Homophobic Chick-Fil-A in a chickeny shitstorm

Homophobic chicken-slingers Chick-Fil-A are reeling in a tempest of bad publicity. First the Jim Henson company yanked its toys from its stores, then the mayor of Boston told it that it should set up business elsewhere, and now a mysterious stranger has begun to astroturf on its behalf on Facebook. Chick-Fil-A says that it has no idea who the person pretending to be a teenage girl who really passionately supports the cause of discrimination against homosexuals is (though I'm sure they appreciate "her" support) -- and for the record, they say that Henson's toys were withdrawn for "safety" reasons.


    1. Given the supporters and Hucakbee’s attempt to create an event to support them, yeah, the saying is right as far as they’re concerned.

      1. There may be supporters, but there aren’t many.  And Huckabee hasn’t been relevant in years.  Who the fuck cares what he has to say? 

  1. Seems like a perfect way for a competitor to use social media to create a shitstorm.

    Step 1, find picture on shutterstock
    Step 2, create false account on facebook
    Step 3, say something nice about Chick-Fil-A
    Step 4, Profit!

    1.  I dunno, there are plenty of other more plausible conspiracy theories, like– maybe it is a solo employee?  Maybe it is a fan of the company?  Or, you know, maybe it is a bungled PR move. 

      But a bungled PR move?  From a company that thought doubling down on homophobia would be a PR slamdunk?  Crazy!

      Would they really stoop so low as to openly lie in a way that is easily disproven??  From a company brazenly lying about the Muppets & claiming a recall is behind the Muppet removal, rather than the Henson withdrawl?  Crazy!

      1. Henson should double down on Chick-fil-a for that lie. 

        Those are not the only licensed Henson products.

        Thereby Chick-fil-a’s claim that there was some mysterious safety issue, despite also claiming there was no safety issue, is damaging Henson & company current and future prospects.

        1. While I could see that counting as slander, I think it might be a better tactical move to let Chick-Fil-A rant & lie like a bunch of bigoted babies. Kick & scream all you want, Chicken People, you’re just proving the point that you are unethical & foolish children. No offense to any actual children.

        2. I’d think the danger with Henson Co. suing Chick-fil-a over the slander is that Chick-fil-a lawyers will hire a testing facility to prove that a child could get their fingers stuff in the nose hole of the puppet.  Whether or not it was true, it was could a pall on the Henson people as they are forced to argue the other way.

  2. Jim Henson Co’s ongoing promotion of equality and tolerance means all their toys are covered in gay germs, and therefore hazardous to Christian children. #TeamChickFilA

  3. I’m a hip young kid (16-22) age range, with a median income and this STORYTOPIC reminds me of how me and my pals all love to “hang loose” at TasteeBurger, the perfect place for all your parties, events and general Mormon snack food needs. Amirite kidz!?

  4. Good on the Muppets for pulling the plug on these haters.  I bet the order came straight from Gonzo the Great.  No way a hip, urbane cat like him is gonna put up with that shit.

    1. It’s the Jim Henson Company, they don’t own The Muppets any more, that’s Disney. They are however all kinds of Awesome, and still own Fraggle Rock, Farscape and the Dark Crystal amongst other great things

      1. My understanding is that Jim Henson Company still works closely with Disney on the Muppets and have some creative control so the situation is a bit more complicated.

        1. I for one approve of this particular detail.

          Because, if Chick-Fil-A wants to run around libelling Disney products, well…We all know what pussycats the Disney legal team are.

    2. I believe Gonzo was opposed to the Chick-fil-Asshole deal from the start. He has a love of chickens, and doesn’t eat them. 

      Also, Dan Savage retweeted this cute “Chick-fil-A-hole” shirt: http://wearitout.co/chick-fil-a/

  5. Any company that takes a public stand on a hot button issue is going to have to take its lumps from customers and business partners, and Chick-fil-A is now doing just that.

    However, the mayor of Boston is WAY out of line.   He is neither a customer nor a business partner.  As long as Chick-fil-A’s restaurants follow all city ordinances, they have every right to open restaurants in Boston.

    If a business whose corporate management is publicly gay-friendly wanted to open a branch in some ultra conservative Midwestern town, would it be appropriate for the mayor to say that there is “no place for your company” there??

      1. If a business says “we don’t hire gays” or “we don’t serve gays” then it’s a civil rights issue and it’s entirely appropriate that the laws be enforced.

        But for a mayor to threaten a business’s right to operate because he does not agree with the opinion of that business’s owner is a freedom of speech issue.

        1. What about Southern state Governors that do everything they can to make sure abortion clinics won’t be built in their state? Happens both ways, my friend.

          1. Apples and oranges. If I say “gays are horrible,” that’s free speech. If I own a company, and I say that I don’t hire gays, that’s a civil rights violation.

            If a governor or other politician bans a business for a civil rights violation (hiring practices), that’s not the same as denying a civil right (family planning services).

          2. @saltine

            Except the CEO and his money directly fund causes that negatively effect the civil rights of LGBQT people (and other minorities).

        2. ‘Cuz corporations are ~people~ and therefore hold civil rights, but the mayor of Boston is a politician, so he does not?

          He’s certainly not restricting anyone (or rather, any corporation) from setting up shop in Boston. You did read his letter, didn’t you?

        3. It’s funny to see everybody repeat the same “opinion” line, when you very well know it’s not just his opinion, but the fact that the company uses its profits to donate millions to hate groups that work to attack civil rights.

        4.  8, there’s a bunch of companies that don’t hire based on sexual orientation. Guess what? It ain’t a civil rights issue, as such companies are private entities.

          And yes, the Mayor is EXACTLY the person to tell Chick-fil-a to get lost? Whom else? The zoning commission for one, NHA’s for another.

          I’m guessing business law wasn’t your first calling…

          1. That’s on the money with regard to hiring practices. Where bigots go wrong with that is when they hire people, then fire them because they are gay or black or female or christian. That’s a different thing.

            It is a telling thing that people believe it is against the law to refuse someone employment for such reasons. It means society is moving forward when people associate the custom of tolerance with law. It means most people see it as unbeneficial to discriminate, according to most people.

          1. This is one of many examples of why the Chicago alderman is not out of line to openly oppose CFA’s franchise expansion into his ward.

            CFA makes claims that it does not discriminate based on religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, race, other stuff.

            Yet there are myriad examples of them doing just that very thing. 

            They want shitcake and they want to eat the shitcake.

    1.  You’re establishing a false equivalence between groups that promote hate, and groups that promote tolerance.

      Your hypothetical tolerant group rejected by midwestern town would be an outrage because it would be a town that was rejecting tolerance and embracing bigotry.

      Whereas Boston’s mayor is saying that groups that promote bigotry are not welcome — a message of tolerance. (Note that he did not say that they were banned from setting up in Boston — merely that they are not welcome to do so).

      If the KKK wanted to set up shop in Boston, I’d expect the mayor to do the same.

      1. Well, since we’re on the subject of false equivalence, the KKK has killed people.  How many murders has Chick-fil-A committed??

        1. … that’s not a false equivalence StreetEight, that is an actual equivalence as both groups promote hate.

          edit- and good job on depicting exactly where Chick-fil-A’s attitude leads people.

        2. You missed the fact that the mayor asked Chick-Fil-A not to move to Boston but isn’t actually forcing them not to come to Boston.

          But you’re right. Chick-Fil-A hasn’t actually killed anyone. However the Chick-Fil-A company has given millions to anti-gay groups and catered anti-gay events. They may not have created it, but they’ve contributed to a climate of fear and intolerance, and not just among their employees.

          So, yeah, Chick-Fil-A hasn’t actually killed anyone, but if they contributed to the KKK would it still be wrong for a city to want to keep them out?

          1. You are aware that comparing a fast food chain to a terrorist group is slightly unfair, yes?

          2. Yo, I’m pretty sure I’m not? Other people are though, you might want to comment to them. That being said, I don’t think it is apples & oranges to compare groups with an open public policy of discrimination. Especially in a culture with a massive problem of violence towards people who aren’t straight.

          3. @septimar:disqus

            but capital punishment is per definitionem not murder or terrorism.

            LOL WHUT

            ‘Cuz such laws and punishments don’t exist to terrorize and demonize a subset of the population based on bigotry, hate, and fear?

            It’s the VERY DEFINITION of terrorism. Just because it’s government sanctioned terrorism doesn’t make it anything else but. Governments aren’t immune from such atrocities.

            I am not sure why you think it being a law suddenly means it’s not terrorism.

          4. Uh, yes, the purpose is to kill gays, not to terrorize them. Terrorism wants to instill fear. This is not the primary purpose of laws, it is obedience.

            That’s absolutely ridiculous.  What is the purpose of any capital punishment?  A deterrent!  It’s meant to deter people from committing crimes.  How?  Fear!  Obviously.

            In this case, the point of the law is to deter people from being openly homosexual (since it can’t prevent people from actually being homosexual) using fear.

            Explain again how that isn’t terrorism?  (Oh, because the state does it and the state defines what terrorism is, so the state can’t possibly commit terrorism…)

          5. @septimar:disqus

            Uh, yes, the purpose is to kill gays, not to terrorize them.

            You have got to be shitting me. You cannot honestly believe that the government who is seeking to murder people only because they are gay is not seeking to terrorize them by utilizing the death penalty. You just cannot be serious here.

            Governments create and utilize laws all the time to terrorize citizens. Authoritarian governments are really, really good at this sort of thing.

          6. @septimar:disqus 
            Noun:The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

            It is state-sanctioned, “legal” terrorism. It is the very basic definition of terrorism.

            The government is murdering citizens who appear to be gay in the pursuit of political aims.

            You keep saying “words mean things”.

            Ironically, I don’t think you have any understanding of the simple word “terrorism”.

          7. By distinguishing terrorists from other types of criminals and terrorism from other forms of crime, we come to appreciate that terrorism is :
            ineluctably political in aims and motives
            violent – or, equally important, threatens violence
            designed to have far-reaching psychological repercussions beyond the immediate victim or target
            conducted by an organization with an identifiable chain of command or conspiratorial cell structure (whose members wear no uniform or identifying insignia) and perpetrated by a subnational group or non-state entity.[22]
            Bruce Hoffman, Inside terrorism, 2 ed., Columbia University Press, 2006, p. 41.
            The last point is important.
            I can quote too.

          8. It is seeking to kill them, not murder them.

            How is killing someone for being gay and for no other reason NOT MURDER?

            And stop saying you are gay. It doesn’t appear to have made you any smarter, and it does not make you any less wrong.

            You seem to think that because the government is involved, it suddenly makes these things different, or better, or somehow okay, or more just, or less like cold-blooded murder.

            Newsflash: The government is run by people. Who kill and murder and terrorize by utilizing the laws they helped to create.

            Government is not a magical entity. It is an organization created and run by living PEOPLE.

          9. @septimar:disqus

            ineluctably political in aims and motives violent – or, equally important, threatens violence designed to have far-reaching psychological repercussions beyond the immediate victim or target conducted by an organization with an identifiable chain of command or conspiratorial cell structure

            And oh no! Someone believes it *has* to be non state-sanctioned. And I should totally change my opinion because of that one quote!

            How ’bout NO.

            Are you really this dense? Or are you trolling us? Because wow.

          10. Gosh septimar, according to what you wrote you believe that a law’s existence means it is infallibly correct, even morally.

            You do realize that’s crazy talk?

          11. @septimar:disqus I hit submit before I finished my comment, and then edited it. Read it again.

            I don’t care if some random quote is trying to make the argument that terrorism is not terrorism when it’s due to a law made by the government.

            The thing is, this quote in NO WAY explains why state-sanctioned terrorism isn’t actually terrorism. It states that it is such, but it doesn’t explain why.

            And I don’t buy it. It makes it entirely too easy for the government to avoid responsibility for terrorizing an entire group of people for being gay.

          12. “It is seeking to kill them, not murder them.”

            Deliberately killing people IS murder and terrorism IS terrorism. If you are saying that it’s not murder and not terrorism because the state authorizes it, then you are the one destroying the meanings of words. In particular, states often support death squads. It can be hard to determine whether a given massacre was ordered from above or not [or for that matter, whether it was technically legal or not], and one would be left unable to say whether the massacre was terrorism or not.

          13. septimar: You say you’re a legal positivist, so why do you also say that capital punishment isn’t murder “by definition?” Do you know what is the cause of death listed on the death certificates of people executed? “Homicide.”

          14. @boingboing-f35fd567065af297ae65b621e0a21ae9:disqus 

            The “by definition” part is what gets me, because I provided the definition and it doesn’t imply what he’s saying at all.  He’s reading a lot into a really simple definition.

          15. @septimar:disqus

            NO. I never said that a law’s existence made it morally correct. But there is a difference between morality and legality. I think capital punishment is immoral, but that doesn’t make it illegal. I don’t believe in natural law.

            Why does it being legal suddenly make it not-terrorism??  You keep saying “by definition” (even though that’s patently false), and you provided a quote parroting what you keep repeating over and over and over, but you have yet to actually  explain why you believe that it isn’t terrorism.

        3.  They donated money to Exodus which was behind the capital punishment for homosexuals proposition in Uganda. So it’s not for want of trying.

          1. Ladyfingers has a point.  Monetarily supporting anti-gay sentiment in Uganda makes Chick-Fil-A ethically indistinguishable from the KKK .

      2. Your view of the law is fatally flawed. It doesn’t and shouldn’t matter before the law if a group promotes hate or tolerance. Freedom of speech is for every message, as repugnant as it may be.

        And yeah, the mayor may not “force” them out, but he influences decisions behind closed doors, and if he says someone is unwelcome, the respective commissions will follow his wishes. This is not just. It is a perversion of justice.

        Private citizens should boycott this chain, but government officials should not use it for cheap political points.

        1. ‘…the mayor may not “force” them out, but he influences decisions behind closed doors, and if he says someone is unwelcome, the respective commissions will follow his wishes.’

          That’s a hypothetical.

          And then you move on to asserting that the hypothetical has come to pass:

          ‘This is not just. It is a perversion of justice.’


        2. And yeah, the mayor may not “force” them out, but he influences decisions behind closed doors, and if he says someone is unwelcome, the respective commissions will follow his wishes.

          Good.  Politicians the world over should all be this vocal against bigotry and hate.

          1. @septimar:disqus  How did he use it as a “weapon”?  He is not forcing them to not build shop, and he’s not forcing anyone not to eat their food.  

        3. septimar below you claim the MAyor used his authority as a weapon. That is patently false. 

          Above you assume the Mayor will use a false authority behind closed doors to prevent their being permitted in Boston, but you have no reason to believe that within reason.

          Your claim that the Mayor has or will do something unlawful is wholly unsupported.

          1. septimar – If you can’t describe it you can’t see it. 

            David Aubke – It is always difficult, the Mayor does nothing by saying so, and reveals nothing by saying it is harder with bad publicity. Almost all permits and municipal/private interactions are challengeable by third parties. In this case I would expect challenges from dozens of groups and individuals, each of which must be dealt with. Bad publicity can make it fiscally unfeasible without any input from the Mayor.

          2. I think a very reasonable interpretation of that quote, particularly in the larger context of the article, is that the Mayor himself is going to make it more difficult than it otherwise would be. Funk Daddy, your interpretation strikes me as one that gives the Mayor more benefit-of-the-doubt than the rest of his statements imply he deserves.

            My view of this article may be colored by the fact that I originally found it linked from an article on Popehat.

          3. David the Mayor has a right to make it harder with his statements, so long as they conform to policy, and sanctioning gay marriage is a specific policy of the City of Boston, as well it has made many proclamations of inclusive  intent that would defy past examples of intolerant policies pursued by CFA.

            septimar claims the Mayor is doing something out of order, or unlawful, but it just isn’t so. 

      3. @septimar:disqus

        If there is a law, it is capital punishment. If not, it’s murder.

        These things are not mutually exclusive.  And I cannot believe I am about to Godwin this fucking thread, but do you not consider what Hitler and his followers dished out to be murder? Or rather, on a larger scale, genocide?

    2.  There should be some sort of office for officials to oversee what businesses can & can’t get permits to open doors in that city!

    3. Are you suggesting that the mayor of Boston isn’t allowed to have an opinion? First, he’s not the one personally making zoning decisions and the language in the letter is quite clear. 

      “I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston.”

      The key word there is “urge” and at no point does he assert any authority  other than moral authority.   He can, however, inspire the citizens of Boston to fight Chick-Fil-A just like citizens of New York fight to keep Walmart out of the city. 

    4. The Mayor didn’t tell them, order them, forbid them or otherwise restrict them in any fashion. He merely pointed out that his city is quite officially on the other side of the fence of Chick-fil-a’s stated beliefs/values and warned that thereby the propagation of that chain and/or it’s beliefs/values in the city of Boston is entirely and openly unwelcome.

      He did a bang up job of representing in that letter, which was doubtless cleared with city attorneys.

      As for your last paragraph, the answer is yes, but midwestern towns are a bit more live and let live than you imagine. You should check in with small townships and unincorporated areas in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and like environs for openly bigoted behaviour, and a complete lack of marketable economy. In most places that behaviour is specifically hidden or an extreme minority with no voice.

    5.  So then, you are saying that if the Coon Chicken Inn was still in business, and the mayor of Boston told them there was no room in Boston for a business that used racist images to promote itself, he’d be out of line there as well?  See, the issue here is not whether the owners and executives of a business are allowed to have opinions.  The issue is that Chick-fail-a, by being openly hostile to a class of people, creates an antagonistic work environment for LGBT employees.  As that would actually be illegal, the Mayor is completely in line with the values of Boston.

  6. um…they have had this stand since they were created – anyone ever care to understand why they are not open on Sundays? this CANNOT be news now, as if it “just” happened!

    1. Not all Christians are about restricting the rights of others, but they may still respect the Sabbath. 

      Yes, many have known Chick-fil-a is a regressive entity, backwards of our society for a long time, but it happened just now because of a specific and recently broadcast interview of the Chick-fil-a owner. 

    2.  Not being open on Sundays doesn’t necessarily mean they are anti-gay, just devoutly Christian and it isn’t a political position. Plenty of Christian denominations are pretty firm on respecting the Sabbath but aren’t anti-gay or politically invested in denying LGBT people equal rights.

      1. “Plenty of Christian denominations are pretty firm on respecting the Sabbath…”

        Much in the same way that I can’t get my preferred falafel sandwich on a Saturday (or Friday night, for that matter), as the place is closed.

  7. I am curious as to how Chick-Fil-A can suggest that the Henson toys had safety issues without being sued? Isn’t it libel to suggest that the Henson toys have safety issues if there is no evidence of such? 

    Most people have decided that the “safety” issue is sour grapes but it seems like it would be highly tortious to suggest an active toy company’s products have safety issues? 

    (I say this as a full supporter of the Henson company and a pretty vocal critic of Chick-Fil-A — https://twitter.com/Punknews/statuses/225645171591745536)

    1.  Why, of course the toys have safety issues! Bert and Ernie are COMING FOR YOUR CHILDREN!

      1.  Yes, I think recent evidence has shown these toys can seriously weaken a child’s moral fibers.

    1. Too bad they already got their talons into the suburbs. These restaurants have been popping up all over the place in the last year or two. 


  9. I love how it’s not enough for the company and its owner to be homophobic, but that they have to add deceitfulness to the mix. And in such a bald-faced way too.

    “safety reasons”? Oh, come on…who’s going to buy that, except maybe Fox News?

    Really? Is it really that hard for them to just admit that their viewpoint is in direct opposition with the Jim Henson company? They’re willing to take a stand on their homophobia, but they can’t stomach disagreeing with the MuppetsFraggle Rock? Who do they think they’re fooling?

  10.  A company does not have to refuse service completely to be found to be discriminating against a class of people.  All they have to do is create an environment hostile to people in that class.

  11. Chickeny shitstorm… chickeny shitstorm… chickeny shitstorm…

    Lordy, I’ve been sitting here drinking my coffee and chuckling at the news and blogs wen I need to get my ass up and go open the chicken coop!

    Thanks Cory!

  12. Isn’t Boston fairly tolerant of a St. Patrick’s day parade that excludes gays? Or has that changed recently.

    I’m all for this letter, but they still have some house cleaning to do.

    1. Since Boston has the highest proportion of descendants of Irish and the highest proportion of Irish immigrants, and since the parade has been going on since well before gays folks were considered to have any rights, what would you propose we do?  Ban the parade?

      There’s a lot of racism and homophobia in Boston, but hey, our elected mayor doesn’t promote it.  I think that actually puts us ahead of a few other US cities.  Doctor, heal thyself.

    2. Menino doesn’t march in the parade for this reason. 
      “Since 1994, Mayor Menino has boycotted Boston’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade because the organizers have refused to allow a homosexual group to march in the parade. Mayor Menino has also in the past forbidden Boston Police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians from marching in the parade, describing it as “a discriminatory event.””

      1994 was a time when gay rights had much less general support than they do now. 

  13. An alderman for my (larger) Chicago neighborhood was dealing with Chik-Fil-A wanting to build a store in our area, and after finding out about the owners (very proud) belief in discrimination, as well as his funding of hate groups, he’s publicly said that he’ll do what he can to keep them out of the neighborhood.   I couldn’t be more pleased.

    “If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the 1st Ward,” Moreno told the Tribune on Tuesday.

    Moreno stated his position in strong terms, referring to Cathy’s “bigoted, homophobic comments” in a proposed opinion page piece that an aide also sent to Tribune reporters. “Because of this man’s ignorance, I will now be denying Chick-fil-A’s permit to open a restaurant in the 1st Ward.”


  14. All sorts of false equivalence here. On the part of the lefties.

    Henson is perfectly free to dissasociate.

    Boston is perfectly free to say you are socially unwelcome, but are still allowed.

    Chicago is completely in the wrong. Using the govt to actively punish perfectly legal but politically incorrect speech is wrong, and likely illegal itself.

    To those that bring up governors trying to ban abortion, completely apples and oranges. The true equivilent would be governors banning companies that make widgets/computers/food and also happening to have a pro-choice stance being banned.

    To Cory making the distinction between tolerant and intolerant speech – you have identified the core reason to HAVE the first amendement. If only popular speech is protected, then you don’t really need protection do you?

      1. In your first example, the free speech involved is a principle of a company making protected remarks in the press regarding the rates applied to the business that the company is contracted to undertake. 

        You want to talk of apples and oranges?

        In your second example the court finds the language of the regs in question consistent with the First as a matter of course, thus again you reach for the apple barrel.

        1. In order for your argument for legally distinguishing this instance from those two cases, you would have to say that CFA’s speech is not protected by the 1st amendment. Is that your position?

          1. No, I’m saying that if CFA’s speech is reflected in it’s practices, which in the past it has been, then by the revelations of the recent interviews they can and should be suspect of practices that, if derived from Cathy’s protected speech, result in violations of the rights of others.

            Like I said, no one is trying to shut him up. Hardly. I know from experience that he tries to walk his talk, and his talk is demonstrably intolerant.

            The alderman’s concerns are -not- with his speech, they are wholly with the prospect of his speech being his practice.

    1. Chicago is completely in the wrong. Using the govt to actively punish perfectly legal but politically incorrect speech is wrong, and likely illegal itself.

      Doubtful,  the alderman can choose what kind of business is right for the community, which is something that’s not new in any way.  If a restaurant wanted to open that used its profits to fund white power groups he should do the same.

      1. See those two court cases which are quite explicit. They can make a judgement on what is right for the community, but that evaluation cannot take into account 1st amendment protected speech.

        1. Cities have always exercised some control over what sorts of businesses are allowed to operate within their borders.  For example, I’m not legally entitled to put a beach chair out on the common and start charging for haircuts.  That is to say, these restrictions can be fairly arbitrary — again, nothing new.  Your focus on “protected speech” is a red herring.

          1. I have posted two supreme court cases to the contrary. Do you have anything other than your assertion?

            Your two cases have to do with excluding a business explicitly for political speech.  Chicago is free to exclude Chick-Fil-A for literally any other reason they want.  “We are concerned that allowing this chain to move in will undermine local businesses.” Same reason New York and Boston aren’t letting WalMart in.

            Besides that, your first case is a breach of contract in which the state government had actually contracted with the company generating the speech. Here’s a helpful bit: “because, as an independent contractor, Umbehr was not entitled to the First Amendment protection afforded to public employees.” That is to say, Umbehr won the case because the court decided contractors are entitled to the same first amendment protections as other government employees. Chick-Fil-A is not contracting with the city of Chicago in this case.

            Given the inapplicability of that case, I’m guessing you’re not a lawyer. In which case I’m not taking particularly seriously your citations of case law; I don’t think you know what you’re doing.

        2. If it comes to that Moreno can just say he was already concerned about traffic, which he already said he was.  This corridor is a nightmare btw, the last thing it needs is more suburban style zoning and chains. Bring on the legal fight, roaches hate having the light shined on them, and Cathy won’t be able to defend his company’s work toward depriving people of human rights by sheepishly just shrugging and saying “guilty as charged”.  I think they’ll take a pass….

        3.  Hey, how about an “IANAL” disclaimer so we know how seriously to take your opinion on case law?

    2. Except that the issue is not as clear-cut as you make it out to be with your broad dismissal of “the lefties”. This isn’t a matter of one person expressing an opinion, and no one is (or should) trying to prevent the COO of Chick-Fil-A from saying whatever he likes.

      The Chick-Fil-A corporation has contributed millions to groups that promote discrimination and push for legislation that discriminates against LGBT people. Admittedly what you claim is an “apples and oranges” comparison would be more appropriate if a community decided to keep out a corporation that helped fund organizations that harassed people who worked for clinics that performed abortions, but this isn’t simply a matter of one person expressing an opinion.

      Why is it acceptable for a company to use its money and influence to push discrimination but wrong for a city to deny that company the right to operate within its borders?

      1. If pushing for legislation isn’t protected speech, Im not sure what would possibly qualify.   A company, or person can SAY whatever they want.  They may additionally petition the govt for whatever they want. Not allowing the govt to punish entities for that speech is the entire purpose of the 1st amendement.  

        How about this example that would be almost exactly analagous : Ben & Jerry, very well known supporter of many liberal causes.  If they were operating in an intolerant location, should it be legal to deny their permits based on that speech? How about not allowing their products to be sold in that jurisdiction?

        To be clear, I am not in agreement with Chick-Fil-A here. I have many gay friends and relatives, one of them was a groomsman for me, and I have attended several gay weddings.  But I am definately in the “I may not agree with what you say, but will defend until the death your right to say it” mode.

          1. If anything B&J would be even more suceptible to this criticism since they make their political opinions part of their product itself.  “Apple-y Ever After” etc

            …what’s political about that?

          2.  “Apple-y Ever After”

            ?  I’m not hip to it, but then again I’ve got lactose issues. :(

            Let’s make a real comparison:

            Another chicken chain,  similar in every other way that donates some of its profits to groups that promote tolerance and civil rights.  Chik-Fil-A does the opposite.

          3. It was a UK only flavor created to support a gay marriage bill in the UK, and the label included a gay wedding scene picture.

            Explain to me why gay marriage is a political issue.  In what sense is it political?

            Edit: response
            So Jason, if I issue a referendum insisting that the sky is green would that make the color of the sky a political issue? (extreme example, but think about it for a second) What does gay marriage have to do with politics as in deciding how a society should be run. What interest does the government have in preventing it?
            Another way to put it: would a picture of a straight married couple be political? If not, under what possible interpretation can a picture of a gay married couple be considered political?

          4. One company supports tolerance and civil rights, the other does not.  What’s so confusing?

        1. I an unfamiliar with your Ben and Jerry’s examples. It appears to be a poor rehash of StreetEight’s false equivalence between tolerant and intolerant groups/practices. You seem to say that it is illegal to bar Ben and Jerry for tolerant or inclusive speech/practices even if they seek to do business in a place that has ?sanctioned? intolerance? WTH?

          On your last paragraph, please, you have a friend? That’s germane, I know I don’t support equal rights for people I don’t fathom.

          Not one person has tried to silence the Chick-fil-A COO, not on this board. We much prefer he speak up and out, and let the chips fall where they may. 

          It only gives us strength after all.

          1. Pardon me Funk Daddy, this response is actually for Jason but we’re out of room on this branch.

            “Should the precident be set that they can enforce those opinions, which have not been enacted into any law or regulation, against those they dislike?”

            Take a look at how many states have banned marriage equality. The precedent was set when the haters decided their opinion needed to be enshrined in our nation’s laws and they threw their money and influence behind getting that done. Being told they can’t build a restaurant in one or two cities is only about a hundreth of the payback they deserve.

          2. Not in Boston, the Mayor was specific in not forbidding or restricting CFA in any way.

            In Chicago, reading the alderman’s statement clearly indicates that he will block if you are discriminating (allowed) and that he has drawn the conclusion that is the case (challengeable). I paraphrase your response to Cory’s statement, if we don’t need it (1st amendment), why have it? but would replace the 1st amendment with the judiciary. If the alderman believes that discrimination is what will certainly occur, then Cathy can challenge the alderman, who if he cannot make his case, will fail in his efforts to prevent a CFA opening.

            And as anyone with familiarity with the US legal system can tell you, it’s anyone’s game. Once upon a time supporting Hamas by giving them blankets for their children was unmistakably legal and worthy and christian, today it may only be worthy and christian depending on which branch of government you ask, and you may go to jail depending on the answer. The alderman would certainly be allowed to put forth CFA donations as part of his case, though I think it would fail today I can’t speak for tomorrow.

        2. You may see it as “I may not agree with what you say, but will defend until the death your right to say it” mode but it’s actually a lot more like, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend until death your right to dump millions of dollars into making sure my gay friends and relatives have as hellish a life as possible”. Sorry, I don’t think the First Amendment is intended to be a suicide pact. Their right to speech ends when they start using their millions to bring other people’s rights to a fucking popular vote.

          1. The courts have so often made clear that giving money to a cause is protected speech.

            How many times did they actually make this clear?  Just once.  One controversial 5-4 ruling. 
            It’s an interpretation of the law of the land, it’s not actually written into law anywhere that “money is protected speech.”
            And it’s a huge problem.  Despite libertarian political theory, corporations do not have the best interests of human beings at heart. We should not let legal fictions have so much more say than living, breathing human beings about how our society is run.
            “interpretation” Yes, that’s how common law traditions work. Does that contradict the fact that if just one of the nine justices had voted the other way the ruling wouldn’t have been the way it was? Mordicai was onto something with “lawful evil” I think.
            “Oh and btw, the ruling that protected corporate speech also protected unions, just fyi.”
            The purpose of unions is to provide a countermeasure for the outsize power of corporations. If corporations didn’t have that kind of power unions wouldn’t be necessary in the first place. And since unions (like corporations) are a potent vector of corruption that would be a good thing.

          2. @ septimar:

            “The courts have so often made clear that giving money to a cause is protected speech. you may not like it, but it’s the law of the land.”

            The fact that it is the law of the land makes it neither right nor just. Especially when that law comes about as the result of the powerful and the wealthy seeking to preserve their power and their wealth. This is not the protection of “unpopular ideas”. This is not a minority voice being defended against the tyranny of the majority. This is people who all ready control far too much of our society using the structure meant to support and defend the vulnerable among us as a bludgeon against anyone who challenges them.

        3. and will be again “obviously right” to a great many people.

          Bigotry should always be obviously wrong. Civil rights should be a given.  Says so in our constitution.  Why is it “just” an opinion to you?

          To be clear, I am not in agreement with Chick-Fil-A here. I have many gay friends and relatives,

          And seriously, dude? “I have gay friends! I swear!” argument? If you have to defend yourself like that, perhaps you need to re-evaluate what you’re saying. O_o

          “I may not agree with what you say, but will defend until the death your right to say it” mode.

          No one is arguing otherwise.

        4. Ben and Jerry’s has never been sued for firing an employee for not being liberal, or not agreeing with the company’s political positions.  Chick-fil-a has been sued a number of times for discrimination.  One example was the firing of a Muslim store manager who refused to participate in an explicitly Christian prayer at a company meeting.

    3. Henson’s disassociation isn’t represented in a manner that could be concluded to be a false equivalence that I can see. Just people giving them a high-five for doing the right thing and disassociating from an openly intolerant group.

      Ditto with Boston, no false equivalence that I can see.

      Chicago example is eminently debatable as the alderman seems to see the statements of the COO as representative of the company, and the acts representative of same. Supporting Exodus financially, which Chick-Fil-A acknowledges, while Exodus seeks the death penalty for homosexuals in Uganda, is the most extreme example but could be used as a reason that the organization in question could be creating a hostile work environment, prone to employment discrimination and other vagaries that transcend protected speech as the reason for denying a permit. 

      As for banning this that or the other, I object to a true equivalence standard where clear degrees of equivalence may be demonstrable.

      Agreeing with Cory is hardly an argument against the nonexistent false equivalences of the “lefties”, Coyne.

      1. I was unclear in my statement. I was not trying to indicate henson or boston were false equivilencies, I was in fact saying their behavior is an acceptable response to CFA’s actions. Sorry. The false equivilency I was specifically trying to refer to (poorly I admit) was the person saying Chicago banning CFA for having an anti gay opinion is the same as conservative governors banning abortion clinics (where the clinic is direclty providing the controvercial service).  The actual equivilent to that would be I dunno, producing racisit literature, or “how to beat up gay people” classes or something.

        Hostile work enviroment would need to be shown by an actual… hostile work enviroment.   Saying you don’t support gay marriage is not hostile (or if it is, Obama made the entire USA a hostile enviroment during his campaign). 

        Saying they support the death penalty for gays could possibly be considered hostile I agree, but giving money to someone else that says that is going to be much harder to prove. Under that standard I would guess almost every company, politician, etc has given money to some person or group that has a policy that would be considered hostile to someone.

        1.  Wait, so you wanted to openly and honestly discuss this issue and that’s why you accused “lefties” — unqualified — of being on the wrong side of the issue?  Sounds more like trolling to me.

          Under that standard I would guess almost every company, politician, etc
          has given money to some person or group that has a policy that would be considered hostile to someone.

          Really.  Every company and every politician has supported the death penalty for some group that isn’t, say, violent criminals?  Because we’re talking about supporting the death penalty for an entire class of non-violent offenders here.

          And you want to lecture “lefties” about false equivalence?

          1. Even exceptionally bad, poor tase, evil speech is protected by the first amendment.  So yes, I defend that equivilence, as there are not varying levels of protection based on how much you disagree with the speech.

            If that speech extends to be such that it is no longer protected (and I could see  possible argument for that in this case) then that is a different matter.

            However, that would still be unprotected speech by Exodus, and not by CFA.

          2. I didn’t say the speech wasn’t protected.  I took issue with your characterization that “Under that standard I would guess almost every company, politician, etc has given money to some person or group that has a policy that would be considered hostile to someone.”  You’re claiming that everyone had advocated for something as bad as the death penalty for gays.  I’m saying that this is an absolutely ridiculous thing to say.  Do you see how your response is irrelevant?

            You should also note that not all speech is equally protected.  Fire in a crowded theater it the canonical example; incitement to violence is another good one. 

            However, that would still be unprotected speech by Exodus, and not by CFA.

            But your defense of Chick-Fil-A is premised entirely on the presumption that they are the organization making the speech.  Can you please be more consistent in your arguments?

        2. Cool beans on your explanation, I accept that.

          As for the hostile work I agree, but point out that CFA’s support of groups that are openly hate groups is of far more concern to many than his opinion of gay marriage, despite the prominence of the response to that opinion from the Mayor of Boston.

          Cathy has ever been careful to only support such groups and not parrot their message. He will quote vaguely from the Bible such passages as can be interpreted that way, but the Bible can be interpreted as a flying pig in a rainbow of dream sauce, so that can’t be pointed at much. 

          I’ll tell you why I believe he deserves the attention he’s getting for his speech. My direct experience is as an employee in 1987. I and others in the training class were shown the Lord’s Prayer on the wall of the restaurant and told that if we were uncomfortable repeating that prayer before each shift, or disagreed with any of it, that we should just GTFO then and there. Being people in need of jobs, no one said anything. Being someone who does not practice Christianity, I surmise I was not alone in seeing that I was not welcome for my beliefs, despite being hired on my merits (a pulse)

          He tries his best to run his company according to his values. A noble enterprise, except where such practices violate the rights of others. 

          So (again, sorry,) when it’s confirmed he supports the likes of Exodus financially, and gives a soft version of their hard rock, seeing that he may have to mount a court challenge to continue those practices, or that more light is shed on those practices, is welcome. That’s why his speech is welcome too, as stupid as it is.

      2. also re hostile work enviroment : If shown certainly that would expose CFA to significant liability via discrimination lawsuits, but I am unaware of any precident saying the govt may take unilateral punitive action agaist a company for a hostile work enviroment. (Though I certainly may be wrong)

        Esensially I am saying a hypotehetical hostile enviroment only creates causation for the employees afected, not the govt. – Though I admit this is more of a gut feel on this point rather than being backed up by sources like I am above.

        On the other hand, almost every other argument by others on this page is also a gut-feel, so I don’t think that is particularly a weak position.

        1. They have been sued for discrimination a number of times, which would be just another example an alderman or mayor could cite for a reason to see them as a bad fit for a tolerant community.

    4. Businesses, even huge ones like McD and Walmart, are commonly refused permits based on issues like ugliness, tackiness, inappopriateness of the business to the community, unfairness of competition to existing beloved business entities.  I would submit that being publically antigay at the minimum runs afoul of the “tacky” clause.  Houses of worship are also restricted in terms of where they can establish.  “Permission to open the kind of  business you want, exactly where you want” is less protected than other forms of expression. 

      1.  “ugliness, tackiness, inappopriateness of the business to the community, unfairness of competition to existing beloved business entities” are all invalid reasons to refuse a permit. In my freedom-oriented view, the only reason to refuse a permit should be safety reasons.

        1. In my freedom-oriented view, communities should be free to decide what sort of businesses are allowed to set up shop in town.  Whose freedom is more free?

          Communities are oppressive entities which should have no rights to oppress individuals.

          Corporations are a variety of community, you realize? They’re not individuals. The rights of living, breathing human beings in a physical region should trump the rights of legal fictions within that region. Got a clever rejoinder to that?
          Individuals can be oppressive entities and I don’t think they should oppress other individuals. Doesn’t mean individuals don’t have rights…

        2. Interesting belief system.  One side effect of that would be the gradual morphing of the entire American landscape into a repeating series of strip malls consisting solely of Walmart, McDonalds and Home Depot.  I don’t know if it’d exactly make me feel free or safe.

          1. Is there a difference to how it is now?

            Boston’s not like that.  But that’s only because we’re an oppressive entity.

          2. But really, I think corporate dystopias only happen with the help of governments, like in London right now.

            Actually, I agree with this.  What I think it ignores is that states predate and underwrite the whole concept of corporations (not to mention private property) so that there is no way to have corporations without a state.  My chief criticism of libertarianism is only that libertarians ignore the way their ideas have fared in history (poorly).

            I think the answer is to outlaw limited liability.  The owners of a company are responsible for what that company does.  This would resolve a lot of the corporate governance problems created by the disconnect between corporate ownership and control and help ensure that corporations are driven by the personal values of human beings so that profit-motive can stop overwhelming the public good.

        3. Communities are oppressive entities which should have no rights to oppress individuals.

          In other words:  Freedom for me, but not for thee.

  15. The Jim Henson Company issued a statement clarifying that it doesn’t own the rights to the Muppets (or the “creature shop”) which are the toys that Chik-fil-a recalled. Jim Henson Company did post on their Facebook that they won’t work with them on future endeavors due to their stance on the issue, but they didn’t “yank the toys from the stores”. Only the Walt Disney Company (who owns the rights) could ask them to do that. 

  16. It is pretty clear that in 20 years, people who are still anti-gay will be looked upon with the same contempt as members of the KKK. Of course there are plenty of racists still around today, so I don’t expect homophobic bigots to disappear, but I doubt we’ll see many organizations like Chick-Fil-A pushing an anti-gay agenda.

    Until then, I fully support public shaming of companies like this.

    1. We’re not really there yet.  Lots of people, even people who aren’t anti-LGBQT cvil rights, still like to say, “It’s just a different opinion!  Just a disagreement!”

      See above.

      It’s a slow climb.

    2. I would likely agree with the inevitability argument. Which is part of why I vote righty – The social issues will take care of themselves as the younger generations vote, and the older generations die.

      And public shaming is absolutely fine. Boycott, protest, break off marketing relationships, etc. All good.

      The problem is when the govt steps in and legally punishes free speech.

      1. Let me get this straight. You’re voting for a party that is as bigoted as the Southern Democrats were during the Civil Rights era because you like the rest of their agenda?

        Just what do you think about people who supported the KKK twenty years ago? That’s going to be you in twenty years.

        Better to be a Conservative Democrat than a Republican these days.

        1. But he has gay friends….

          I’d like to point out that so many of these pro-Chik-Fil-A comments on this story over the past couple days have opened with something like: “I’m not against gay marriage”, “My cousin’s gay”, “I have gay friends”…..BUT

      2. WOW.  Wow.  

        Let me guess! You’re straight! White! Male! Privileged ! How very nice for you that you are so damn privilege that you’re able to vote for people who directly and vocally oppress others.

        That was the most blatant “I am privileged and just don’t give a shit; I will continue to vote for those that support my privileged! Fuck everyone else!” comment I have seen in a long, long time. And the worst part? You think you’re oh-so-enlightened.

        You should be ashamed of yourself.

      3. You keep missing the real point. The government is not preventing a corporation from expressing a viewpoint. In the case of Boston nothing has been done to actually prevent Chick-Fil-A from building stores. As for Chicago the reasons apparently include Chick-Fil-A’s treatment of some employees as well as zoning issues.

        On the latter let me give you a clearer example: when Wal Mart tried to build a store across the street from a school in my community people protested. Not wanting a Wal Mart across the street from a school wasn’t an attack on the corporation’s “right to free speech”. There were concerns that had nothing to do with any views Wal Mart or its executives might have expressed.

        As for “The social issues will take care of themselves as the younger generations vote, and the older generations die”, if we all took that attitude there are a lot of places in this country that would still have segregated drinking fountains. But even if the “inevitability argument” is correct why make the current generation wait?

      4. “I would likely agree with the inevitability argument. Which is part of why I vote righty – The social issues will take care of themselves as the younger generations vote, and the older generations die.”

        Brilliant. Absolute genius. Except for the part that involves you voting for people who are doing everything in their power to prevent their shitty ideas from dying with the older generation, including making those same shitty ideas part of the legal landscape of this nation. But thank goodness they’re not punishing free speech while they’re screwing people who aren’t you.

    3. We have a long way to go there. I’ve been attacked by neo-Nazis. They get away with violence, because they mostly target queers, immigrants, and people of color, and because they have political connections. The neo-Nazis and other white supremacists can use front groups like AmRen to maintain their political connections, and to push for more anti-immigrant laws, among other things.

  17. Chik-Fil-A should be ashamed of itself! Their bigoted views and discriminatory practices are disgraceful and do nothing to benefit society!

    Wait. What’s that?

    Chik-Fil-A’s Peach Milkshakes are back?!

    I’m outta here!

    1. Aren’t you oh-so-clever and adding to the discussion.  I have never in all my life heard this joke!  Especially not in relation to this subject!  I applaud your genius comedic skills.

    1. so… you know my ex gf? Tell her I said hi, that I DID NOT drink her last Pabst (yech) and that the restraining order is still totally in effect, but don’t give her my IP address please.

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