said he wanted to do the same. Neither of them actually got a chance because someone pointed out that doing so was highly illegal.

  5. captadam says:

    As much as I find the head of Chik-Fil-A to be an ass–and I’ve realized this for quite a long time–I agree with Mayor Mike that cities are absolutely in the wrong when they try to pressure businesses not to locate there because of the views of their executives.

    But, you know, it’s not like Mayor Mike is exactly innocent when it comes to enforcing his own moral purity in the business world.

    • cspschofield says:

      He’s just jealous he didn’t think of it first.

    • HalOfBorg says:

      Thank you. He’s ALLOWED to be an ass – as long as he’s a law abiding ass. And I don’t think he’s an ass for having an opinion.

  6. balderdashed says:

    I agree that it would be inappropriate and illegal to deny a permit to a business because city officials don’t like a business owner’s political or social views. But that’s not what is happening here. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel have stated their belief that Chick-fil-A’s values are not compatible with the values held in their communities. That is not, as it has been portrayed, “an attack of free speech.” Chick-fil-A’s CEO has the right to speak out — and city officials have the right to use their bully pulpit to condemn his views. I see nothing in either mayor’s public statements that suggests that if Chick-fil-A wants to expand in their cities, the law won’t be followed — but following the law doesn’t mean rolling out a red carpet. It’s ironic that typically, businesses that are denied permits and kept out of a neighborhood — not for legitimate legal reasons, but because of somebody’s social or moral views — are adult entertainment businesses. It would be a shame if Chick-fil-A was denied a permit, on some flimsy pretext, because its values were deemed incompatible. Of course, I’d expect Chick-fil-A and its supporters to be equally outraged if a strip club owner’s rights were violated in a similar manner.

    • frank64 says:

      Both mayors initially indicated it would be very difficult to for the company to get the needed permits to open. I think they have since backtracked though. It was those statements that created the uproar even by many that believed in gay rights.

    • Black Knight Rebel says:

      Only if they set up a balloon-based spectacle.

    • HalOfBorg says:

      From what I’ve seen, these are NOT Chick-fil-A’s values – but rather the values of the OWNER. As long as the company follows the laws (and I’ve not heard otherwise) then his opinion should not matter.

      Now, if he set company policy that violates laws, there ya go.

      • Kate Blue says:

        The company actually does make the donations

        Would you be so indifferent if the laws they were trying to get passed would be ones that keep you from being able to get married?

        • fantomesq says:

          I haven’t seen any evidence that Chick-fil-a is trying to get any law passed… This is solely about comments from the president of the company.

  7. Polo79 says:

    Wait wait wait. Bloomberg CAME OUT? Oh cool.

  8. HalOfBorg says:

    Sanity! At long last, sanity!

  9. Suisei says:

    Did you know that the money you give to Chik-fl-a is used toward anti-gay causes? If you are OK with this, then by all means, have that chicken sandwich.

    • Golfer Bob says:

      Their donations to these groups that have anti-gay views occur largely though the Winshape Foundation, which is the company’s charitable outreach unit: Marriage & Family Legacy Fund, Fellowship Of Christian Athletes, National Christian Foundation, Focus On The Family, Eagle Forum, Exodus International, Family Research Council. Some reports have given the numbers as 2 – 5 million over the last several years. As the reports of the donations came to light, Cathy continued to deny the allegations, until last week when he issued his “guilty as charged” statement.

    • ventu587 says:

      O’rly? Here all this time I thought they were a business that ran the business for profit. How many things do you buy everyday from companies that have ideals or beliefs you do not agree with. Bet if you really checked it you would want to probably stay at home and never leave.

      • Kate Blue says:

        It’s a bit different when my money that gives them their profit is used to actively legislate against people and causes misery to them.

        If he just was personally against gay marriage, I would be OK with patronizing the place, but I have desire to contribute to active abuse.

    • Jawaka says:

      Thanks for your permission.

    • srufus says:

      I don’t. Can you list the anti-gay causes?

  10. Golfer Bob says:

    The news just broke that the Chick Fil A VP of Public Relations died suddenly of a heart attack. Stress? Trans Fat?

    http://www2.wrbl.com/news/2012/jul/27/chick-fil-s-vice-president-corporate-public-relati-ar-4220290/

  11. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Chick-Fil-A’s head of PR died of a heart attack this morning. Happy now?

  12. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    There are no Chik-Fil-A’s in my area, just KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Pizza Hut. Oh, and a Ruby Tuesday’s next to our WalMart.

    I’ve been reading the other articles here, and other places online, and I realized something. I know absolutely nothing about the people who own or operate the local businesses where I shop. It’s a rural area, so I don’t have tons of choices. I get most of my groceries from the Weis store chain. Gas from Sheetz or Kwik Fill, and if I’m traveling out of the county, the Flying J next to the interstate. I get cable internet from Comcast.

    I guess I never thought about investigating the owners of corporations or businesses that I frequent. This is good food for thought.

    So, is there a reliable method of finding out what groups, charities, or organizations businesses donate to, whether on the corporate level or personally?

    • Golfer Bob says:

      Yes, file a public records request for the IRS form 990 of the corporation.

      • Golfer Bob says:

        Let me update, if the corporation has a non profit charitable unit (like chick fil a Winshape) you will need to search for the form 990 for that entity.

  13. Cerne says:

    Bloomberg’s governing philosophy seems to be: Have 9 nanny state laws shoved down your throat, get one good piece of policy free.

  14. Mark702 says:

    Bloomberg is a nanny state hypocrite.

  15. 401k says:

    “You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs before you issue a permit, that’s just not government’s job.”

    He’s right. We need all the politics to be removed from government. Try one thing, if it doesn’t work try something different.

    Instead everyone says their way is right and we won’t even try it your way…but both sides say that and nothing ever gets done.

  16. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I reiterate: their chicken isn’t that good.

    I tried a restaurant that I found halfway to St Louis that is head and shoulders above them. In fact, I may starve myself tomorrow when I go to get my car and stop there on the way back. Heh heh.

  17. The Wyrm says:

    This will end well for Chick-Fil-A. With public officials loudly proclaiming that they WANT to take illegal action, you have motive. Therefore if they are denied a permit, get an overly harsh inspector, or customers in their lot get excessively ticketed by police, they can sue the city and WILL WIN.
    Here’s why they’ll win.
    Criminal trial standard: “Beyond a reasonable doubt.”
    Civil trial standard: “More likely than not.”
    Motive, method and opportunity. They’ve openly admitted the motive, and both method and opportunity are clear-cut. If Chick-Fil-A in Chicago encounters ANY difficulty, you’d have a very difficult time convincing a jury that the mayor wasn’t behind it.

    As for the whole anti-homosexuality belief of the owner being a reason to discriminate against the business, let’s apply that broader.
    The owner of Chick-Fil-A believes homosexuality is wrong. Let’s block the business and not shop there!
    The owners of OPEC have homosexuals put to death. Let’s block gas stations… wait no that might personally inconvenience me.

    This is all grandstanding, but the public officials made the mistake of expressing their personal views with the insinuation that they would be enforcing those views using their official power. Imagine if the chief of police came out saying “We don’t want a mosque in our neighborhood and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure they aren’t successful here.” Any police activity involving the mosque and its supports from then on becomes suspect and opens the city up to lawsuits… lawsuits the city will lose.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      It is flat-out illegal to file a civil suit against any government agency or employee acting as an agent of a government agency for actions undertaken while they were acting in the course of their duties.

      There is also absolutely nothing in the law prohibiting an agent of the government from boycotting a place of business, they simply can’t take official action against them.

      • The Wyrm says:

        They wouldn’t sue the mayor. They’d sue the city for unlawful discrimination, and win, because the mayor has made the city liable. Again it’s the mosque analogy. If the chief of police declares that he’s going to stop the mosque from operating, you’ll have a hard time convincing any jury suing the police department that any police activity involving the mosque or its supports wasn’t based on the statements of the chief of police.

    • energynotsaved says:

      Well said.

    • srufus says:

      Nice

  18. RvLeshrac says:

    SIXTY. MOTHERFUCKING. YEARS.

    They’ve been doing this for SIXTY. MOTHERFUCKING. YEARS.

    Why is it that there’s SUDDENLY a huge controversy? Where the fuck were all these idiots decades ago when Chick-Fil-A was doing EXACTLY THE SAME GODDAMNED THING?

  19. PsiCop says:

    Welcome to the conundrum that is living in a (relatively) free country. On the one hand, the people who run businesses are free to have certain beliefs. On the other hand, their customers are free to like, or not to like, those beliefs.

    Bloomberg is right, to an extent. Neither of these things is the business of politicians. Businesses and their customers are free to settle their differences, or celebrate their similarities, whatever the case may be.

    It’s not up to mayors to get in the way of businesses operating in their cities because they personally disagree with the business owners’ beliefs. It’s not up to believing politicians to rage and fume that there are people in the world who’re insolent enough to disagree with their beliefs and those of business owners.

    The world would be a much better place if the grown adults who make up the majority of it, would actually act their ages instead of kvetching and whining all the time. The sanctimoniousness of people on all sides of many issues is sickening — not to mention childish — and it really needs to stop.

    The twin bottom lines: If you’re bothered by the beliefs of the owners of a business, don’t patronize them. Organize a boycott if you wish … it is, as I said, a free country. On the other hand, if you own a business and have certain beliefs you know offend some folks, accept that you might lose their business … and just freaking deal with it already.

  20. The Wyrm says:

    Or as put humorously by various internet graphics…
    “So you’re going to boycott Chick-Fil-A because their owner doesn’t believe that homosexuality is right. When is your boycott against gas stations because the owners of OPEC have homosexuals put to death?”

    • srufus says:

      Well Said. I wonder – Is anyone there can answer this quesiton.

      “When is your boycott against gas stations because the owners of OPEC have homosexuals put to death?”

  21. Versonymous says:

    I don’t know where we lost the American way of doing things. This is a free nation built on Capitalism. If someone wants to open a Chick-fil-A,let them. Stop looking at every new store they open as a victory for them and see it as further extending the liability that comes with being a bigoted business owner.

    Every time a Chick-fil-A opens, every gay person within driving distance should go and apply. On the application under “Hobbies” or “Personal Interests”, list an affiliation with a pro-gay group. Every gay person denied employment needs to go file an EEOC complaint stating that they were denied employment based on this. Not like they can claim innocence!

  22. jacobs cows says:

    I thought people picked out the restaurant for the good food.Live and let live.