Case in point: Chick-Fil-A is being blocked from opening a new location by a Chicago alderman displeased with Chick-Fil-A's owner's stance against gay marriage. (article)

Let me make clear, I myself am not against gay marriage, but I am against anything that prevents ideas from being expressed and debated. And that even includes hate speech and other distasteful expressions. I wouldn't even call opposing gay marriage as hate speech per se, even if it is wrongheaded.

I am against anything which is demonstrably slanderous. I am also against the government using its tools to silence unpopular views or views which run contrary to policy.

Tags: chick-fil-a, free, gay, marriage, speech

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In my opinion, I think Chick-Fil-A made a very poor business move by expressing their opinions on gay marriage. You are a chicken place-- keep your political opinions to yourself!

I am definitely a supporter of gay marriage; however, I disagree with some cities' attempts to block Chik-Fil-A from opening new locations. I heard rumor of Boston doing this as well.

My solution? Why not let the restaurant open and then organize a boycott? Let the business waste that money building a new location and allow them to run themselves into the ground. That's a way better move, in my opinion. It's also more fun to watch.

If it were just an issue of free speech, I would agree with you, but it isn't. chick-fil-A actually funds anti-gay organisations and as such is guilty of discrimination. In this case I think the mayors of towns banning them are quite correct to do so. It's not their views that caused this, it's their actions. Big difference.

Anti-gay organizations are themselves exercising free speech, though, aren't they? The expression was by one man, the president/CEO of the organization. It is his opinion and not the policy of his organization. In an attempt to hurt him for exercising his own free speech, who does it really hurt? It hurts the people who won't have a job, and no one has ever accused CFA of discriminating illegally in its hiring practices.

No. These organistions aren't just promoting a message, they're actively trying to enact legislation to take away people's rights and that should never be tolerated.

As far as jobs are concerned, the absence of a chick-fil-a restaurant just creates a void that could be filled by another company thereby creating different jobs. I seriously doubt it was a "chick-fil-a or nothing" type of situation.

Freedom of speech isn't just for the speech you approve of.

You seem to have missed my point. It's not the speech they're being banned for, it's their actions - at least as far as I've understood the situation.

In my opinion they can say whatever they like, no matter how bigoted (in fact, the more bigoted the better in a PR sense in that it makes them look even more clownish), but once they put their money where their mouth is, all bets are off.

I grew up thinking it was the fascists who wanted to limit and punish free expression, who didn't believe that the free expression of ideas would result in a guaranteed win for The Truth. I've come to discover that the left can be as bad as the right in this regard.

No, you have missed MY point. Why punish CFA for the expressed opinion of one employee, or even how he spends his income? If you hurt him by hurting the company, he will just be somewhat less rich and it will be others with no dog in the fight who will bear the brunt.

There is already a movement led by conservative politician and talk show host to boost patronage of the chain.

Is any of this just "freedom of speech"?

http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201111010001

All of these result in real people being harmed. That's not just a political point of view. These are real people with real lives and rights that are being denied. THAT's what people like the mayor of Boston are fighting against. It's not some stupid little quibble about whether the company logo should be red or green, or which sports team is better. It's about a company that is funding hate groups.

No one is preventing ideas from being debated. No one is silencing any views, popular or unpopular. The expressions of belief aren't the problem. What the money is being used for is the problem.

It's the government's job to protect its citizens. And that means not allowing any one group to treat any other group as inferior.

Is any of this just "freedom of speech"?

http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201111010001

Freedom of speech is probably the wrong right to refer to, but it is legal behavior and well within his/their rights. Also, I must say I tend to distrust and ignore "facts" presented by political groups, action committees, advocates, and so forth due to their rather obvious bias.

All of these result in real people being harmed. That's not just a political point of view. These are real people with real lives and rights that are being denied. THAT's what people like the mayor of Boston are fighting against. It's not some stupid little quibble about whether the company logo should be red or green, or which sports team is better. It's about a company that is funding hate groups.

It's a hate group from your perspective, it's a pro-traditional marriage group from their perspective. In a free society, we can't just have freedoms for those whose views we agree with. When they start stringing up gays from oak trees, then we can talk. Basically, they aren't breaking any laws, and you aren't even asserting that they are breaking any laws.

Oh, and before I get pigeonholed, I myself am pro gay marriage. I also believe in a democracy with maximum freedom for all, which, granted, can be unpleasant.

No one is preventing ideas from being debated. No one is silencing any views, popular or unpopular. The expressions of belief aren't the problem. What the money is being used for is the problem.

But what the money is being used for is an expression of belief, so you are contradicting yourself.

It's the government's job to protect its citizens. And that means not allowing any one group to treat any other group as inferior.

You have absolutely no legal basis for that statement. If it were true, then it would be illegal for Christians to treat non-Christians as inferior, but I think we can all agree that that is within their rights and the government would have no business whatsoever getting involved if Christians donated to an anti-atheist organization. Being non-Christian is my civil right just as a gay person's orientation is his/hers.

I think for once, Unseen, we are in agreement.

The city alderman hasn't a leg to stand on.

Where we _might_ disagree though, is that I believe it is within the rights of a private property owner to refuse to lease to Chick Fil A for this reason.

I don't disagree at all. It's his property and if he doesn't want a CFA on it, it should be his right to wait for a lessee he's comfortable with. The same if he doesn't want to lease to someone who's going to set up a gay bar.

While, as I said, I support gay marriage and gay rights in general, gays don't have a right not to be hated and not to hear hate speech any more than we atheists do.

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