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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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.

I think it is well understood that Chick-fil-A donates money to those groups.  That is, after all, what triggered the controversy, not the CEO's comments (which exacerbated the issue).  The thing is, what those groups do is legal as far as we know.  While I do have issues with the lobbying some of those groups do, that is a separate issue.

It is wrong to use your authority to forbid X in order to prevent Y, especially when Y is not illegal.  If the alderman and the mayor are that upset about Y, they should appeal Y directly instead of making de facto prohibitions on their own.  What if the scenario was reversed?  What if I couldn't open a business because an alderman disliked that my business contributed to pro-gay rights advocacy groups?

According to courts in America, these advocacy and lobby groups are exercising free speech.  Lobbying is free speech.  While I, personally, have reservations about that, I can't just nitpick the definition to suit my needs.

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.

RE: "I think for once, Unseen, we are in agreement."

Really hurts to say that, doesn't it? I said it once last week, and I still haven't recovered. Mild nausea, a little throbbing in the left temple, ect.

I see nothing wrong with city council denying Chick-Fil-A approval to build in that location. I also don't see how preventing Chick-Fil-A from building is the government trying to curb free speech. City councils all over the US try to block and succeed in blocking many businesses from building where they have jurisdiction to do so all the time.

Is it ok for the government to throttle free speech for social ends?

It's okay for the government to do whatever it likes so long as the people remain complacent or the people know nothing about it. (This isn't my personal opinion, it's just reality.)

It's the reason for denying approval that is the issue.

The issue is that a government denying people an opportunity to build an enterprise for an argument that boils down to "I don't agree with you" tramples on people's fundamental rights.

"City councils all over the US try to block and succeed in blocking many businesses from building where they have jurisdiction to do so all the time." If this happens, and it's not for a legitimate reason, then it is a severe abuse of power and someone should be held accountable.

And just because people accept what is happening doesn't make it correct. That mindset always reminds me of the horse in Animal Farm, who eventually gets sold for glue.

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

Ok, maybe just severe bruising, but it's the thought that counts --

On the subject of free speech in the U S, do you think most people are aware of the extensive governmet control over the media reporting in the last two wars. They seemed to be able to control all the major networks in the U S under the guise of "national security" by using "embedded reporters" who had severe restrictions on what and how they could report. Observing this reporting from Canada, which has all of the major U S networks available and comparing the reports from other international networks, at times it was hard to believe they were reporting on the same incidents.I was totally amazed that in the most prominant democratic country in the world such censorship would even be possible.  

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