No, Mayor Menino…

In a free country you can’t keep out a restaurant because you dislike its owner’s politics [Boston Herald on Chick-Fil-A controversy, more on death through regulatory delay as a city tactic, mayor’s letter in PDF; good discussions at Amy Alkon and Popehat/Ken] Comments: “Inclusion. He gives this as justification for excluding someone.” [Ken R at Alkon] “Also, has Boston ever been ‘at the forefront of inclusion’?” [@thad_anderson]

For a powerful vignette of what can happen in certain big cities when the ruling government nomenklatura comes to view the local merchantry as there by sufferance, see John Kass’s recent Chicago Tribune column, recalling the struggles of his Greek immigrant grocer father, via David Zincavage.

P.S. Speaking of taking outspoken stands on same-sex marriage, Chris Geidner of BuzzFeed covers a (very successful!) fundraiser I helped throw over the weekend for like-minded folks in Maryland and D.C. If you’d like to donate as part of the event, you can do so here.


  • Boycott Boston until they allow a Chick-fil-a. There’s no evidence that Chick-fil-a discriminates in it hiring or customer policies.

  • Today I’m proud to be a recent Boston transplant.
    The privately held, family owned Chick-fil-A is certainly free to flex its evangelical Christian muscles, just as we are free to decide that Chick-fil-A leaves a bad taste in our mouths.

    Read more:

  • But there is evidence Menino discriminates. After a snowstorm, he issued a ruling that anyone who shoveled clear a parking space could lay claim to that public parking spot by placing lawn chairs there to keep out “intruders”.

  • Janice,

    For every Chick-Fil-A sandwich you don’t eat, I’m going to eat three. Not because I agree with Chick-Fil-A’s position on gay marriage, but because (a) they’re delicious; and (b) because you support government-sanctioned discrimination based on political ideology.

  • So Janice enjoys disrupting a private transaction that meets the laws and regulations of the city because she disagrees with the private positions of an owner of the business. That kind of “pride” I can do without.

  • […] Chicago city government joins Boston in threatening to use regulation to punish Chick-fil-A for its political views [Josh Barro, Eugene Volokh, earlier] […]

  • […] uproar continues, and quite properly so (earlier here and here), over the threats of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Chicago alderman Proco […]

  • […] violation of the First Amendment”). And many others rounded up at my Overlawyered posts here and here, as well as those of Stephen Miller at Independent Gay Forum and Tim Carney at the […]

  • […] the fracas [my post at Maryland for All Families got an Instalanche, thanks Glenn Reynolds] Earlier here, here, […]

  • Actually, Janice has provided a legitimate course of action to those who don’t approve of the eatery’s principles. It’s not the private choice to consume there or not that’s at issue, but rather the use of government coercion against an otherwise legitimate and legal business.

    I’d hope she’d agree that using government power to enforce a particular political view is anathema to democracy.

  • […] or lose lucrative eminent domain prerogatives.¬† Business owners are often subject to municipal predation¬† that can potentially drive them out of business, forcing them to ingratiate themselves with city […]