The Boston Herald has reported that Mayor Tom Menino is threatening to make obtaining the necessary licenses for a family business to operate "very difficult" -- not because the business's products are controversial or hazardous, but because the privately-held company believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
The middle three paragraphs of an unbylined Associated Press report predictably watered down Menino's threatening posture against the Chick-fil-A fast-food chain to an issue of "discrimination" and made it appear as if there is some kind of rift between the president and the company (bolds are mine throughout this post):
... Mayor Thomas Menino told the Boston Herald on Thursday that he doesn't want a business in the city "that discriminates against a population."
Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press this week that his privately owned company is "guilty as charged" in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family.
The fast-food chicken sandwich chain later said that it strives to "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."
Here are a few paragraphs from the original Herald report describing Menino's true tone and tenor. Note that the Herald also blew it by saying that the company has an "anti-gay attitude," as opposed to saying that its execs oppose same-sex marriage:
Mayor Menino on Chick-fil-A: Stuff it
Vows to block eatery over anti-gay attitude
Mayor Thomas M. Menino is vowing to block Chick-fil-A from bringing its Southern-fried fast-food empire to Boston — possibly to a popular tourist spot just steps from the Freedom Trail — after the family-owned firm’s president suggested gay marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”
“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,” Menino told the Herald yesterday.
“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.”
Since you brought up the Freedom Trail, Mr. Menino, do you really think that the participants in America's Revolution "where it all started" thought they were fighting for the "right" of same-sex couples to marry?
... the company released a statement yesterday saying it has a history of applying “biblically-based principles” to managing its business, such as closing on Sundays, and it insisted it does not discriminate.
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” the statement read. “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
But that isn’t cutting the mustard with Menino. He said he plans to fire off a letter to the company’s Atlanta headquarters “telling them my feelings on the matter.”
“If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies,” he warned.
... Menino blocked Walmart from a Roxbury development last year, criticizing the retail giant’s impact on neighborhood businesses and lower-wage workers.
Now it looks as though he may try to do the same to Chick-fil-A.
Clearly, Mayor Menino is apparently more interested in political correctness and "social justice" (his quoted justification for stopping Wal-Mart) than his city's economy and job growth.
As far as I know, Chick-fil-A will serve any customer and will employ anyone who does their job well. Thus, barring specific evidence I'm not aware of, Chick-fil-A does not discriminate against customers or in their employment practices. Until there is such evidence, Menino's claim that the firm "discriminates against a population" is without basis.
It's hard to imagine that a Republican or conservative public official threatening a proposed business establishment that he or she will make obtaining business licenses difficult and saying that it "doesn't belong" in his city or state -- e.g., a Ben and Jerry's, whose execs donate heavily to leftist causes, and are actively involved in raising money for the largely lawless Occupy movement -- would be getting the same oversight-riddled treatment from AP.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.