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Chick-Fil-A, Amazon.com, And Tolerating The Opinions Of Those Who Disagree With You

While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has backed down somewhat from his previous statements that Chick-fil-A isn’t welcome in Chicago, the Chicago Alderman who originally came up with the idea is doubling down on his insistence that he will block the company from expanding into his war solely because of the position that its President takes on same-sex marriage:

Home Depot in the 2500 block of North Elston Avenue wants to sell a piece of its land so that a Chick-fil-A restaurant can open in the 1st Ward, where I am alderman. It would be the fast-food chain’s first “stand-alone” Chicago restaurant. But to subdivide the land, the companies need my approval.

Initially, I had some traffic concerns with their plan. But then I heard the bigoted, homophobic comments by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, who recently came out against same-sex marriage.

There are consequences for one’s actions, statements and beliefs. Because of this man’s ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward.

I’ve been in discussions with the company for the past nine months. Every time we met, I brought up my concerns that the company supported a homophobic agenda. My concerns were based on financial contributions made by WinShape Foundation, Chick-fil-A’s charitable endeavor, to anti-gay groups. I was repeatedly told by company officials that “we (Chick-fil-A) are not political” and that the company “had no political agenda.” Just recently, an attorney for the chain tried to convince me of Chick-fil-A’s benevolence. During each meeting, I challenged the company to change its ways. Although I thought we had made some progress, Cathy’s anti-gay comments made it abundantly clear what the company’s true stance is toward equal rights.

In an interview with the Biblical Recorder, he was asked about the company’s fervent support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” he said. “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

Obviously, Cathy has the right to believe, say and give money to whatever cause he wants. But my belief in equality is resolute, and if I were to take the easy way out and turn a blind eye to his remarks, I would be turning my back on the principles I stand for.

Moreno has been joined by other politicians around the country eager to jump on this country and prove, well, prove that they’re better than the rest of us. San Francisco’s Mayor noted that the closest Chick-Fil-A to his city was 40 miles away and warned them not to come any closer. Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said the chain wasn’t welcome in the nation’s capital and referred to it as “hate chicken.” Boston Mayor Tom Menino was on the record even before Moreno was, but subsequently backed down when he realized that he had no legal authority to keep Chick-fil-A out of Boston. Remarkably, the voice of sanity in all of this has been New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has become infamous for Nanny State rules of his own:

As mayors around the country — including Boston’s, Chicago’s and San Francisco’s — are backing efforts to keep the fast food chain out of their cities due to the company’s president, Dan Cathy, spending millions to push back against gay marriage, Mr. Bloomberg said it’s “a bad idea and it’s not going to happen” on John Gambling’s radio show this morning.

“They’re all friends but I disagree with them really strongly on this one,” Mr. Bloomberg said of his mayoral colleagues. “You can’t have a test for what the owners’ personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city. You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs before you issue a permit, that’s just not government’s job.”

Mr. Bloomberg went on to argue that blocking a business based on their political beliefs opens a potential slippery slope where liberal cities block conservative establishments and vice versa with conservative cities.

“Freedom of speech — everybody’s in favor of it as long as it’s what they want to hear,” he explained. “Well the only way that you have your freedom of speech is if you give other people freedom of speech. … This is just a bad idea and it’s not going to happen in New York City.”

Bloomberg is exactly right, and to see why one needs look no further than another news event this week about a corporate executive who donated money to a political cause. On Friday, we learned that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife had given $2.5 million to the campaign behind an effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington State, placing him on the exact opposite side of the issue from Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy.  What if Virginia political leaders, who are very Republican and very opposed to same-sex marriage, decided that based on this news they would move to block the construction of the distribution centers that Amazon had announced they would be building in Virginia back in December? How, exactly, would that be different from what Moreno and the other political leaders who have spoken out about this issue have said about Chick-fil-A? It wouldn’t, of course, because in both cases political leaders would be blocking businesses from their jurisdiction based solely on the political opinions of the owner of the company. In Virginia’s case it would mean the loss of the jobs the distribution centers would provide, up to 1,350 jobs apparently, and in the case of Chicago, San Francisco, and the District, it means that the people who would have gone to work at Chick-fil-A won’t have those jobs. All because some self-important politicians don’t like what Dan Cathy said in an interview.

The ACLU, a strong supporter of a legal right to same-sex marriage, has spoken out against Moreno’s comments as well: 

“The government can regulate discrimination in employment or against customers, but what the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words,” said Adam Schwartz, senior attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. “When an alderman refuses to allow a business to open because its owner has expressed a viewpoint the government disagrees with, the government is practicing viewpoint discrimination.”

The ACLU “strongly supports” same-sex marriage, Schwartz said, but noted that if a government can exclude a business for being against same-sex marriage, it can also exclude a business for being in support of same-sex marriage.

“But we also support the First Amendment,” he said. “We don’ think the government should exclude Chick-fil-A because of the anti-LGBT message. We believe this is clear cut.”

They’re correct, of course, but what about those who would advocate for private boycotts because off Cathy’s comments or, conceivably, Bezos’s contribution to then same-sex marriage campaign? As I’ve said before, individuals have every right to base their consumer choices on whatever reasoning they choose, and if they choose to base it upon politics then that is most certainly their right. However, I’ve personally never been comfortable with these kinds of boycotts and Rod Dreher, an Orthodox Christian, points out exactly what the problem with them is in sharing his thoughts regarding the Bezos donation:

Shockingly, a marriage traditionalist like me will continue to buy books from Amazon, and continue to use Microsoft Word for Mac to work on my own book. Why? Because I like their products and services. That, and I am a tolerant person, and I believe that same-sex marriage is an issue on which people can disagree without removing themselves from the company of decent people. Second, I know that my own ability to participate in social and economic life depends on commercial tolerance from others — a tolerance I can’t expect to have if I don’t extend.

(…)

Question to the room: Where do you draw the line on giving your trade to someone over a political issue? When I lived in NYC, there were a number of small businesses in my neighborhood owned by Arab Muslim immigrants. My guess is that their views on a number of things I cared about were rather the opposite of my own, but I still bought groceries from them. The only one I boycotted was a bodega in which I observed the owner laughing and smiling an hour after the 9/11 attacks. Didn’t feel right after that to buy anything from him. Otherwise, though, I had no idea what the political and cultural views of these business owners was, and as long as they treated me with respect and sold things I wanted to buy at a fair price, I didn’t care.

For me, the general boycott line comes in matters literally of life and death. I could see withholding my trade from a company that in some significant way funded abortion, but I can’t think of a single instance in which I do that.

I’d say I pretty much feel the same about this as Dreher does. I disagree with Dan Cathy, but that doesn’t strike me as a reason to not patronize Chick-fil-A. Then again, I’m not really a fanatic about the company either and haven’t actually been there in months. The reasons for that, though, have nothing to do with politics, that’s just my choice. Similarly, I’m glad to see Bezos put some money into the Washington State same-sex marriage campaign and I hope that drive succeeds. However, that’s not going to cause me to patronize Amazon any more than I already do. Now, admittedly it would be pretty hard for me to shop at Amazon more than I already do, but I do so because of the selection, savings and service the company provides not because of Jeff Bezos’s political beliefs.

Some will say that Chick-fil-A should be boycotted because Cathy is taking a position on the wrong side of a civil rights issue, but Andrew Sullivan makes an excellent point in that regard:

Intimidating a business because its chairman expresses his perfectly legitimate – if to me, misguided – views, should have absolutely nothing to do with a civil rights movement. Civil rights movements are about expanding freedom, including for those with whom we disagree. The impulse by some well-meaning heterosexual allies to ban or shut down or somehow use the power of the state to police thought in this way is simply anathema to what we ought to stand for. There is no contradiction between marriage equality and a robust defense of the rights of those who oppose marriage equality – including maximal religious freedom and maximal free speech. In fact, it is vital that we eschew such tactics, as they distract from a positive argument that has been solidly winning converts for two decades.

The point is that we all have to live together even while we passionately disagree. That toleration is the challenge of our time, and it goes both ways.

If we gays now try to suppress others’ rights, we have become nothing less than what we have opposed for so long. And there’s a worrying tendency – more pronounced on the right than left, but still potent on the far left – not simply to oppose the arguments of the other side in a cultural debate, but to delegitimize them as people of equal standing. But calling a bunch of good-faith people bigots and leveraging government power against them is, in my mind, no morally different than calling a bunch of people perverts and leveraging government power against them.

If Chick-fil-A were actively discriminating against homosexuals in service or hiring, then we’d be dealing with an entirely different situation. There’s no evidence that they’re doing that, though. All we’re talking about here is the fact that Dan Cathy holds a view about same-sex marriage that about 50% of the people in the United States holds. Sullivan is right. Calling that bigotry is simply absurd, and calling for the power of government to be used against them is as much a form of tyranny as throwing them in jail for having the “wrong” opinions would be. Isn’t it time we just accept that, on some issue, people have differing opinions rather than demonizing those that disagree with us?

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Blue Shark says:

    Well Doug…

    …You and I disagree about many things. It is, to me, a strength of this country that different voice are heard on a variety of subjects.

    …that reality is fine on a myriad of topics.

    …One where it is not is Human Rights.

    …In 1861 it was NOT fine to agree to disagree that our fellow countrymen could own other humans.

    …There are times when even if it is not popular that the right and correct viewpoint MUST prevail, as in the Civil War, as in the Civil Rights Era, as in the freedom of a woman and her doctor to decide on her individual health issues and reproductive choices.

    …Do you get the distinction?

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  2. PD Shaw says:

    Home Depot in the 2500 block of North Elston Avenue wants to sell a piece of its land so that a Chick-fil-A restaurant can open in the 1st Ward . . . [b]ut to subdivide the land, the companies need my approval.

    So, Home Depot is the one actually getting screwed here?

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  3. @Blue Shark:

    I think it is unjust and unfair that gays are not allowed to marry in most parts of the United States, but to compare their position to the position African-Americans were in before the Civil War is really quite a leap. It hasn’t always been the case, but for the most part gay Americans are able to live their lives as they see fit. It’s not perfect, but it’s clearly changing though the pace of that change is frustrating to some.

    If Cathy was saying that gays should not have any rights at all, or that the laws against sodomy should be reinstated, or that we should treat homosexuals the way they are treated in Muslim countries your argument would make sense. He is stating an opinion that is held by, as I said, about half of the country. For you to say that opinion is so egregious that it is wrong to hold it is pretty arrogant. I disagree with Cathy, probably on many things, but I am not going to agree that he has no right to the opinion he holds.

    And another point, why is it that I see more people in this country complaining about something the head of a chicken sandwich company said and nothing about the way gays and lesbians are treated in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and throughout the Muslim world? To listen to them you’d almost think that they thought that Cathy was worse than the leaders of Iran who routinely execute gay people.

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  4. PD Shaw says:

    @Blue Shark: In your view, was it wrong for Lincoln to represent a slaveholder recovering fugitive slaves? I think it was quite easy to oppose slavery, while recognizing that you share a community and rule of law with people with whom you disagree, but hope to persuade. The people who refused to share a community with people they disagree with were called secessionists.

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  5. Buzz Buzz says:

    …There are times when even if it is not popular that the right and correct viewpoint MUST prevail, as in the Civil War, as in the Civil Rights Era, as in the freedom of a woman and her doctor to decide on her individual health issues and reproductive choices.

    Somehow, I knew that an OTB drone bloviating about “Human Rights” would include among them the unfettered ability of women to murder inconvenient unborn children.

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  6. Modulo Myself says:

    It’s remarkable how chickenshit the entire anti-SSM movement is. Here’s a group of people who feel they have a right to tell other people who they don’t know who they can and can not marry, and yet they pretend that this is merely an opinion.

    I agree that they deserve the same legal rights as the Klan, but to a person, anyone who thinks that the government should interfere with marriage because their ‘religion’ says so is either a bigot or totally indifferent to reality.

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  7. michael reynolds says:

    The Cathy’s use their money to attack the rights of Americans. I choose not to give them any of my money to help make that possible. Pretty simple, really.

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  8. Spartacus says:

    Andrew Sullivan wrote: “Intimidating a business because its chairman expresses his perfectly legitimate – if to me, misguided – views, should have absolutely nothing to do with a civil rights movement.”

    First of all Sullivan is terribly misinformed about the civil rights movement. Boycotts were a very potent tool for drawing attention to the discrimination that was so widely practiced.

    Doug wrote: “Dan Cathy holds a view about same-sex marriage that about 50% of the people in the United States holds. Sullivan is right. Calling that bigotry is simply absurd . . . ”

    You can’t seriously be arguing that bigotry ceases to be bigotry merely because it is accepted by a majority (or near majority) of people. You will be well-served to give more thought to your arguments before expressing them.

    Most important of all in the case of both Bezos and Cathy this isn’t simply a matter of views held by ordinary citizens with no more influence over the public debate than the typical citizen. Both of these people are extraordinarily wealthy and they’re willing to use great resources that the average citizen does not have in order to change public policy. They have those resources at their disposal solely because of the successful business they run.

    I’d be more inclined to patronize a business whose owner has views I oppose if that owner didn’t use the money I give him to exert more influence over public policy than I myself have.

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  9. Andy says:

    @Blue Shark:

    There are times when even if it is not popular that the right and correct viewpoint MUST prevail, as in the Civil War, as in the Civil Rights Era, as in the freedom of a woman and her doctor to decide on her individual health issues and reproductive choices.

    The ends do not justify the means. The path to legalizing and normalizing SSM (a goal I support), does not pass through unconstitutional discrimination against a restaurant, but through the ballot box. Michael has it right – people can and should vote with their patronage. Politicians should not abuse their office in this way.

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  10. Andy says:

    @Spartacus:

    First of all Sullivan is terribly misinformed about the civil rights movement. Boycotts were a very potent tool for drawing attention to the discrimination that was so widely practiced.

    Except this isn’t a boycott – it’s politicians threatening to block a business from even opening through abuse of the permitting system.

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  11. Commonist says:

    I tolerate people disagreeing.

    I do not tolerate bigotry.

    Stop saying bigots are “disagreeing”, as if there is more than one correct, acceptable and human opinion on gay’s and women’s rights.

    The CFA president doesn’t “disagree” with me. He is evil and he should be hurt, hounded and socially persecuted until he stops being evil.

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  12. Jib says:

    Govts should not base permits on the political views of the people filing permits but of course individuals should not support biz if they find the views of the owners offensive. People have always done that and always will.

    I dont think it is any accident that the whole “dont blame companies for the political beliefs of their owners” meme is rising at a time rich people are giving huge donations to political parties and candidates. If companies start to pay a price when their owners or CEO’s get involved in politics then that might shut off the money spigot.

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  13. @Spartacus:

    You can’t seriously be arguing that bigotry ceases to be bigotry merely because it is accepted by a majority (or near majority) of people.

    I did not say that, I was merely suggesting that calling Cathy out from something that many people believe is not necessarily intellectually consistent. Also, although I suppose same-sex marriage, I do not believe that everyone who opposes it is per se bigoted. In order to believe that, after all, I would have to believe that Barack Obama was bigoted up until his “big announcement” in April, and surely you wouldn’t want me to think that, would you?

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  14. Spartacus says:

    @Andy:

    Sullivan’s statement condemns boycotts. Ordinary citizens (not government officials) are the ones conducting the boycott. The government officials are not conducting the boycott – they are denying the issuance of permits. There is a difference.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  15. @Commonist:

    So you believe everyone who opposes same-sex marriage is a bigot?

    Does that mean Barack Obama was a bigot up until his “big announcement,” or that the vast majority of African-American religious leaders are bigoted because they oppose SSM?

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  16. @Spartacus:

    The Civil Rights Era boycotts were meant to strike at the legal structure of Jim Crow, they were not undertaken because African-Americans disagreed with the political opinions of business owners.

    If CFA were actually discriminating against gays in employment or service your analogy would be apt. They are not.

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  17. Fiona says:

    The ACLU has this one right. Ditto Bloomberg, Sullivan, and Glenn Greenwald. Cathy has a right to express his political and religious beliefs; I have a right to boycott Chick-a-Fila because I disagree with Cathy’s beliefs. But the government doesn’t have a right to deny Cathy permits because of the beliefs.

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  18. Spartacus says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If you’re not saying that Cathy’s views can’t be bigoted on account of 50% of the public holding the same view then I retract my criticism.

    However, there’s nothing intellectually inconsistent about the Alderman’s statement. His comments seem to make clear that he believes denial of SSM is ignorant and discriminatory by anyone who holds that view. He’s happens to be taking action against Cathy because Chick-Fil-A wants to expand into his district, but his criticism would apply to all who hold anti-SSM views.

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  19. G.A. says:

    The CFA president doesn’t “disagree” with me. He is evil and he should be hurt, hounded and socially persecuted until he stops being evil.

    lol!! wow!!! unbelievable!!!

    So what is to be done about this…hmmmm….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  20. Spartacus says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The distinction you draw between today’s boycotts and the boycotts of the civil rights movement seems insignificant at best. They both are intended to change discriminatory behavior by withholding commercial patronage. The fact that Cathy is an indirect target of the CFA boycotts is not significant. A successful boycott of CFA will still adversely affect Cathy’s income.

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  21. jan says:

    It kind of amazes me how a fairly innocuous comment can spur so much vitriol. The owner of this restaurant has religious beliefs that run counter to SSM. Like Doug already said, he is speaking them, but not acting on them. Also, according to his religious beliefs, I guess his restaurants close on Sundays too! So, he is consistent in following his beliefs, as long as they don’t breech any laws or constitutional rights. What’s wrong with that?

    Now to equate this man with the KKK is hyperbole, to the greatest degree. Why can’t a discussion here be framed and reasoned within the perimeters of what is being alleged? There is no evidence of harassment by this man to either his employees or customers. The only bone of contention is based on his own personal/religious beliefs, that he doesn’t foist on anyone else. Isn’t this allowed anymore in America? Or, do we all have to be stamped, sealed and delivered with the same social progressive brand in order to not be run out of town, or denied a permit to do business, because of “unallowed” belief systems?

    Get a grip, as this kind of persecution will not take this nation any place you want to go! In the meantime, everyone here has a right to register their opinion, disagreeing with this owner’s opinion, by not frequenting his establishment. That’s how I thought it was supposed to work, in a free country.

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  22. Spartacus says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    To be clear, I recognize that CFA is not behaving in a discriminatory fashion. It is Cathy who is promoting discrimination by financing anti-SSM efforts.

    The CFA boycotts are intended to change Cathy’s behavior – not CFA’s (although boycotters may also want CFA to provide benefits for SS couples). That is why I called Cathy the indirect target of the CFA boycotts.

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  23. Spartacus,

    I’m going to bet that this “boycott” of Chick-Fil-A will be a massive fail because its premise is so supremely silly. Judging by the parking lot of the local CFA when I drove by it at lunchtime yesterday, there doesn’t seem to be much boycotting go on around here at least.

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  24. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    It doesn’t have to do much immediate damage, it’s doing long-term damage. The next generation is at odds with the Cathy’s and as the knowledge of what CFA represents percolates down it diminishes their potential to expand and attract younger, less southern patrons.

    Look at it this way. If CFA were not Bigot Chicken could they open a store successfully in San Francisco? Sure. Can they now? No. How about West Hollywood, Madison, Berkeley, Palo Alto or Ann Arbor? They just locked themselves out of several markets, and as opinions continue to mature, they’ll lock themselves out of more.

    They’re identifying themselves with the most culturally backward parts of the country. Not good business practice for the long haul.

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  25. Tano says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    To listen to them you’d almost think that they thought that Cathy was worse than the leaders of Iran who routinely execute gay people.

    Who is this “them” and what have they ever said that was supportive of the Iranian government’s actions against gays?

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  26. Michael,

    You’re too smart a guy to call CFA “Bigot Chicken” that’s silly

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  27. michael reynolds says:

    Of course in the long run they’ll prove to be cowards as cultural conservatives so often are. They’ll take their bigotry underground, deny they ever said any such things, find ways to gutlessly dog-whistle the issue and do the by-now tiresomely familiar dance.

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  28. Spartacus says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    What Michael Reynolds said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

  29. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    It’s not silly, it’s propaganda, a part of any political movement. You know, like calling rapacious job-killing businessmen “Job creators” to pick one example.

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  30. @michael reynolds:

    So, you’re saying that anyone who opposes SSM is a bigot? Good thing Barack Obama took that magic “no longer a bigot” drink back in April, eh?

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  31. Tano says:

    @Spartacus:

    First of all Sullivan is terribly misinformed about the civil rights movement.

    Actually, it is you who are uninformed – about what Sullivan was talking about. He was referring to the use of government power to deny equal application of the laws to people who you disagree with on political issues. He was not talking about private boycotts.

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  32. al-Ameda says:

    A couple of points:

    (1) Mr. Cathy is free to oppose gay marriage, and people who feel otherwise are free to purchase their fast food chicken elsewhere, or support a boycott of CFA. I have no problem with that, whatsoever.

    (2) Out here in California we had a ballot Proposition 8 “Eliminates Rights of Same-Sex Couples to Marry” which was strongly supported by out-of-state money from people a lot like Mr. Cathy, so it is understandable if people who don’t agree with Mr. Cathy don’t mind going to the mat over Mr. Cathy’s views on this subject.

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  33. @al-Ameda:

    (1) I have never said otherwise

    (2) And a majority of the voters who voted in your state voted in favor of Proposition 8. To their dishonor.

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  34. Commonist says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The answer to both those questions are “hell yes”.

    Religion does bad things to people’s thoughts. Obama came around because he is a high-quality human being.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

  35. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    When Mr. Obama opposed SSM he was a bigot. I said so then. And the African-American churches who campaign against it are bigots. I said that, too.

    There’s a time when reasonable men can be simply misinformed, or unaware, or when their attitudes can be seen as part of a transition. Like Jefferson with slavery, let’s say, though that’s stretching it.

    But at the point where an issue has been clearly laid out, and one side no longer has any rational argument but merely reiterates its opposition to an expansion of liberty and proposes to continue second-class status for some group of their fellow Americans, they cease to be “another opinion,” and become, “bigots.”

    In my opinion we have crossed that line.

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  36. Michael,

    I understand your argument, and you and I are on the same side on the SSM issue, but I’m not willing to say that mere opposition to SSM is bigotry. Now, if we start talking about other things such as supporting reinstatement of sodomy laws and such I would have a different opinion of the person. But, as James as noted several times here at OTB, this is an issue that only ten years ago would have been an inconceivable one to garner nearly 50% support in most polls. To say that those who still believe otherwise from you and I are bigoted is a bit much in my opinion.

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  37. Spartacus says:

    @Tano:

    You are correct. I hadn’t read Sullivan’s entire statement. I read only the excerpt Doug provided above, which was attached to the notion of a boycott.

    Having read Sullivan’s entire statement, I see that he was not condemning boycotts, but was condemning the refusal of government officials to issue permits because they didn’t like the beliefs of certain individuals.

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  38. PGlenn says:

    It’s pretty clear who are the bigots, phobia-driven, hateful persons in this episode . . . Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago Alderman, the Menino guy in Boston, etc.

    Yesterday, it was Jonathan Chait. The day before it was . . .

    If the progressives get any more tolerant, open-minded, and reasonable, oy vey!

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  39. al-Ameda says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    (2) And a majority of the voters who voted in your state voted in favor of Proposition 8. To their dishonor.

    and, speaking of dishonor, a number of out-of-state donors which funded the effort to pass the initiative were like Mr. Cathy. Which is why I have no problem with negative publicity that is accruing to CFA and Mr. Cathy.

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  40. Andy says:

    But at the point where an issue has been clearly laid out, and one side no longer has any rational argument but merely reiterates its opposition to an expansion of liberty and proposes to continue second-class status for some group of their fellow Americans, they cease to be “another opinion,” and become, “bigots.”

    Yes, that describes people who oppose SSM. It also describes Moreno and any other politician who would abuse their office to punish those who hold bigoted opinions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  41. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    But, as James as noted several times here at OTB, this is an issue that only ten years ago would have been an inconceivable one to garner nearly 50% support in most polls. To say that those who still believe otherwise from you and I are bigoted is a bit much in my opinion.

    I agree with you on SSM, obviously. I think we just disagree on whether the line has been crossed. This issue has moved with amazing speed, and I honor the American people for it.

    But move it has. That paradigm has shifted. It’s a fast-moving world nowadays. Supporters of SSM have every right to move quickly against remaining pockets of resistance. Mr. Cathy is entitled to his opinion, and I’m entitled to mine, which is that he is a bigot, and worse a supporter of laws meant to deprive my fellow Americans of their rights. I oppose attempts to use the law against CFA as being unconstitutional attacks on freedom of speech – a pity Mr. Cathy doesn’t agree that legal sanction should be off the table – but private citizens have a right to express their disapproval of CFA’s philosophy and actions.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 7

  42. Ron Beasley says:

    I don’t believe that everyone who opposes same sex marriage is a bigot but we must remember that the religious right was initially not about opposing abortion. Falwell, Robertson etc gained there fame opposing desegregation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  43. rudderpedals says:

    Over the last couple of days Mr. Cathy’s been compared to Farrakhan, the Iranian, Saudi, and Libyan regimes, the entire population of the old confederacy, the Chicago gang banger who shot a 7 year old, the “ground zero mosque” proponents, nazis, a KKK leader, the Illuminati, Rahm Emanuel, Jeff Bezos, Penny Pritzker, and Barack Obama. Are you sure Cathy’s really one of your guys?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  44. Vast Variety says:

    @Doug Mataconis: There is more parity between LGBT civil rights and African American civil rights than you make out Doug. While we didn’t endure the slavery that they did prior to the civil war, we have been hunted, incarcerated, and in some case mass exterminated through out much of human history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  45. michael reynolds says:

    @jan:

    Like Doug already said, he is speaking them, but not acting on them.

    That’s not true.

    He’s contributing money to anti-gay groups and attempting to pass laws that reduce a group of American citizens to permanent second-class status.

    That’s not what he’s saying, that’s what he’s doing. Actions.

    So I’m not going to give Mr. Cathy any of my money. See?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 11

  46. Vast Variety says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Now, if we start talking about other things such as supporting reinstatement of sodomy laws and such I would have a different opinion of the person.

    Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (a group that gets money from Dan Cathy) has advocated for the reinstatement of anti-sodomy laws.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4

  47. G.A. says:

    The CFA president doesn’t “disagree” with me. He is evil and he should be hurt, hounded and socially persecuted until he stops being evil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  48. george says:

    Like Andy and Fiona said: individual boycott good, government banning bad.

    This is something that, if done by the government, will definitely cut both ways – something to keep in mind if you want the government to allow or disallow banning companies because of the companies political opinions … which is different than banning them because they break laws (such as hiring practice laws etc).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  49. G.A. says:

    The CFA president doesn’t “disagree” with me. He is evil and he should be hurt, hounded and socially persecuted until he stops being evil.

    lol!! wow!!! unbelievable!!!

    So what is to be done about this…hmmmm….

    Reply

    Helpful or Unhelpful: 1 1

    Some body supports this? Maybe you wanna come try to do this to me?

    I am sick to death of militant anti Christian BIGOTS AND MARXISTS…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 20

  50. jan says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    “but we must remember that the religious right was initially not about opposing abortion. Falwell, Robertson etc gained there fame opposing desegregation. “

    As did the Dixiecrats. And, don’t forget who was behind Jim Crowe laws either. Times change, Ron, and often history is just a case of musical chairs, politically interchangeable in whom were once considered the bad and/or good guys. For instance, Lincoln, a republican, brought an end to slavery. The democrats were long known for their opposition to civil rights (a greater percentage than R’s opposed the passage of the Civil Rights Act). Eisenhower, a republican, wanted to desegregate schools, while southern dems opposed it. So, stereotyping people, IMO, does more of disservice to cloud the issues and alienate people, rather than clarify them.

    Also, if you want to look at present day type-casting, which President has done more for donating to Africa and their AIDS problem? Under the current AA President, has the poverty level or UE rate among AAs gone up or down? Political party, gender, race gets all mixed up when you try to attribute good and bad to only categories of people, rather than to the person themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

  51. jan says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “He’s contributing money to anti-gay groups..”

    And, what’s wrong with that? I’m sure you contribute money to people and causes you believe in, that others might be against. Those kinds of actions are not illegal, but are all a part of free speech, Michael, putting your money where your mouth is.

    I agree with you 100%, that you, Michael Reynolds, can show your dismay over this guy by boycotting his restaurant, sending letters to the editor ripping him a new one. But, you shouldn’t be able to stop him from putting a restaurant in a location, by withholding a building permit. You can, however, see that the restaurant fails by not eating there.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 14

  52. @Vast Variety:

    You are moving into ridiculous “guilt by association” arguments now, my friend

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  53. michael reynolds says:

    @jan:

    God you’re dense.

    You say: “He’s just talking, not doing.”

    I say, “But he is doing, and here’s what he’s doing.”

    And you say, “So what?”

    The so what is that your first statement was factually incorrect. Duh.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 7

  54. michael reynolds says:

    @jan:

    But, you shouldn’t be able to stop him from putting a restaurant in a location, by withholding a building permit.

    And again, that would be why I wrote:

    I oppose attempts to use the law against CFA as being unconstitutional attacks on freedom of speech

    This of course is very different from Mr. Cathy’s position that the law should be used to discriminate against a minority by denying them equal treatment under the law.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

  55. jan says:

    Michael,

    The same considerations should apply to business people, supporting SSM, who might want to open a restaurant in an area opposing SSM. They should not be blacklisted, or denied a building permit, by a mayor or a city, simply because their views differ from these people’s moral code. They should have an opportunity to open up and have the people in the area decide whether or not they want to become patrons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

  56. jan says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I didn’t say ‘so what!’ I said giving money was an act of free speech. Or, do yoy disagree with this too?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 14

  57. jan says:

    Where is Cathy denying equal treatment to people under the law? He registered an opinion, not an edict. He gave money supporting a cause, but hasn’t bolted the door on anyone. It seems to me that you’re the one trying to cram something down, without giving it due process, Michael.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 15

  58. michael reynolds says:

    @jan:

    Where is Cathy denying equal treatment to people under the law? He registered an opinion, not an edict. He gave money supporting a cause, but hasn’t bolted the door on anyone.

    Let’s try this again.

    Let’s say I write a check for $100 to the Organization To Beat Up Christians. Do you understand that in so doing I’m actively backing an effort to actually beat up Christians? Do you understand that while it is speech, it is also an action?

    How about if I buy a baseball bat for the guy who wants to beat up Christians?

    See how that’s an action as well as speech? Now do you get it?

    And just to make sure, let me parse this for you down to the short strokes. The organizations Mr. Cathy backs want to pass laws denying gays the right to marry. Pass laws. Actions. Having actual effects on actual people. Using government power to deny people rights. Enforced by government.

    And he’s giving them money. So that they will do that.

    If you still don’t get it I’m going to need the help of a kindergarten teacher to make it even simpler.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 8

  59. Tano says:

    @jan:

    It seems to me that you’re the one trying to cram something down, without giving it due process, Michael.

    So I guess this means that Michael needs to write THREE times that he does not support unleashing the government on CFA, before it gets through your skull? Twice is not enough?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 5

  60. Gustopher says:

    Why would personal responsibility end at corporate borders? That’s what Mataconis is suggesting with his boycotts-are-wrong argument.

    When you buy a Chik-Fil-A sandwich, you are funding a very right wong, socially conservative movement.

    When you buy from Amazon, you are funding the Walmart of the Internet, and a billionaire who sometimes donates to liberal social causes.

    What are where you buy makes a difference.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  61. G.A. says:

    The CFA president doesn’t “disagree” with me. He is evil and he should be hurt, hounded and socially persecuted until he stops being evil.

    So this is all good then?

    Anti Christian hate speech I know to be common place around here and a lot of these folks hate them some israel, but crap like this!?!?!? A call for violence and persecution goes unquestioned and gets liked! yet nothing is said?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

  62. G.A. says:

    AH, I see another cowardly anti Christian bigot has voted his or her approval of the call for harm and persecution…

    Hypocrites and cowards and bigots…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10

  63. Damon says:

    Having lived in areas with significant Muslim populations for much of my life, I find it telling that you had to resort to someone congratulating himself on tolerating Muslims — while still certain that they disagree with him on everything — in order to support your point. How depressing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  64. Robert Levine says:

    There is a difference between holding political views and spending millions to advance those views. And there is a difference between the owner of a company holding political views I think are wrong, the owner of a company spending wads of cash (made from the company doing business with people like me) promoting views I don’t like (which completely justifies my deciding not to fund such promotion through my purchases) and the company itself promoting views I don’t like through its charitable foundation, which appears to be the case here.

    My concerns were based on financial contributions made by WinShape Foundation, Chick-fil-A’s charitable endeavor, to anti-gay groups. I was repeatedly told by company officials that “we (Chick-fil-A) are not political” and that the company “had no political agenda.” Just recently, an attorney for the chain tried to convince me of Chick-fil-A’s benevolence. During each meeting, I challenged the company to change its ways.

    Corporate conduct is what we’re talking about here, and it’s not at all clear to me that such corporate conduct ought to be protected. What is the difference between the company promoting anti-gay views and the company discriminating against gays?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  65. G.A. says:

    Ya whatever, nothing to see here……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  66. al-Ameda says:

    @jan:

    @michael reynolds:
    “He’s contributing money to anti-gay groups..”

    And, what’s wrong with that? I’m sure you contribute money to people and causes you believe in, that others might be against. Those kinds of actions are not illegal, but are all a part of free speech, Michael, putting your money where your mouth is.

    (1) “What’s wrong with that?” Simple, contributing money to deny a group of Americans equal protection under our laws is, in my opinion, wrong (it’s free speech, nothing changes that.)

    (2) Mr. Cathy has every right to contribute money to those causes, just as other people have every right to take their business elsewhere or to organize a boycott of CFA (that’s free speech too.)

    (3) Government (local, state, or federal) does not have the right to deny CFA a license to conduct business based on some government official’s opinion of the efficacy of Mr. Cathy’s opinions regarding same sex marriage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  67. Phillip says:

    @G.A.: Welcome to the Internet. If you think that’s bad, stay away from the right-wing websites. By the way

    hurt, hounded and socially persecuted

    I guess the irony was completely lost on ya.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  68. Tano says:

    @Robert Levine:

    What is the difference between the company promoting anti-gay views and the company discriminating against gays?

    Legal speech vs. illegal action.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  69. Tony W says:

    Chicago alderman tactics aside, I just think it’s wonderful that it is now nearly universally accepted that Chick-Fil-A is on the wrong side of history on this issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  70. Ron Beasley says:

    I don’t believe they should be denied building permits because of this issue. If individuals want to boycott them that’s fine. It won’t impact me because I boycott all fast food places because the food they serve is not healthy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  71. Ben says:

    Opinions are opinions. But once you start advocating and donating money to a cause dedicated to denying rights to a group of people that the rest of us enjoy, it ceases to be “just an opinion” in my mind. It becomes a disgusting advocacy of hate.

    And yes, everyone who opposes same-sex marriage is a bigot. Because no one has ever stated a rationale for it that is not based on hatred of homosexuals and the desire to exclude them from the benefits of society that we all enjoy.

    That isn’t a “disagreement”, and no, I cannot “agree to disagree”. The idea that everyone is entitled to basic human rights like being able to marry the person of one’s choosing is not up for debate. (Or at least it shouldn’t be, goddamn it)

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 5

  72. Mark says:

    When did discrimination become a legitimate point of view? Do I think all opponents of SSM are hateful bigots? No, but they are in favor of discrimination and that can’t be denied. I don’t care what your religious beliefs are, arguing that an entire class of people should be denied equal rights is wrong and I am not going to apologize for not being tolerant of intolerance. Do opponents of gay rights have the right to their opinions? Absolutely and I will defend their right to say and think whatever they want. But there is a huge difference between respecting someone’s right to believe what they want and actually respecting their beliefs.

    I think it’s wrong for the government to get involved in the Chick-fil-A ordeal, but since when is personal boycotting a bad thing? I am not giving my money to Chick-fil-A because the owner has donated millions to anti-gay causes. He is not merely an opponent of SSM, he donates huge sums of money to ensure that I am not granted full rights. Furthermore, have you ever heard of the Montgomery bus boycott? Blacks technically had the right to ride the bus in the 1950s too (just like i technically have the right to get married), so would you say that the bus boycott was wrong?

    We’re not having a disagreement about the sales tax or the government regulation, where there are good arguments on both sides. There is no excuse to discriminate against a group of people who do no harm to anyone, and for people to imply that it’s wrong for gay people to be angry when people tell us we aren’t equal to everyone else is maddening.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  73. Ron Beasley says:

    @Ben: @Mark: Faith and opinions are not the same. I am an atheist and think those who base their faith on 2,000 year old mythology are ignorant and not the kind of people I would go to for advice or take seriously. But that faith can lead them to oppose SSM without making them bigots.
    That said I don’t think the Catholic Bishop’s opposition to SSM, birth control or abortion has anything to do with faith but simply represents a bunch of male plutocrats trying to maintain power which was always the only thing the Catholic church was concerned with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  74. Racehorse says:

    Just look at all the good that this man has done: for homeless and children for one. To me these boycotts just hurt the employees and the customers (like me) who love to eat at the Chick Fil A restaurants. These are always nice, clean places with great food and service. For more information on the wonderful things that Mr. Cathy has done, visit: cathyfamily.com
    If Chicago doesn’t want a CFA there, that’s just fine with me. There are plenty of towns in my county that are begging them to come in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

  75. Ron Beasley says:

    Isn’t the internet wonderful. I see there is an add for CFA coupons at the top of this post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  76. al-Ameda says:

    @Ron Beasley:
    Haha, you just can’t make it up any more!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  77. Ben says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Just because they believe that God tells them to hate homosexuals and be bigots doesn’t mean that they’re not bigots. Religion is not an excuse that makes it ok for you to think that a group of people shouldn’t get equal rights. They’re still bigots.

    Definition of BIGOT
    : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  78. qtip says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    faith can lead them to oppose SSM without making them bigots

    Do you mean that the faithful accept what their church tells them without thinking it through for themselves?

    If so, I don’t think that absolves them. If they donate money, vote, etc in ways that take away rights from the LGBTQ community I’d say that qualifies them as bigots.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  79. jd says:

    “to compare their position to the position African-Americans were in before the Civil War is really quite a leap”

    You’re right. It’s completely different. No black kid ever had to stand in front of his parents and tearfully admit to them “Mom… Dad…. I’m black!” They had the refuge of their families and their churches. Back then, the bigots killed them. These days, the bigots make the LGBT kill themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  80. Tano says:

    @qtip:

    Do you mean that the faithful accept what their church tells them without thinking it through for themselves?

    If they thought things through for themselves, there would be no need for the concept of faith.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  81. michael reynolds says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    I disagree on this:

    But that faith can lead them to oppose SSM without making them bigots.

    The Bible gives you whatever you want. You can find support in there for slavery, the taking of concubines, the execution of your own children. Oddly Christians don’t choose to be bound by those, just as they never seem to be bound by the Sermon on the Mount.

    They begin as bigots and find their rationalization in the Bible or Koran.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  82. An Interested Party says:

    I’ve always found it quite amusing for some conservatives to throw around the label “Cafeteria Catholic” when it is quite obvious that just about every Christian chooses certain things to believe from the Bible and certain other things to completely ignore…those bigots who hide their homophobia behind their Christian faith would be far less hypocritical if they decried so many other “sins” that are described in the Bible

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  83. Ron Beasley says:

    @Tano: I agree, but many won’t.
    @michael reynolds: I don’t deny the hypocrisy of those who who base their faith on a 2,000 plus year old mythology. But I think it is different than bigotry. I’m not saying it’s right or even rational. Religion is tribalism on steroids. But we are tribal creatures and too few are able to overcome the tribalism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  84. Emma says:

    @Doug Mataconis: you know, this was my question the other day on facebook: how many gay people go to traditional, muslim-run middle eastern kabob houses when their religious intolerance for homosexuality is legendary? i got my @$$ chewed off by my liberal friend, who claimed that the muslims are not giving money to the u.s. to quash the rights of GBLTs. i was so gun-shy after that, i didnt even BROACH the subject of OPEC and our ever-growing love affair with the barrel…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  85. Damon says:

    Yes, certainly LGBT rights are under constant threat from the Muslim religious and political institutions that wield so much power in our country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  86. de stijl says:

    @Emma:

    If I read you correctly, you’re saying that driving (or any activity that requires petroleum) means that those consumers are implicitly guilty in any and all anti-homosexual activities in any nation that produces oil. Is that correct?

    And that buying a kebab from someone who originally hailed from the Middle East (or their American born children or grandchildren) means that you are accepting and condoning all anti-homosexual activity that occurs in their motherland or in any predominantly Islamic country? Is that what you’re saying?

    That driving or eating a kebab sold by an American Muslim is morally equivalent to giving millions of dollars to organizations whose sole purpose is to prevent people from getting married to the person they want?

    Just checking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  87. de stijl says:

    @Emma:

    Have you ever eaten a bratwurst?

    Vodka?

    Dim sum?

    Or to bring it all home and tie it up in a pretty little bow, fried chikin chicken?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  88. Robert Levine says:

    @Tano:

    What is the difference between the company promoting anti-gay views and the company discriminating against gays?

    Legal speech vs. illegal action.

    Nominally illegal action, perhaps. Discrimination in the workplace is almost impossible to prove if the discriminator is at all savvy about the law. I really wonder just how friendly CFA is as an employer to LGTB employees. Given that their corporate foundation gives money to oppose those employees having the right to marry, I would suspect the answer is “not very.”

    That’s not to say that a company’s political views are a good basis for government action either in their favor or to their detriment, although it would be naive to believe that such action doesn’t happen all the time in this country.. But I suspect that this discussion would have a different flavor (perhaps not here, but publicly) if the CFA corporate foundation had been funding the Westboro Baptist Church, or a Nazi group, or some other group whose views are regarded as beyond the pale in any polite company. Sadly, anti-gay views are still regarded as mainstream and acceptable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  89. G.A. says:

    The Bible gives you whatever you want. You can find support in there for slavery, the taking of concubines, the execution of your own children. Oddly Christians don’t choose to be bound by those, just as they never seem to be bound by the Sermon on the Mount.

    Because idiots like you read it and take what they want from it with no discernment…

    They and you use it for your own purpose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  90. G.A. says:

    @G.A.: Welcome to the Internet. If you think that’s bad, stay away from the right-wing websites. By the way

    hurt, hounded and socially persecuted

    I guess the irony was completely lost on ya.

    Irony?Missed? So now every single ignorant hateful militant anti Cristian liberal bigot that calls for retribution is misunderstood like Obama now, I think not…
    Ignore all the points I bring up about many of you being complete hypocrites and bigots all you what it is the liberal way, the way of reprobate logic…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  91. G.A. says:

    Because idiots like you read it and take what they want from it with no discernment…

    They and you use it for your own purpose.

    Yes of course this is not true. because you hate it right?

    So then I take it Harry is your god? Or perhaps sex? Mabey ignorance?

    Clueless little selfish mortals so full of hate and rebellion…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  92. G.A. says:

    Good God I am losing whats left of my mind on this idiot site….

    I think I shall boycott it for being an anti Christian,anti Israel, anti constitution, anti american, anti free speech Militant bigot idiot enabler and sympathizer…

    Hmm..crap, now I have to figure out how to make one of those stupid FB pages..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  93. al-Ameda says:

    @G.A.:

    Good God I am losing whats left of my mind on this idiot site….
    I think I shall boycott it for being an anti Christian,anti Israel, anti constitution, anti american, anti free speech Militant bigot idiot enabler and sympathizer…

    You seem angry, why?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  94. Ben says:

    I would have no problem with Christians, were it not for their attempts to repress the rights of other groups of people, and make non-Christians live under Christian laws. Those things make Christians a hate-group, and thus bigots. Until they disavow any sort of group-hatred and all attempts to institute Christian doctrine into secular law, they will remain those things in my mind, and in the minds of a large percentage of my generation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  95. gVOR08 says:

    All we have here is a Chicago alderman, and several other politicians, who want to gain political points by demagoguing the issue. The facts are:
    A) There is no legal basis to block construction based on a leader’s political or religious opinions (except, apparently, de facto for mosques). Doug, you’re a lawyer. If this goes to court, how long do you think it will last?
    B) I can spend my money as I choose (except for taxing me for every damn silly, counterproductive war we’ve started in the last several decades) and I’m free to try to persuade others to do the same.

    So I honestly have no idea what Doug’s post or any of this subsequent brouhaha in comments is about.

    Doug, have you posted complaining about conservatives boycotting (insert company name here)? Does someone maintain a consolidated data base so the holy roller conservatives can keep up with all the companies they’re supposed to be boycotting at any given time? They still down on Disney? Penny’s?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  96. MBunge says:

    Using legal or governmental authority to punish people for having the “wrong” opinions is, of course, unjust.

    However, one of the biggest reasons why our public discourse is so freakin’ terrible is because people are not being held accountable for the things they do and say or if they are held accountable, it is according to standards that make no sense whatsoever.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  97. Emma says:

    @de stijl: what i am saying is that to me its all the same thing: its supporting oppressive groups/religions/countries/corporations which use the money they receive from consumers to do the ever-so-wrong thing, and if not going that far, giving money to people who do not believe in the equality of all. people choose to boycott chicken so that they can assuage their conscience, and because its a hell of a lot easier than eschewing/boycotting gasoline. you have the right to interpret my words however you choose to, but dont accuse me of falling on either side of this debate. i am simply fascinated by how people can use all kinds of angles to support their particular positions, thats all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  98. Damon says:

    @Emma, and other stupid people of the world:

    I know that, to you, it seems like a strong argument to point out the imagined hypocrisy of someone choosing to take some steps to try to make the world a better place while still not living their life in accordance to an impractically exalted standard. However, the reason this seems like a strong argument to you is that you are stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  99. An Interested Party says:

    Because idiots like you read it and take what they want from it with no discernment…

    They and you use it for your own purpose.

    G.A. really should have looked into a mirror as he was typing the above…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  100. Putocrats Rule says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    So let us remove all religion. Based on what you are saying, anyone should be able to have as many wives as they like, correct? I should be able to have 8 wives that are totally subservient to me under your idea. Of course, the same feminists fighting for gay marriage would likely scream worse than the “Bible thumpers” at such a suggestion.

    I don’t care either way. However, I am concerned with precedent.

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  101. Emma says:

    @Damon: ad hominem, damon, ad hominem.
    “the man with the weakest argument resorts to namecalling.” ~m.k.g.

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  102. Putocrats Rule says:

    @Damon:

    “You’re stupid.” Great comeback. Well I think everyone here smells funny. Any more intellectual quips to belch?

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  103. Putocrats Rule says:

    @jd:

    I would like to the numbers of gay kids committing suicide each year. “One is too many” I know. So in light of that, in general how many kids committed suicide because they were bullied without being gay? The problem is that during puberty the kids are.under stress from all angles andface struggles for seemingly benign reasons. Sally wears the wrong pants, listens to.the wrong music, has friends that aren’t condoned, is introverted and misunderstood, or is gay.

    The point here is that it isn’t just gay kids having that issue. To say gay kids today are anywhere near persecuted as black kids pre- Civil Rights movement is a distorsion of the facts. In fact, gay is often cool nowadays.

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  104. Damon says:

    @Emma, Putocrats Rule:

    I explained what was wrong with the “argument” that Emma put forth, although apparently she’s not clear on what “ad hominem” means (hint: it doesn’t mean that someone was mean when they took apart what you said). If she or anyone else still thinks that her vacuous attempt to demonstrate “hypocrisy” was a convincing argument, that’s fine. That does, in plain fact, mean that they’re stupid.

    And if someone disagrees, they can feel free to try to demonstrate that she had a relevant point. They won’t succeed, but they’re free to try.

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  105. Emma says:

    @Damon: ad hominem (abusive): instead of attacking an assertion, the argument attacks the person who made the assertion. i.e., had you stated that the argument is stupid, you are correct–it would not have been ad hominem. but as soon as you switched from attacking the argument to attacking the person (i.e. calling them stupid) then it was indeed ad hominem (abusive).

    as for my earlier comment (which i am not going to debate with you because 1) it is merely an observation, and 2) i am not one to be baited) i expressed my view articulately. if you disagree with it, then express your view articulately, not by name calling. if you think it is a poor example of hypocrisy, articulate why.

    “and this, my friends, is why i find rhetoric so boring. i want a lively discourse, not to feel as if i am teaching a class.” ~g.m.c.

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  106. Matt Scott says:

    Here’s what I don’t understand. How do homosexuals wanting to marry constitute an attack on marriage? This group is actually extolling the virtue of marriage and they are willing to fight for it. If you really want to “defend” marriage, wouldn’t it be better to make it harder for married people to get divorced? Allowing homosexuals to marry but making divorce harder for everyone seems to me to be the more logical way to “defend” the sanctity of marriage than telling two people who willingly want to marry that they cannot.

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  107. Burt Likko says:

    @Matt Scott: “Marriage must be protected from people who want to get married!”

    This is at the root of my main man Michael Reynolds’ initial sparring with my other main man Doug Mataconis above — is opposition to SSM necessarily bigoted? As the cultural objections to SSM are addressed one by one, It’s getting harder and harder to claim that things like religious teachings and caution about modifying social institutions and parental control of childrens’ sex education are not simply tissues for something more irrational.

    My slightly-deeper-than-amateur-but-not-really-professional dabbling into psychology suggests to me that anti-gay bigotry itself is rooted in anxiety about one’s own uncertain sexual identity, something which begins in early childhood and only comes to maturity in mid-puberty. (Note that being anxious that one is gay does not mean that one actually is gay.) This gets blended in with socialization into a culture that is dominated by a revulsion of homosexual behaviors as a legacy from our history.

    Some people take mastery of their anxieties and set aside conditioning against homosexuality. Others, for a variety of reasons, don’t quite get over that and instead integrate into their personalities a revulsion against homosexual behavior. (Note that actually being gay does not preclude this revulsion although I’d find it particularly saddening in such a case.)

    A real psychologist will probably tell me that the previous paragraph makes rather a mess of things, and she’d probably say that my teachers have been giving me too much Freud and not enough of the good stuff (whatever that might be). Which is fair enough; psychology is at most a supplement to my own areas of expertise. But there’s enough insight there for me to feel comfortable saying that for some people, the idea of homosexuality is something that irritates their subconscious. An emotional rather than a rational response is the result.

    Now, is that bigotry? You tell me because the word “bigotry” seems to be subject to multiple definitions in the discussion above. But seems to me that’s what’s really going on inside a lot of peoples’ minds.

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  108. JPD says:

    ho@Doug Mataconis:
    How about we make gay marriage legal and all the same right as hetero,s but it CANNOT be called marriage, call it Garriage or something else. If that doesn’t suffice the gay agenda then there agenda is far more that so called human rights. They want to shut up and stomp on anyone with a religeous conviction

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  109. d. says:

    @Commonist: if a homo disagrees with a Hetero then the Homo has rights to disagree. If a Hetero disagrees with a homo then he is evil. What is wrong with this scenario? A homo has a better point of view his feelings are more important? Heteros don’t go around crying “I am a Hetero” only Homo’s brag about it. To a Hetero it is repulsive. It is a private bedroom situation that should never be mentioned in public. Get some manners. Now if we don’t believe in butts and weinies heteros are to be spit on or taken behind the woodshed and beat. This is another reason why I think there is something mentally wrong with Homosexuality. It is the thinking behind it. Your way or the highway. Ready made persecution or victim status. Read the pink swastika and reevaluate. How dare any of these heterophobes block any buisness because of belief. You are elected officials not homodemigods.

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