ACLU To Chicago: Just Because You Don’t Agree With Chick Fil-A Doesn’t Mean You Can Discriminate Against It

Emotions are running high in the ongoing story of Chick fil-A vs. the world, but just because say, Boston or Chicago don’t agree with the company CEO Dan Cathy’s anti-gay marriage stance doesn’t mean those cities can actively bar the chain from opening stores there. That would be discrimination, says the American Civil Liberties Union, in response to the recent comments of a Chicago alderman who vowed to block a second location, as well as Mayor Rahm Emanuel decrying Cathy’s statements.

Earlier this week, Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino wrote a letter to Chick fil-A telling Cathy his company wasn’t welcome in Beantown. Chicago Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno then joined the fight, and announced that he wants to block Chick fil-A from setting up its second shop in Chicago and Emanuel chimed in as well, saying it would be a “bad investment” for the company to do so.

But refusing to let a business open based on something someone said is discrimination, and won’t fly with the Constitution, says the ACLU.

According to

“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. What the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words.”

The ACLU adds that it “strongly supports” same-sex marriage, but that’s not the point here, says Schwartz. The point is if you start down the slippery slope of blocking someone based on being against something, a city or government could also shut out a business for being in support of something.

Emanuel’s spokeswoman responded in a statement by saying that Cathy just doesn’t share Chicago’s values, so Chick fil-A can go ahead with its bid for a new location in the Logan Square neighborhood just like any other business would.

“He did not say that he would block or play any role in the company opening a new restaurant here,” she said. “If they meet all the usual requirements, then they can open their restaurant, but their values aren’t reflective of our city.”

Meanwhile, the owner of the city’s one and only Chick fil-A is a bit upset at Emanuel’s comments and has issued a press release inviting the mayor to meet with her, her husband and her management staff at her restaurant, to see that her business isn’t about discriminating against same-sex couples.

According to the Chicago Tribune, she wrote that while she gets what Emanuel is saying, she is dedicated to “serving all of our guests with honor, dignity and respect. … We alone created 97 jobs this past year and our passion is building leaders for future generations, regardless of sexual orientation or beliefs.”

Legal eagles cry fowl over politicians’ plans to block Chick-fil-A []
Chicago Chick-fil-A owner wants to talk with Emanuel [Chicago Tribune]



Edit Your Comment

  1. deniedbeef30 says:

    I live in the south and have a Chick-fil-a less than a mile from my house and actually have friends who are related to the Cathy family. I am pro gay marriage but do respect free speech. Plus, they really do have the best chicken sandwich. Amazingly good!

    • PeacockNowInExtraCrispy says:

      Ah, speech may be free. But free speech is not without consequences. And the consequences of Dan Cathy being so up front and open about his bigotry and small-mindedness and willingness to take my dollars that I spent at his restaurants and use them to fund a cause that I find abhorrent means that I will no longer be spending my dollars there.

      So how that works?

    • missmarymack says:

      You might as well send the money directly to Exodus (you know, the “Welcome to Uganda, we kill all the gays” bill) and the FRC (who spend that money lobbying to have being gay re-criminalized).
      It has less to do with free speech than it does to do with not supporting hateful actions. They take your money and redistribute it to groups who are actively trying to hurt, humiliate, imprison, and kill gay people.

      • lvdave says:

        Gimme a break… Just because somebody/some company feels that gay marriage or the gay lifestyle is wrong automatically means they are “actively trying to hurt, humiliate, imprison, and kill gay people.” … If you really believe that, you are one sick puppy, Miss… I’m a Christian, I strongly believe that homosexuality is wrong, and that marriage is between a man and a woman, BUT I do NOT hate people who are gay or believe in gay marriage. Even though I believe both are WRONG per the Bible, I leave judgement to God on Judgement Day. I follow Jesus, who taught that hate of ANY kind was wrong.. Having said all that, I’d dearly LOVE for Chik-Fil-A to skip opening restaurants where the haters don’t want them, and put a bunch here in Las Vegas.. I’d patronize them all the time, not just because they stand up for their beliefs but they have great food too….

        • Marlin says:

          Maybe you should do some fact checking before calling someone out. One of the groups that got money from Chickfila, Exodus, supported Ugandas law to kill gays.

          The other groups are just as nutty as well.

          • CheritaChen says:

            Don’t waste your breath/keystrokes. This individual believes morality comes from a book. Do not expect logic or reason from such an individual; they are impervious to facts.

            • pgr says:

              All he had to do was tell us he is a Christian (who just happens to be against gay marriage) to know what he really is!

              I’d go hungry before I’d ever step food in an operation run by a Christian hate group and that’s all Chickfila seems to be ;(

              • Kuri says:

                “All he had to do was tell us he is a Christian (who just happens to be against gay marriage) to know what he really is!”

                That’s the oen bit of your post I don’t like because it’s rather bigoted.

              • Lynn says:

                I am a Christian and believe marriage is between a man and a woman but I am not against gay marriage, so I guess that shoots down your theory. I believe everyone has the right to be happy.

          • jokono says:

            “supported Ugandas law to kill gays.”

            Hmm, that’s not what I read. Seems the whole Exodus International thing is a red herring.

        • missmarymack says:

          …… I’m a christian too, christianity has nothing to do with it. Good christians are full of love and acceptance. Corrupt business owners who their company’s money to groups that are trying to outlaw homosexuality with the penalty being DEATH are not good christians.

        • Golfer Bob says:

          Have you seen some of the virulent, hate speech that this has stirred up? What gives people the right to voice support for traditional marriage and then in the same breath use word like “fags” and “dykes” and stand by as people post violent responses. You can check out @ChickFi A and #eatchickfila on twitter and see some of it. One of the groups that Chick Fil A donated has blamed the Aurora, Co shooting on gay people. Do you know what it feels like to be on the other side of a lynch mob? If not, then shut up and enjoy your high calorie, high fructose corn syrup chicken sandwich.

          It’s typical for so called Christians to clutch the book and beleive whatever they hear on Sunday, but never open it. Christians being Christ like. What a concept.

        • wellfleet says:

          The “charitable” foundation that is funded by Chick-fil-A gives money to causes that directly seek to hurt, humiliate and discriminate against the LGBT community. How would you feel about a restaurant that doesn’t actively persecute Christians, but instead donate millions of dollars to groups that persecute Christians? Get it?

          Your judgment and values are disgusting and antiquated. Fifty years ago, your exact words were used to discriminate against Blacks and Jews. I certainly hope there is a God and that he is a vengeful God, because the vitriol your fellow so-called Christians have spewed against the LGBT community deserves punishment. If you read the Holy Bible, you would know that these are not the values of Jesus.

          Be ashamed of yourself, seriously.

        • Press1forDialTone says:

          I -love- the irony that you live in “Sin City”. Perfect.

      • dush says:

        If you’re in a union you’re forced to give them money to support causes you may find immoral or else you’re out of a job.
        At least you aren’t forced to buy food from Chickfila.

        • chargernj says:

          at least when you are in a union there are democratic process that direct how they spend their money. Most union member don’t get involved in that aspect of the union, but it is there.

      • fantomesq says:

        No. They take your money and give you a chicken dinner… at which point it becomes their money. What they do with THEIR money is their business.

        • HFC says:

          What I do with MY money is MY business, right? It has nothing to do with you. Like if I hire a PI with MY money to find out your identity and where you live so I can hire a contract killer with MY money to pay you a visit. It’s none of YOUR business, because it’s MY money, right?

          • fantomesq says:

            And here what Chick-fil-a, a private corporation, is doing with its own money is donating it to Christian charities that decide how to use the money themselves. Nothing to get worked up over, spin aside…

            • djdanska says:

              True. All Americans are created equal has been thrown out the window. Christianity is the law in this land now. All hair the christian taliban! Besides, killing gays is very christian.

              • dush says:

                Yeah in my town the council just passed a law requiring everyone to go to church twice a week and forces kids to pray before school. It’s getting crazy in this country.

      • srufus says:

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

  2. El_Fez says:

    Hmmm, the obvious route would be: Let Chikafill set up a restaurant in your town and then make sure that the Health Inspector swung by every single day and make sure that store is 100% compliant with *every* health code in the damn book and write them up for everything.

    But then I guess that’s why I’m not mayor. :)

    • kanenas says:

      So you enforce the law more vigorously for one business than you would another? Ever hear of the 14th amendment?

      • Marlin says:

        Good luck with that. Many times the health department shows up due to consumer/citizen complaints. More people complain and the city looks into it and legally they would be protected as the city did not start it but was following up per consumer/citizen concerns.

        Same type of BS they are doing in VA to try and shut down abortion clinics. Add rules that should not apply, then have people complain, and the state “investigates” the offices.

        Does not take a large group to f__k with a shop.

    • cactus jack says:

      Smells like discrimination and harassment. Would you say the same thing if this guy was black? Or do we all feel safer in our blatant calling for discrimination because he’s a whitey?

      • missmarymack says:

        He’s not being discriminated against for his beliefs, but is being judged for his actions.
        They take your money and redistribute it to groups who are actively trying to hurt, humiliate, imprison, and kill gay people. Doesn’t sound like something that’s covered by “free speech” to me.

        • Cerne says:

          Well your wrong so there’s that against you.

        • fantomesq says:

          A Christian business donating to Christian operations… who’d a thunk? Focus on the Family, a hate group? Give me a break… all the hate is coming from the LGBT side on this one.

          • Nick1693 says:

            Fuck. Off.

            “All the hate is coming from people who don’t like to be discriminated against.”

          • JEDIDIAH says:

            Focus on the Family is indeed a hate group. Don’t let the name fool you.

            They are theocrats hiding behind a deceptive name.

          • poco says:

            Christianity is a hate group. They found biblical support for slavery in the 19th century, biblical support for the oppression of woman in the 20th and now in the 21st century they’re using their book of iron-age mythology to discriminate against gays.

            Christians have been on the wrong side of every civil rights issue in this nation’s history. Educate yourself and then re-examine your dearly held beliefs.

            • freeparkking says:

              Nice broad brush, there. You do realize that Christians were also at the forefront of the abolishment movements in both America and Europe, AND were heavily involved in the Civil Rights movement. What was MLK’s day job again? Maybe you should educate yourself a little more as well beyond your preconceived internet stereotypes of people of faith.

        • dush says:

          Didn’t you hear? Money is speech now.

    • Cerne says:

      Yah government abusing its power against people it doesn’t like, that never ends badly.

    • ARP3 says:

      That’s exactly what happens in Chicago to businesses that don’t “play ball.” We’re having a similar issue with Food Trucks. The B&M restaurant lobby pushed the city counsel to only allow Food Trucks in a narrow sliver of circumstances under the guise of “health and safety.” For example, they can only operate between 1 and 3 a.m.

  3. tsume says:

    Let them open their stores. The people will decide with their wallets whether they want to support the owners’ radical anti-gay agenda or not.

    • jack11058 says:

      This. Isn’t that why we have democracy/capitalism? To promote freedom of choice?

    • msbaskx2 says:

      This. Vote with your wallet.

    • injera says:


      They have the right to open wherever the like. And I have the right to not spend a single penny at their restaurant.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      This is true. And unfortunately, the majority of people I’ve talked to or read comments from have said “Who cares, I like their chicken.” That’s why Wal-Mart is still in business, too. Half of the people even here say, “Yeah, I know they have deplorable labor practices, but, hey, low prices!”

      Sadly, the American people seem to largely not care about anything but cheaply made consumer goods and feeding their faces.

      • Sorbamama says:

        You hit the nail on the head: we have devalued labor wages to pennies in other countries, and finally, it’s come back to smack us in the butt.

    • fantomesq says:

      Yep and they are – to the tune of $4 billion last year… Chick-fil-a is not hurting from this boycott by people who weren’t eating there in the first place.

  4. Hungry Dog says:

    Nothing says good wholesome Christian values like discrimination and malice towards people who exist.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      “Nothing says good wholesome religious values like discrimination and malice towards people who exist.”


      • JEDIDIAH says:

        I am not sure if the more conservative Xian denominations would be on board for this kind of thing. There are even splits between the more conservative vs. evangelical factions in the same denomination.

        Not all religions are equally extreme or require their followers to be mindless followers.

        The noisy ones tend to make it seem that way though.

  5. CharlesFarley says:

    It’s Chicago, they will have every inspector from every bureau there every day of the week. They will have the police outside writing parking tickets for every minor violation moving and non-moving violation. The tow trucks will be at the ready around the corner.

    Go ahead…take on the machine.

    • Emperor Norton I says:

      1. We don’t have “bureaus” in Chicago.
      2. The cops won’t be out there on Elston Ave. writing tickets, it’s far too busy of a street & the city is short on cops, plus there’s a gang war going on here.
      3. The city lost a similar case last year over a sign for a hot dog joint called “Felony Franks”. That place’s alderman didn’t like the name & refused a sign permit. It cost the city $250,000 in outside legal bills for this idiocy & the city surrendered in the face of a federal lawsuit.
      The city will due the same here & since Chick-Fil-A has very deep pockets, I hope they sue the shit out of the city on this.

      And I oppose Chick-Fil-A’s policies, but I respect the 1st Amendment, so I go with the bigot over those that have violated their oaths of office. You know, where they swore to “Uphold & defend the Constitution of the United States & the Constitution of the State of Illinois”!

      • Cor Aquilonis says:

        Yep. While I’m participating in the Chick-fil-a boycott, the ACLU is right. They have the right to sell their icky chicken*, to the same extent as any other non-bigoted restaurant.

        * Seriously, to those of you who like Chick-fil-a, there’s something wrong with your taste buds. I don’t know what they fry in, but it has to be some of the mankiest oil I’ve ever tasted on chicken. So utterly vile. I’ve tried it at a few locations across a couple states, and it’s always… off.

        • djdanska says:

          Free speech is a constitutional right. Zoning has been established over and over again to NOT be protected under the constitution. (re strip clubs and sex shops next to schools and churches is a good example) They can sue all they want, In fact, i would love them to. Waste all that money.

  6. kanenas says:

    So if Chicago doesn’t want Chick-Fil-A because their owners are against gay marriage and they believe that is homophobic, doesn’t this mean they should close down all gas stations that sell gasoline refined from oil imported from Muslim countries? After all, they kill people for being gay there. You can’t get any more bigoted than that.

    • Marlin says:

      Do those countires own the stations? Do they own the refineries? Do they advertise in the US? Do they support killing gays in the US?

      If you can’t see the differance in your example and this then turn the computer off and leave the internet.

      • kanenas says:

        Do the owners of Chick-Fil-A franchises support the killing of gays in the US? Until there’s some evidence to the affirmative, I’m going to say they don’t.

        So let me guess, you drive a car, right? Is that why you have no problem with buying fuel that supports foreign governments that kill gays just for being gay?

        • Marlin says:

          As a matter of fact they kinda do. The money made at the franchises goes to Corp. Corp gives it to their own “charity” Winshape. Winshape gave that money to some groups that support killing gays.
          Heres a couple groups Chickfila gave to…
          Exodus International: Exodus International Board Member John Schmierer began his trips to Uganda in 2009, preaching alongside Nazi revisionist Scott Lively, spreading hatred of gay people to the people and leaders of the country. This directly led to their legislation requiring the execution of some gay people.
          Family Research Council: Not sure where to start. Let’s start with a Tony Perkins quote:
          “While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.”
          — Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, FRC website, 2010
          There are literally dozens of other moments where FRC and Focus on the Family link homosexuality and pedophilia with zero reputable evidence.
          In 2010, The Congress was considering a public condemnation of Uganda’s “Kill the Gays Bill” which would put gay people on trial with a possible death sentence as punishment for homosexuality. Family Research Council spent $25,000 lobbying Congress to not disapprove of this bill.
          And on and on…

          • kanenas says:

            So then you should be OK with a push to ban gas stations that sell oil from Muslim countries then, since because if you go far down enough the line, the money goes into the pockets of governments that kill gays just for being gay.

            Fair is fair after all.

            • Marlin says:

              Really thats the best you have. There are so many breaks in your “example” its a joke. Also the people saying kill gays is not the same as those selling the oil, let alone follow the oil. The majority of oil used in the US does not come from the middle east.

              What chickfila does is a direct 1-1. There is no open market and the money does go straight to hate-groups.

              • Cerne says:

                I’m sorry there’s suddenly no open market for chicken sandwiches in America?

              • kanenas says:

                You’re saying that if at any link in the chain that gays get killed, simply for being gay, then it is bad. You cite your link as proof vis-a-vis Chick-Fil-A. I am simply applying your logic to calling for these politicians to ban gas stations on the same account.

          • dush says:

            So basically if you buy gasoline you could be supporting the wealth of people in the middle ease who kill gays. Are you selling your car so you don’t take that chance?

          • JEDIDIAH says:

            …and here I thought the only reason to stay away from Chick-fl-a was their annoying ads and the rubber chicken. ‘-)

        • Marlin says:

        • fantomesq says:

          Nope. Chick-fil-a doesn’t discriminate and no one is even alleging that they do. They serve chicken to any customers regardless of their sexual proclivities. Just some small-minded people wanting to control what others do with their money…

          • Marlin says:

            They fired someone due to his religion before so yea its a TOTAL stretch to think they would do anything like that.

      • Cerne says:

        Actually Saudi Arabia is heavily invested in many refineries and distribution systems. They also produce the world’s most popular line of text books of text books for Muslim education and distribute those books in the US. Want to guess what position those books take on homosexuality?

        So yeah there’s very little difference here.

    • Sorbamama says:

      Thanks for grouping all Muslims together. It’s like saying all Christians hate and kill gays – it’s not true.

  7. Marlin says:

    As said there are plenty of legal ways to make someone not want to set up a food business. Opening up a food shop is hard enough let alone if the city/town does not want you there.

    I remember when I worked at a pizza place. 1 inspector did not like the owner so we always got in the low 90’s yet if another inspector came it was 98-99 score. Same people working and owner, only change was the inspector.

  8. PupJet says:

    I’m glad I live in an area where this company has set up shop. In fact, I’m pretty sure my state would take one look at their history and say “No. Not going to happen. If you try, prepare for a huge problem. In fact, prepare for no one to visit.”

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      I’m confused. Do you mean you’re glad they’re already there, because in the current climate, if they tried to move in your state would block them?

    • Cerne says:

      Wait your glad you live in a state where freedom of speech and association no longer exist? That’s confusing. Most people don’t like living under government tyranny.

  9. kanenas says:

    Now let’s ask a different question… what if the mayor of some conservative town in some dark red conservative state sent a similar letter to say, Ben and Jerry’s or Men’s Wearhouse, saying they were not welcome there because of their support for the Occupy movement?

    If you think it is OK for cities to discriminate against Chick-Fil-A for their owner’s political views, would you then be for this?

    • Marlin says:

      Chickfila supports harming gays and even is ok with killing gays in some cases. So you’re going to have to come up with a better excuse than “Occupy movement”.

      • kanenas says:

        The Occupy movement has been linked to property damage and other forms of violence, not to mention they leave large piles of trash everywhere they camp. But that aside, I’m simply applying the same logic applied by the anti-Chick-Fil-A crowd. Why is one discriminating against one company good but another bad? Or does your approval or disapproval depend on whether your personal opinion on the entity being discriminated against.

        • Marlin says:

          Your “example” is fake, the Chickfila one, where they support groups like Exodus that thinks killing gays is ok, is real.

          • dush says:

            I gotta say that example is not fake at all. Occupy has left a bunch of trash and vandalized property in its wake.

            • Marlin says:

              Reading comprehension much?

              “what if the mayor of some conservative town in some dark red conservative state sent a similar letter to say, Ben and Jerry’s or Men’s Wearhouse, saying they were not welcome there because of their support for the Occupy movement? ”

              His example is fake.

              • dush says:

                Eh, your fake comment was after his example of Occupy leaving trash everywhere. Made it look like a response to that.

              • kanenas says:

                Fine, here’s a real example. The CEO of Amazon just announced he would donate a bunch of money to campaign for the legalization of gay marriage in Washington State.

                What if some podunk conservative town somewhere decided to issue a statement saying to Amazon that they were not welcome in said town because of Jeff Bezos’ stance on gay marriage?

                Since you are OK with governments disallowing Chick-Fil-A from doing business because of their CEO’s stance on gay marriage, then you should have no problem with the situation I describe, should a conservative town decide to do it.

                • Marlin says:

                  Where did I saw I was ok with “governments disallowing Chick-Fil-A from doing business” go ahead cause your not just making ti up as you go right?

                  And Amazon would do what they did when Texas came after them, move and setup where they are wanted.

      • cris3429 says:

        Your link doesn’t work

  10. SoCalGNX says:

    The ACLU is wrong on many things and this is just one more. Too bad Chick got its itsy bitsy feelings hurt. Tough.

  11. injera says:

    What I’m more curious about…..

    Many on the far-right hate the ACLU for a variety of reasons, how will they react now that they’re representing “their side”

  12. Mr Grey says:

    I agree with the ACLU.

    If you don’t like Chick – fil – a for whatever reason, don’t go.

  13. missmarymack says:

    What’s weird to me is that the LGBTQ community has known that chik-fil-a are hatemongers for a long, long time. I’m not sure why all of a sudden straight people are getting involved, but it’s nice.
    The thing is: it isn’t that the owner doesn’t like gay people. The issue is that Chick-fil-a filters it’s money to really awful hate groups, in the US and other countries, who actively harm gay people. Therefore, eating at Chick-fil-a is like handing Fred Phelps five bucks.
    The issue has nothing to do with free speech, it has to do with hateful actions and business ethics. I personally don’t think that businesses should donate to *any* causes, liberal or otherwise.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      More people are suddenly getting involved because a lot of people were not aware of the hatemongering until Mr. Cathy made his recent statements.

      • missmarymack says:

        Yes, but these people are acting foolishly. They don’t know the half of it. All they know is “omg, he doesn’t support gay marriage!!” when the issue at hand is that he’s like.. you know… trying to kill us all.
        So, now we have a bunch of people who are uninformed making a fuss over speech, when the issue lies in his actions.

        • CheritaChen says:

          That’s why the ACLU’s defense is problematic to me. Why can’t a government refuse to support an entity that promotes unlawful behavior?

          • dush says:

            The ACLU is only defending the saying of an opinion by a business owner as protected speech and therefore not unlawful. You may not like or agree with it but it’s not unlawful.
            The ACLU obviously doesn’t agree with the opinion either.

    • Jane_Gage says:

      What I can’t understand is why politicians are getting angry over a chicken sandwich when there should be a federal/constitutional push to get the actual laws changed!

    • Cerne says:

      I’m sorry but it is a free speech issue. You and I may disagree with the stance these groups take, but they have the right to express their opinions. Also none of them are actually hate groups.

      • RayanneGraff says:

        Actually at least 2 of them are recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups.

        • Cerne says:

          That I did not know. Also I’ll gladly accept the SPLC as the experts in that area. Makes me even less likely to eat there, still support the ACLU’s position.

          • RayanneGraff says:

            I agree, they do have the right to free speech. Any idiot can believe any idiotic thing he wants, but I take issue when they ACT on their idiotic beliefs & cause misery for others.

    • fantomesq says:

      By hatemongers, you mean Christians. Although the LGBT community equates the two, most of the world doesn’t… and by hate groups, you mean Christian charities, because again, the world doesn’t equate the two. Lets leave the spin out.

      You have NO evidence that the owners of Chick-fil-a don’t “like gay people”. They serve chicken to them , the same as everyone else. They don’t choose to support gay-marriage but just because you differ on policy positions does not equate to hate. The only hate I see coming from this situation is coming from the LGBT community…

      • RayanneGraff says:

        Wow… how’s the sand today? You know, the sand you’ve buried your head deeply in? Yeesh.

        CFA donates millions of dollars per year to christian charities & organizations that are openly & proudly anti-gay, and who work tirelessly to promote discrimination against homosexuals. Some of them are even SPLC-recognized hate groups, and some are working with lawmakers in other countries to pass anti-gay legislation that results in death penalties for the “crime” of homosexuality. CFA doesn’t have to deny gays service at the door for it to be painfully clear to anyone with even the most rudimentary deductive skills that they are extremely anti-gay. Though I have zero doubt that if they didn’t fear legal repercussions, they’d happily put in place a “no homos allowed” policy.

        Do you donate to organizations whose message & activities you disagree with? No? So then its pretty safe to say that CFA agrees with the bigotry, discrimination, and oppression espoused by all the hate groups they give money to. You can’t say that CFA has nothing against gays when they give millions of dollars to groups that seek to oppress and denigrate gays. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that they’re bigots. Open your eyes.

  14. CheritaChen says:

    I’m not sure it’s really unconstitutional to block or fight an entity that promotes discrimination. The corporation and its members have the freedom to believe what they will, yes, but why should any government be forced to welcome their presence when they are known to discriminate and support efforts to enforce that discrimination?

    Let them choose who they hire and who they serve. But demand that they be allowed to do so in a specific city? We’re not talking about a city discriminating against a company. We’re talking about a city trying to refuse to support discrimination. It’s not the same thing at all.

    • JollySith says:

      They are perfectly in their rights to promote bigotry and hatred. They can talk about and promote all the ignorance and intolerance they choose to. It is not OK for the government to block them for their opinions, no matter how wrong they are. As long as their hiring, and workplace environments are non discriminatory the government has no place attempting to ban them. However the government also cannot stop people from speaking their minds about how awful the company is and how no one should give them any finacial support

    • JollySith says:

      They are perfectly in their rights to promote bigotry and hatred. They can talk about and promote all the ignorance and intolerance they choose to. It is not OK for the government to block them for their opinions, no matter how wrong they are. As long as their hiring, and workplace environments are non discriminatory the government has no place attempting to ban them. However the government also cannot stop people from speaking their minds about how awful the company is and how no one should give them any finacial support

    • PunditGuy says:

      That would work if the business were actually discriminating against anyone. Near as I can tell, they’re happy to take gay money and nobody is accusing them of not hiring gay employees.

      No law is being broken, therefore Chicago and Boston have no good reason to keep Chick Fil-A out. I don’t want any layer of government making that kind of decision, because it inevitably would put a company whose actions I agree with on the losing side of that equation.

      I’m not defending Chick Fil-A. I’m done eating there. I’m defending the principle.

      • CheritaChen says:

        Yeah, I understand what you’re saying. I’m not saying you’re wrong about that. But the company does support groups that promote hatred, and which may encourage some people to break laws. I’m trying to decide if it’s right that a government can’t refuse in turn to support that company. It isn’t really about what Cathy says; it’s about what the money from his company will do. That shouldn’t be considered speech, and I don’t know if I agree with the ACLU on this one.

        • Cerne says:

          Allowing a company to operate in your city is not supporting them. And you have no idea what constitutes speech.

    • Cerne says:

      Seriously? I suppose you agree with your local government on every single political issue and believe that every single business operating in your municipality should share in that agreement?

      • CheritaChen says:

        Nah, not at all. Though I must say, my local government does seem to have more policies with which I can agree than many other governments I’ve read of. I just don’t like the idea of the government being forced to support a company that funds hatred (by support I mean through use of its infrastructure and services).

        Speech is one thing. Encouraging fear, hatred and violence is something else. No one should have to put up with that.

        • Cerne says:

          The government is not being forced to support them, they’re being forced to let them operate on their own.

    • fantomesq says:

      Except Chick-fil-a doesn’t discriminate against anyone. They serve chicken to all. Not doing so would be wrong. How they choose to spend their money is their business…

  15. cris3429 says:

    I actually agree 100% with the ACLU on this one. We have a 1st amendment guarantee of freedom of speech in this country and cannot be discriminated on because of it. By blocking chick-fil-a from opening a restaurant in Chicago we are essentially saying that because you believe marriage is between a man and a woman due to your religious values, we don’t want you here. It’s against the law and it’s completely hypocritical and against the majority of democratic ideals of inclusiveness and acceptance. Chicago is showing its true colors by saying we accept all people as long as they beliee exactly what we do and that is ridiculous and stupid. We live in a capatilist society. Let them move into the city and let the people of the city decide if they want to eat there or not. If they don’t then they will shut it down. That the great thing about our country, we the people have the power of choice and the ability to decide what businesses thrive.

    • CharlesFarley says:

      Ideals in Chicago, who are you kidding? Someone will make a big contribution to the Alderman’s campaign fund and it will become a non-issue.

    • Jane_Gage says:

      If only there were some sort of protection against hate speech. . .if only my people could be part of a Title VII class. Then people could see this would be no different than opening up a “Women are Property-fil-a” or a “Black People are Criminals-fil-a.”

      • Cerne says:

        Except here;s the thing you can still express hateful opinions about woman and other races, you just can’t refuse to treat them the same as other customers. This is what Chick-fil-A is doing.

  16. cris3429 says:

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” ~ Evelyn Beatrice Hall…whatever happened to that sentiment? Now it seems like we’re a society that says if I approve of what you say I’ll defend you to the death, but if I disapprove I’ll slander boycott and kill you.

  17. JustJayce says:

    Lets see now
    City of Chicago and State of Illinois are broke
    9.5% Corporate Tax
    11% Sales Tax on purchases in the city
    Company wants to do business in this environment, and put people to work so that they can then pay State Income Tax of 5%
    Company makes really great chicken
    Yeah lets chase that out of the city – because they don’t agree with you.
    Let the people decide….

  18. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    As retarded as Chic-fil-A’s (im)moral position is, the constitution of the country guarantees them the right to state said position and continue to do business as normal – just like the KKK.

    However, just like the KKK, if you choose to associate with Chic-fil-A (i.e. patronize their restaurants), you’re basically validating their horribly twisted philosophies – and you become just as bad as they are.

    • JustJayce says:

      Wow I didn’t know that the half of the country that supports traditional marriage were horribly twisted card carrying members of the KKK. If you don’t like CFA’s opinion, don’t eat there. But to classify people who like their food as Klan members is wrong on so many levels.

      • RayanneGraff says:

        What is “traditional marriage” anyway? The bible seems to say that it’s raping a woman & then forcing her to marry you, or having multiple wives.

        Used to be that “traditional marriage” was one white man & one white woman, or one black man & one black woman, and so on. Back in the Jim Crow days, interracial marriage was illegal, and the same stupid arguments for “traditional marriage” were being used against its legalization that are being used against the legalization of gay marriage today. Blacks & whites intermarrying was going to tear down the sacred institution of marriage, and lead to people marrying dogs & horses, etc.

        “Traditional marriage” seems to be the buzz words that bigots use instead of just coming out & saying “I just plain hate those icky queers”.

      • wellfleet says:

        Please define traditional marriage. Do you mean man+woman+concubines as in the Bible? Or perhaps you mean man+woman+woman+woman as in the Bible? Do you mean whites-only as was the law in the US not that long ago? I support “traditional marriage” and I support marriage between two men or two women. Your hypocrisy, and half of America’s hypocrisy is that they scream about their support for “traditional marriage” while getting divorced by the millions every year. If you truly value marriage, then outlaw divorce.

  19. dush says:

    Does Chickfila ban gay people from buying their food?

    • Marlin says:

      Not that I know but they do support groups that are ok with killing gays, they also don’t allow gays in their camps, etc…

      • dush says:

        They have camps? Like branch davidian or something?

        Does chickfila ban gay people from working at their stores?

        • Marlin says:

          Yep; they are called Winshape retreats/camps.

          Chickfila has been caught firing someone due to their religious beliefs so not much a stretch.

        • cris3429 says:

          He’ll never answer you because he knows he’s wrong.

          • Marlin says:


            • cris3429 says:

              What’s the link to this case? What was the resolution? Was there a lawsuit? Im sorry but I don’t believe this until I see evidence

              • RayanneGraff says:

                But you’ll take the word of some old book written thousands of years ago by desert-dwelling goat herders on things like marriage equality & morality, right?

                • cris3429 says:

                  Eh, not really, do I believe in god? Yes. Do I believe that the bible is the end all be all text of the Christian faith? Nah, it was written by men hundreds of years after Christ died so it is what it is.

              • Marlin says:

                Yea there was a lawsuit. As soon as the ex-employee got a lawyer chickfila paid him off and made him sign a NDA ASAP.

                Just search google for ” religion discrimination chickfila Aziz Latif “

      • twodumbdogs says:

        There are lots of companies who “support our troops”. That group is sanctioned with killing pretty much any kind of people. Should we stop patronizing those companies because they support killing people of all kinds? Or this just a gay people issue for you?

  20. Cerne says:

    Good for the ACLU and hopefully some local politicians will realize they aren’t medieval feudal lords with unlimited power over their domain.

    Violating an entities civil rights in the name of civil rights is both highly ironic and utterly moronic.

    Trying to abuse the power of government to stop Chick-fil-a is no different than trying to stop the construction of an Islamic centre in your neighbourhood. Which is way I’m so surprised at the number of progressives who are all for banning and punishing speech they don’t agree with. If you support the actions of Boston and Chicago you no longer get to call yourself a liberal.

    • cris3429 says:

      ^^ this. 100% this. Perfectly stated.

    • CheritaChen says:

      I think there are two different issues being confused in this entire discussion. One is Chick-fil-A’s and Cathy’s right to say and believe whatever they want, and any government entity’s lack of a legal reason to bar or limit that speech and belief. The other is Chick-fil-A’s practice of what it preaches, in the form of monetary support of discrimination, promotion of intolerance and “reprogramming,” and what that action does to harm people.

      If this were only about a man’s right to say what he thinks and still open a business in City X, I would agree without question with the ACLU. Unfortunately, those who hate often try to encourage others to share and spread that hate, and I don’t know if City X should be forced to support that.

      Also, labels like “progressive” and “liberal” (or “conservative”) are divisive and misleading. I’d hope that most intelligent people would consider every issue on its own merits rather than accepting an established position.

      • PunditGuy says:

        That makes absolutely no sense, and I thought Citizen’s United was a travesty.

        Look — the Republican Party is against gay marriage. Might even have made the party platform by now. Corporate money from a lot of different companies is flowing to GOP candidates. Think about the logical conclusion of what you’re advocating: A city could deny a business the ability to function in a jurisdiction based on the political party of the owner. We don’t want to go there.

        • CheritaChen says:

          I think the difference is that hate groups support the Republican Party, but the Republican Party (officially) does not monetarily support known hate groups. (I’m sure someone will correct me if I am mistaken.) I agree, I do not want my government to be allowed to stop a business based on what its owner believes. That is scary.

          My objection to the ACLU’s statement, hazy as it is even to myself, is about their perception of the issue versus my own, I guess. Speech, beliefs–those are protected. I don’t question that.

          • cris3429 says:

            Wait wait wait…are you implying that hate groups are only a product of the republican party? Please say yes so I can school you so hard you’ll develop a stutter.

  21. dcatz says:

    Government marriage is a crock.

    Marriage is between me and the person(s) I chose to get married to. It is a *private* contract. The notion that I should have to ask a gang of criminal thieves for “permission” to get married is insulting.

    The easiest solution would be to get the government out of marriage. Marriage licenses originated as a way to deny interracial couples the ability to marry and now they are being used to discriminate against LGBTs. A free person does not ask the government for permission to be with the person they love. People should refuse to get marriage licenses as they are unjust and immoral; get married anyways without the “license”. I encourage all LGBT couples to file as married on their tax returns as well; the criminals at the IRS cannot go after everyone.

    As for the building of restaurants; it is not the place of any government to tell someone they cannot build simply because of their personal beliefs. If they have justly acquired the land that they reside on, they have the right to build the store there because it is their property. If you don’t approve of the speech of the owner, then you have the choice as a free individual to not do business there and to speak out against them.

    • ARP3 says:

      Would you support a strip club next to an elementary school, or a gun shop next to a mental hosptial. There are reasonable restrictions that can be placed on buildings and businesses. But I don’t think that situation warrants that.

      • dcatz says:

        1.Someone’s desire to brainwash their child with neo-puritan nonsense is not a legitimate excuse for infringing on someone else’s property rights. If I own the property next to the school, I have every right to build a strip club there and you have every right not to go there.

        2.It is the mental hospital’s responsibility to keep their patients under control, not the gun shop’s responsibility to relocate away from them.

  22. chaelyc says:

    I find this problematic for a few reasons.

    1) I guess it’s my assumption, perhaps mistakenly, that these constitutional rights referred to over & over in this article and by the ACLU applies to PEOPLE’S freedoms, not the freedom of a corporation – or did it become that way with Citizens United & now we have to act like Chik-Fil-A is a “someone”?

    2) Companies are not allowed to build in certain regions all the time for a whole slew of reasons. I feel like this sets the precedent that anytime a large corporation is blocked from an area they can just call up the ACLU and say that it’s because one of their rights as a human is being infringed upon.

    3) If Bloomberg can ban certain sized sodas on a whim, why can’t Emmanuel ban particular fast food chains if he feels so inclined?

    • Cerne says:

      1) Do you believe that Chick-fil-a is owned and operated by androids? Or do you somehow believe that individuals operating as a group somehow lose their rights? Choose one to continue supporting your position.

      2) Companies can be denied permits and licenses only on legally permissible grounds. The same way a restaurant can deny someone service because they’re an asshole, but not because they’re a certain race.

      3) “Some other liberties are being violated so lets violate some more” is a morally bankrupt argument. It’s also a really shitty analogy. You can’t make laws banning certain groups. Emmanuel might be able to get away with a law banning fried chicken, but he’d have to apply it to everyone in the city.

  23. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Chick-Fil-A’s chicken ain’t that good.

    I have to agree with the ACLU on this, even though I support gay marriage (and I’m straight). However, I imagine a lot of people who are also supporters will not go to this restaurant, so they might be better off choosing a less antagonistic location.

  24. Press1forDialTone says:

    If you don’t agree with -anything- that CFA does strongly enough to deprive yourself
    of their product, then shut up and stop going there and concentrate on the legal
    pathways to get laws changed that deal with the things you support!!

    These mayors etc KNOW they can’t stop CFA from building restaurants in their
    cities!! All they are trying to do is to make a symbolic statement about how serious
    and damaging CFA non-food activities are to the general good.