Boston mayor sends letter to Chick-fil-A: There’s no place for you here

posted at 8:35 pm on July 25, 2012 by Allahpundit

Two sure signs that we’re past the “earnest debate” stage of this story and firmly into “people milking it for advantage” territory. One: Menino sent his letter to Chick-fil-A fully five days ago but only today, apparently, did a copy turn up on Boston’s official community Facebook page. Sounds like somebody’s enjoying their star turn as new SSM hero and is looking to stretch the grandstanding a bit. Two: I’m doing my second post on this topic in less than four hours. What can I say? I whiffed traffic-wise on the Ted Cruz post and the Scott Walker post. If you guys want to take batting practice on Menino and Chick-fil-A instead, I’ll pitch.

Here is Menino’s letter to Cathy:

To Mr. Cathy,

In recent days, you said Chick-fil-A opposes same-sex marriage and said the generation that supports it has an “arrogant attitude.”

Now — incredibly — your company says you are backing out of the same-sex marriage debate. I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston.

You called supporters of gay marriage “prideful.” Here in Boston, to borrow your own words, we are “guilty as charged.” We are indeed full of pride for our support of same sex marriage and our work to expand freedom to all people. We are proud that our state and our city have led the way for the country on equal marriage rights.

I was angry to learn on the heels of your prejudiced statements about your search for a site to locate in Boston. There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it. When Massachusetts became the first state in the country to recognize equal marriage rights, I personally stood on City Hall Plaza to greet same sex couples coming here to be married. It would be an insult to them and to our city’s long history of expanding freedom to have a Chick-fil-A across the street from that spot.

Sincerely,

Thomas M. Menino
Mayor, City of Boston

There’s no place for freedom to disagree on the Freedom Trail?

I wonder if he knows that barring Chick-fil-A would be unconstitutional. There’s just enough ambiguity in that letter to suggest that he does — he’s telling them they’re not welcome, not warning them that he’ll challenge them legally — but who knows. Would any Boston liberals object if he did file suit to try to stop them, full in the knowledge that he’s doomed to fail?

Actually, the Boston Globe editorial board would:

[W]hich part of the First Amendment does Menino not understand? A business owner’s political or religious beliefs should not be a test for the worthiness of his or her application for a business license.

Chick-fil-A must follow all state and city laws. If the restaurant chain denied service to gay patrons or refused to hire gay employees, Menino’s outrage would be fitting. And the company should be held to its statement that it strives to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation, or gender.” But beyond the fact that Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays, the religious beliefs of the company’s top executive don’t appear to control its operations…

If the mayor of a conservative town tried to keep out gay-friendly Starbucks or Apple, it would be an outrage.

Ironically, Menino is citing the specific location along the Freedom Trail as a reason to block Chick-fil-A. A city in which business owners must pass a political litmus test is the antithesis of what the Freedom Trail represents. History will render judgment on the views of Chick-fil-A executives. City Hall doesn’t have to.

Is the Globe editorial page normally that righteous or did it take an unusual expression of schmuckery from Mayor Mumbles to drive them to it? I think I know the answer, but I figured I should put that out there for Bostonians. Exit question: Tom Menino, the worst big-city mayor in America? Exit answer: Not on your life.

Update: From Cuffy Meigs:


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Menino’s always been a moron.

mojo on July 26, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Preventing local governments from usurping rights enshrined at the federal level does not increase individual liberty?

So in your view, a local government can totally and permanently ban all firearms, and that is more individual freedom and less government, but to say a local government cannot do that because it violates our constitutional right to keep and bear arms, that decreases liberty and increases government?

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Sorry Schaef. What you are advocating here is expanding the power of the federal government at the expense of the states. If we are to have any hope of hewing to the intent of our founding fathers, including the framers of our constitution, we should be doing the opposite and weakening the federales and making the states more powerful.

That being said, I do not believe by any stretch that a state, county, parish, or municipality should be able to restrict Chik-Fil-A from doing business. State constitutions also have religious freedom amendments/clauses, and there is a reason for that. But it’s specious and ultimately false to claim that this is a violation of “first amendment rights” as our founders understood the concept. 14th amendment? Incorporation? You can make an argument. But that still doesn’t mean it’s in line with what our founding fathers intended.

gryphon202 on July 26, 2012 at 11:12 AM

We used to enjoy Boston occasionally. Now we are no longer welcome. So we’ll look for another place to spend our travel money.

Christian Conservative on July 26, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Preventing local governments from usurping rights enshrined at the federal level does not increase individual liberty?

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM

I’ve already explained to you how it is an increase in government and a decrease in liberty. The people are the sovereigns of the states. When the federal government usurps the rights of the states, and seizes the power for itself, that is inherently going against the sovereign people and taking away their rights.

States already do regulate firearms. That is their right. The federal government cannot make law denying the right to keep and bear arms.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Most Bostonians have moved to the south by now anyway, so what’s the big deal?

Transpo on July 25, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Huh? Are you saying no one lives anymore there because it’s too crowded?

Wade on July 26, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Sorry Schaef. What you are advocating here is expanding the power of the federal government at the expense of the states.

gryphon202 on July 26, 2012 at 11:12 AM

The power to do what?

that is inherently going against the sovereign people and taking away their rights.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Taking away their right to do what?

States already do regulate firearms. That is their right. The federal government cannot make law denying the right to keep and bear arms.

Persons denied the right by federal law to own a firearm:
- convicted felons
- fugitives
- drug criminals
- mentally deficient persons
- most non-citizens
- illegal aliens
- expatriates
- most minors
- anyone indicted for a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year

There are federal regulations and there are state regulations, and they exist in such a way as not to run afoul of our second amendment rights.

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Persons denied the right by federal law to own a firearm:
- convicted felons
- fugitives
- drug criminals
- mentally deficient persons
- most non-citizens
- illegal aliens
- expatriates
- most minors
- anyone indicted for a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year

There are federal regulations and there are state regulations, and they exist in such a way as not to run afoul of our second amendment rights.

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM

So you cite unconstitutional legislation as your example? I don’t think you’re quite grasping the essence of the debate.

Taking away their right to do what?

To make their own decisions.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 11:39 AM

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM

If the federal government can tell the states that the first amendment applies to it when that was clearly not the founders’ intent, that is expanding the power of the government to dictate to the states It’s that simple. You don’t need a “what.” Just something the federales are able to do now that they weren’t able to do before.

gryphon202 on July 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Seems strange that a mayor would tell a business not to come and brng employment to their city. If I were the owner I would make a very public proclamation that I was not bringing a business to Boston because the Mayor didn’t want it.

magicbeans on July 26, 2012 at 11:51 AM

We used to enjoy Boston occasionally. Now we are no longer welcome. So we’ll look for another place to spend our travel money.

Christian Conservative on July 26, 2012 at 11:17 AM

It’s stupid to let an elected official keep you from a great city full of great people.

You must be a Palinite.

Capitalist Hog on July 26, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Capitalist Hog on July 26, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Have you tried Decaf?

kingsjester on July 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM

So you cite unconstitutional legislation as your example? I don’t think you’re quite grasping the essence of the debate.

I grasp that every law you haven’t liked you’ve arbitrarily deemed unconstitutional. But I’m dealing with the reality of the current situation, and while you say the feds can’t do this and can’t do that, well, they can and they have.

To make their own decisions.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 11:39 AM

To make their own decisions to do what?

that is expanding the power of the government to dictate to the states It’s that simple. You don’t need a “what.”
gryphon202 on July 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Yes, you do, because you’re talking about an “expansion of power” but the federal government has no more power to restrict the rights of free peoples under my view than it does under yours. You need a what because what you’re talking about is people with more rights and less government being less free despite the reduced intervention.

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Are all our political ruling class homosexual?

How to explain this insanity?

PappyD61 on July 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I grasp that every law you haven’t liked you’ve arbitrarily deemed unconstitutional.

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 12:14 PM

You just proved me right in saying that you aren’t grasping the essence of the debate. That isn’t what nullification is at all.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Well not ALL…… But Shazam…..

YOU KNOW….. They will be coming after churches next!!!

I mean this is a personal belief of the owner………these pols are just nuts.

PappyD61 on July 26, 2012 at 12:35 PM

You just proved me right in saying that you aren’t grasping the essence of the debate. That isn’t what nullification is at all.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 12:35 PM

I didn’t say that’s what nullification was. I said that’s your response every time someone gives you a real-world example that contradicts whatever is your philosophical ideal about federal legislation.

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Have you tried Decaf?

kingsjester on July 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Wow. Cribbing comments now are we? Weak.

Capitalist Hog on July 26, 2012 at 12:40 PM

I didn’t say that’s what nullification was.

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM

But that is what I’m talking about. So now you’ve admitted to not understanding it.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM

So.. holding a majority opinion is beyond the pale in Boston, a city which itself is home to national unpopular views (progressives)… so much so their Mayor makes himself a national joke to bar the door to a business not for exercising that view in any fashion to break any laws, but merely the owner having those views…

1. They loose jobs for PC nonsense
2. They risk a backlash by Christians and others who hold a majority view.

I consider myself Christian, though a poor one.. but that isn’t the main reason I oppose SSM.. I oppose something extremely important to me too sacred to become a PC football to a “community” which wages wars like this not for equal rights, but to cause as much annoyance and anger among people they don’t like as humanly possible.. This is the group which snickers and laughs when Act Up disrupts Church services and Catholic Masses to protest the belief’s of others..

So yes, they are wildly arrogant sh*ts..

You don’t want to go there.. don’t.

But don’t you dare decide for an entire community which doesn’t share those values, since SSM hasn’t won an election yet.

I went to the Muppet company’s facebook page after they selfrighteously yanked their toys from the resturant chain, and let them know, sure, they could do that..

Just as I and a lot of other people can stop spending a dime on Muppet products and block any of their TV shows from my home..

This works two ways..

You can’t take a bat and bully your opinion on other people, the harder you try, the more angry we get, and the less likely to care about what you think.

I’d feel the same if 3 and 4 way marriages were suddenly all the rage, you devalue something that is important to me, that is why I say no, I won’t accept it, no exceptions for any reason, take your civil unions, boding agreements I don’t care about that. But the word “marriage” is special to me, to both of us. Making it open to accepting any new current definition devalues and degrades it.. and spare me the arguments about divorce rates.. just because someone else can’t keep their vows doesn’t change that we do, and that we are not alone…

Sure to us it’s an emotional reason, but that doesn’t make it less valid to us. Especially since the first crop of “married” gays is already having it’s first divorces.. so much for new and improved.

I really don’t care much

mark81150 on July 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Man.. I wish we had an edit feature.. That last line wasn’t supposed to be there, a half sentence that was supposed to be elsewhere and deleted.

mark81150 on July 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM

But that is what I’m talking about. So now you’ve admitted to not understanding it.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM

All I’ve admitted is that I did not say something was defined in a way that, well, I did not say.

Aside from having never been upheld in any Supreme Court ruling ever, nullification applies to a state overriding a federal law it deems (federally) unconstitutional. So you can talk about it all you want but there is still no federal law mandating free speech, only a constitutional limit against restricting it. So you can’t make it apply to the INability to MAKE law.

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Christianity… banned in Boston.

Whoulda thunk it would ever happen?

Rethuglican on July 26, 2012 at 1:04 PM

…but there is still no federal law mandating free speech, only a constitutional limit against restricting it. So you can’t make it apply to the INability to MAKE law.

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM

I never said there is a federal law mandating free speech, nor did I say there isn’t a constitutional limit against restricting it. That restriction, however, only applies to the federal government.

Again, the first words of the First Amendment are: “Congress shall make no law …” not the states.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 1:20 PM

I never said there is a federal law mandating free speech

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Then the concept of nullification doesn’t apply to a non-law.

And none of your arguments about irrelevant tangents demonstrates that people with more rights are less free.

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Rethuglican on July 26, 2012 at 1:04 PM

I like your username. Term of endearment and all.

What if we all just embrace the term as awesome instead of insult?

Rethuglican, I don’t know if you mean to but you may have started something cool.

Capitalist Hog on July 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Then the concept of nullification doesn’t apply to a non-law.

And none of your arguments about irrelevant tangents demonstrates that people with more rights are less free.

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

You continue to prove you don’t know anything about nullification. Nullification applies to unconstitutional law, not every law, and not to laws that don’t exist. These are not irrelevant tangents. That you don’t understand the type of government and system our Framers and the sovereign people created is your fault.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 2:10 PM

You continue to prove you don’t know anything about nullification. Nullification applies to unconstitutional law, not every law, and not to laws that don’t exist.

Yes, clearly you have demonstrated that I don’t know anything about the topic, by repeating my own definition right back to me.

Thus, since the rights enshrined in the Constitution are not a law, nullification says nothing about how they are applied to the states.

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Thus, since the rights enshrined in the Constitution are not a law, nullification says nothing about how they are applied to the states.

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 2:20 PM

You aren’t getting it. The states – the sovereign people – created the federal government. The Constitution binds the federal government, not the states. The people were not looking to restrict themselves.

The Fourteenth Amendment does not apply the First Amendment or the first nine amendments to the states. It is not guaranteeing our Constituitonal rights at the state level. That was not the purpose of the amendment (which wasn’t properly ratified anyway, but that’s another story). The federal government decreed it so, against the wishes and against the rights of the sovereign people of the states. That is unconstitutional power grab. That is the growth of the federal government at the expense of the states, something the states would never have agreed to in the first place. The states did not create the Constitution to limit themselves.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 2:30 PM

That unconstituional decision is where nullification becomes applicable.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 2:31 PM

The people were not looking to restrict themselves.

I am getting it. An enshrined freedom is not a restriction.

That is unconstitutional power grab.

Power to DO WHAT

The Schaef on July 26, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Ok. You have every right to choose to be willfully ignorant. Have a nice day.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 11:02 AM

You never disappoint.

A++

Del Dolemonte on July 26, 2012 at 3:14 PM

The federal government cannot make law denying the right to keep and bear arms.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 11:19 AM

They have been doing so since 1968.

Del Dolemonte on July 26, 2012 at 3:17 PM

So you cite unconstitutional legislation as your example? I don’t think you’re quite grasping the essence of the debate.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Translated: “I don’t agree with the legislation, so it doesn’t exist.”

Great Entertainment!

Del Dolemonte on July 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Translated: “I don’t agree with the legislation, so it doesn’t exist.”

Great Entertainment!

Del Dolemonte on July 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM

He’s probably one of those people who will go into a court and claim it has no authority over him, or who refuses to file federal income tax returns claiming the federal income tax is unconstitutional.

If he thinks a law is wrong – the law doesn’t exist. That’s “nullification”. See, the framers wanted every individual to be able to decide for him/herself whether or not laws are constitutional. Each of us can decide which laws to follow/obey based on our own understanding of the constitution.

the Supreme Court’s decisions only count if we agree with them. Congressional legislation only counts if we agree with it.

It really is an amazing system the founders came up with.

Monkeytoe on July 26, 2012 at 4:13 PM

So you cite unconstitutional legislation as your example? I don’t think you’re quite grasping the essence of the debate.

Dante on July 26, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Look, if you are arguing that “x” or “y” is unconstitutional, despite being upheld by the Supreme Court, and that the states and/or citizenry should nullify/overturn the law on those grounds, that is a valid argument to make.

What you are claiming is that the law simply doesn’t exist because you have declared it unconstitutional. You exclaim “unconstitutional” and think that has some legal or practical effect. It doesn’t. The law you claim does not exist is on the books and is being enforced by both law enforcement and courts.

Moreover, the County as a whole has accepted the Supreme Court’s right to make decisions about a) the interpretation of the constitution and b) whether certain laws are constitutional. Whether you agree with that or not, that is the system that a vast majority of the Country has signed on to.

So, again, you claiming that system does not exist because you don’t agree with it might be a fun philosophical argument, but is not reality.

When what you consider an unconstitutional law is passed, it is fine and dandy for you to exclaim that it is a nullity, but that doesn’t change that the law is on the books, is in existence, is being enforced and is upheld by the Courts. In the real world, you actually have to repeal or have the law overturned by the legislature. Or, perhaps we could create a constitutional crisis and have states declare the law a nullity and refuse to obey/enforce it (something I am not necessarily opposed to).

But, at the end of the day, if the Congress, Supreme Court, the States and a majority of the populace decide that a law is constitutional – the fact that some small minority of people believe it is unconstitutional, and even have semi-reasonable arguments in favor of their position – does not make the law a nullity.

The simply declaration that a law is unconstitutional by you doesn’t make the law cease to exist or have effect, which is what you appear to be claiming/arguing.

So, back to the main point – the Supreme Court long ago held that the 1st amendment applied to state/local gov’ts. The people and the States and congress have accepted this. So, you can argue all day that this is wrong, that it is unconstitutional, etc., and all you are doing is pissing in the wind. Your philosophical arguments may have some merit (I have never been a huge fan of reverse incorporation), but your argument as a practicality is less than useless.

You are basically arguing that reality is not reality.

Monkeytoe on July 26, 2012 at 4:25 PM

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