The mayors of Chicago and Boston want businesses to subscribe to politically correct views as a condition for operating in their cities. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and Thomas M. Menino oppose Chick-fil-As plans to open restaurants due to the company presidents opinion of same-sex marriage.
Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy told a Baptist newspaper that he supports the biblical definition of marriage. I think we are inviting Gods judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. I pray Gods mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about, Mr. Cathy said.
That drew protests from the gay-lesbian-transgender community and opposition from elected officials.
Chick-fil-A values are not Chicagos values, Mayor Emmanuel said in supporting a city aldermans plan to use land-use laws to block the fast-food chain from opening a new restaurant.
Boston Mayor Menino said, Chick-fil-A doesnt belong in Boston. In a letter to Mr. Cathy, Mayor Menino wrote, There is no place for discrimination on Bostons Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.
And the Jim Henson Co. will no longer allow Muppet toys to be distributed through the restaurant chain. They are free to do so as a private business and company. Anyone is free to boycott or buy their chicken sandwiches somewhere else. So, too, Mayors Menino and Emmanuel.
But they are elected officials who have no right imposing a political litmus test as a matter of public policy. What other mayoral views might a prospective or expanding business have to conform to in order to win city approval? Perhaps they could make it easier if they provided a checklist before obtaining a business license or permit.
Despite Mr. Cathys personal opinion, Chick-fil-A opponents have not accused franchise operators or offered evidence that the restaurants engage in illegal discriminatory conduct.
Mr. Cathy has a First Amendment right to his opinion. Chicago and Boston would be wrong to penalize him for it.