Bloomberg disagrees with other mayors on Chick-fil-A

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

As New York mayor Michael Bloomberg sees it, denying people the freedom to marry whomever they choose is no worse than denying someone the ability to open a store.

Bloomberg supports same-sex marriage -- but he's taking issue with mayors who have said the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A (chihk-fihl-AY') is not welcome in their cities because the company opposes gay marriage.

The mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco have been among those attacking Chick-fil-A after the company's president, Dan Cathy, said he backs "the biblical definition of a family."

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino wrote a letter to Cathy saying, "There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail, and no place for your company alongside it."

But Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show (on WOR) that it's inappropriate for a government to look at someone's political views in deciding whether that person can live, work or operate a business.

And Bloomberg is right, according to Richard Socarides (sah-kah-REE'-dehs), a New York lawyer and former Clinton White House adviser on gay rights, who is urging a boycott of Chick-fil-A. He says consumers can spend money where they want -- but that a city can't regulate speech by denying a business permit based on the owners' political beliefs.

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