The head of a fast food chain, Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, is opposed to allowing gay people to create the mutual obligations and rights of marriage. I disagree with him. I’ve never eaten in one of his stores, so I couldn’t really boycott his business, but I can explain to him why I disagree.
What I would not do is to take any of his rights from him for his expression of his views. He has the right to them.
The mayor of Boston has threatened to punish Mr. Cathy for exercising his right to express his views. He raked Mr. Cathy over the coals in a letter that was then posted on the City of Boston’s Facebook page. In an interview with the Boston Herald the mayor not only expressed his own opinion, which he is free to do; he went further and threatened to use his power illegitimately to deny the rights of Mr. Cathy and his partners, shareholders, and employees to do business in the city of Boston.
Opinion: “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”
Threat: “If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult—unless they open up their policies.”
I’m a supporter of the right of gay people to create mutual obligations and rights of marriage. I’m a supporter of freedom of speech. And I’m a supporter of freedom of enterprise. I disagree (strongly) with Mr. Cathy and hope that he will change his mind.
Mayor Menino should retract his threats and, at the very least, apologize. Mayor Menino is no friend of human rights. His threat is tyrannical.