The Boston Herald reports that Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has vowed to make it as difficult as possible for Chick-fil-A to expand its empire into Beantown due to its anti-gay position. After many years of offering corporate financial support to anti-gay rights organizations (as reported by EqualityMatters.org) the corporation recently made headlines when its president, Dan Cathy, repeatedly confirmed thier stance against gay marriage. During a radio interview Cathy said:
“We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.”
Menino has made his position on the matter completely clear to The Herald:
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion. That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.” He continued: “If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies.”
Menino is serving his 19th year as Mayor of Boston: he knows how the political game is played and yet has taken a passionate, no-compromise stance on this hot-button issue. We also praise him for saying, even in this economy, that he will accept the financial consequences of turning away corporations when he disagrees with their ethics. We can only applaud him (and must admit, after living in Boston for 15 years then leaving 6 years ago, we kind of miss the big, mumbling lug).
We need to be clear however: it’s very unlikely that the Mayor has any actual power to stop this business from joining his community. In fact we’d bet that any serious attempt to try is very likely actionable and would, reluctantly, have to support Chick-fil-A’s rights in the matter.