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.
CFA is a corporation. It's established in the law that corporations are persons for legal purposes. I assure you, corporations have the same free speech/expression rights as human persons.
It's not a SCOTUS decision, it's a necessary part for the efficient functioning of the market system. If corporations were not legal persons a natural person would have to be liable for all debts and actions of the corporation, which would severely restrict the possibility for growth. Essentially, without it it's back to the 17th century and the economic rule of Houses and Dynasties.
Well, I'm not sure that placing reasonable limits on corporations' personhood would expose them as you describe. For example, placing a limit of $2000 on donation to political causes, whether by nature or legal art, and whether directly or obliquely (e.g., donations to PAC's) sounds reasonable. While most natural people can't afford $2000, individuals could make up for their ability to donate in large amount through number of donations, creating a more even playing field in the contest of ideas preceding an election.
I don't disagree with reasonable limits on political donation of i.e. $2000 per person (natural or otherwise) or the outright nationalization of political funding altogether. I certainly believe the US political funding system is harebrained and in dire need of reform. That said, I don't believe corporations/legal persons should be discriminated against (compared to natural persons) without some extremely strong arguments behind it. Thus they should have the same campaign donation opportunities, and I can easily see the logic behind the Citizens United verdict.
My bone of contentions are the idiots those who make blanket uninformed statements to the effect of 'repeal corporate personhood' or believes this was something that came into being with the aforementioned ruling. Such lack of knowledge of basic civics irks me to no end.
I agree. I'm sure my ideas are considered offensive and incorrect to some, and I would certainly be upset if they were banned or censored. I disagree with others' views, but would not want them to be unable to express them.
Chick-fil-A's Vice President of Public Relations Don Perry died "suddenly" Friday morning, the company confirmed. Perry was based in the Atlanta area and worked in Chick-fil-A's corporate communications department.
Perry's death comes amid controversy this week over comments that Chick-fil-A's CEO Dan Cathy made against gay marriage. Cathy told the Baptist Press that he was "guilty as charged" for supporting "the biblical definition of the family unit."
Proof that God disapproves of Chick-Fil-A.
Thank you Pat Robertson --
Since Citizens United and the High Court saying that corporations are people that person (corporation) if they want to support political actions as a person we have the right to limit the effect of those view points as we would the KKK or any other group wishing to with hold rights from another group of US citizens. If the corporation (person) is actively attempting to limit a groups rights then as a population it is our right to restrict their right to make a profit from our communities if we find there view against our values.
CFA has the right to state their views, as a people we have the right to tell them to F off.
Let us not forget that with the court rulings these people (corporations) have much more political power than you or I, so let them speak their minds but they also should feel the heat if they want limit another groups rights. Any politician that is willing to stand up to corporations I applaud.
I would imagine that there already is a passive boycott of CFA from gays and those in support of gays. That is the public's "hook" into the company and the price the company pays for its donations to anti-gay marriage groups.
As long as they don't discriminate in hiring or serving, they are safe. That is the main "hook" governmental agents and agencies have on CFA or any company when it comes to this issue.
To the question in the title I think governments should stand free to throttle free speech based on potential harm the exercise of it may have, though I am not quite as dogmatic on free speech as Mill.
As for the case in point it seems to be a conflagration of silliness from the parties and the application of the modern notion of restricting free speech which may hurt some people's feelings. Firstly, corporations are best advised to not get mixed up in moral politics, and for this fast-food chain to do so in what is for many a controversial issue is bone headed. Secondly, for an elected official to block free enterprise due to this is perhaps even more stupid and has no place in a society based on laws. Thirdly, though I sympathize with the cause, it opens the door for the religious (or any other grouping) to block the establishment of companies they may not agree with, which would be a awful precedent to set. Lastly, let people vote with their wallet and choose products on the merits of the product itself, not on the granda frakaso en malgranda glaso de jour.
Agreed. Suppose some politician decided to block any business owned by an outspoken atheist who donated to atheist causes either himself or through his company.