Hosts Mark Newgent and Andrew Langer of RedMaryland had me on their BlogTalkRadio show this evening to talk about the Chick-Fil-A furor and its lessons both for political freedom and for economic freedom, and also our efforts to rally opinion in favor of the new marriage law. (I mentioned this site.) You can listen here or here (UStream). The Glenn Greenwald column we discussed is here.
P.S. While I praised the stand taken by the ACLU’s Illinois affiliate, I see here that the ACLU’s Massachusetts affiliate has taken a much more troubling stand, electing to gloss over the ample evidence that Mayor Menino was threatening regulatory action hostile to the restaurant chain. Hans Bader of CEI has more on the First Amendment analysis. And the owner of Chicago’s only Chick-Fil-A doesn’t seem to fit the stereotype (“we donate to a wide variety of causes, including … gay and lesbian organizations.”)
Among pretty much everyone with a civil libertarian, or just plain libertarian, background, the verdict on the Chick-Fil-A furor is the same: while private persons and groups are within their rights to boycott a business, it’s outrageous and dangerous for government officials to threaten to use regulation to keep the fast-food chain out of their cities because they disapprove of its president’s anti-gay-marriage views. Thus Glenn Greenwald:
having Mayors and other officials punish businesses for the political and social views of their executives — regardless of what those views are — is as pure a violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech as it gets, and beyond that, is genuinely dangerous.
If you support what Emanuel is doing here, then you should be equally supportive of a Mayor in Texas or a Governor in Idaho who blocks businesses from opening if they are run by those who support same-sex marriage.
And the ACLU of Illinois (“what the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words. … We believe this is clear cut.”) And Eugene Volokh (“just appalling… a blatant violation of the First Amendment”). And Andrew Sullivan (“If we gays now try to suppress others’ rights, we have become nothing less than what we have opposed for so long.”) 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 Washington Examiner.
Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit is another who blasts the pols in Chicago and other cities for violating basic principles of the Bill of Rights in this affair. Read his whole short post, but note in particular the following: “I support gay marriage.” If you’re surprised that Reynolds, known as the godfather of conservative blogging, would take that view, don’t be: he’s been on the record on the matter for a long time.
According to a quick Google search, Maryland elected officials appear to have stayed away from the issue. Good for them.
P.S. Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the Instalanche!
Excellent publicity for our fundraiser last Sunday from the folks at Freedom to Marry (and don’t miss the rest of the piece as well).
In case you missed this Politico article a couple of months ago on “The pro-gay marriage Bush alumni.”
…to support Maryland’s new marriage law was a huge success. More details to come, but even if you couldn’t make it in person it isn’t too late for you to support it at this link.
“I hope it makes it easier for kids growing up gay that they know that another one of their heroes was like them,” said her sister. And from Libertarians Concerned (James Peron):
First American woman in space, Sally Ride, has died from pancreatic cancer. She has been survived by her female partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy, a childhood friend. It is at sad times like this that the [consequence of the] inability to marry for same-sex couples becomes apparent. Ms. O’Shaughnessy will find their estate will be taxed at rates well in excess to those which would exist for similarly situated straight couple. She is also not allowed to collect any of Ride’s pension. Thanks to the Defense of Marriage Act the federal government is not allowed to recognize her as Ms. Ride’s widow. According to federal law they were nothing but roommates. And Republicans are fighting to defend this.
No, not all Republicans. Not Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). Not our own Sen. Allan Kittleman or Del. Wade Kach or Del. Robert Costa. And not many thousands of other Republicans across the country.
We haven’t even had the party yet and we just got a big write-up on it from Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed.
- “The freedom to marry: a conservative value” [Nicki Neily, Torrey Shearer, and Sarah Longwell of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, in the Daily Caller; Nicki is a supporter of our efforts here in Maryland]
- “When asked if the Republican Party specifically needs to do a better job of accepting opinions on gay marriage and other cultural issues that do not align with party orthodoxy, Cantor [House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)] said ‘absolutely.’ ‘I’ve always said we need to be a party of inclusion not exclusion,’ Cantor said.” [BuzzFeed]
- Columnist Joe Volz of the Mt. Airy-Urbana Gazette (Frederick, Carroll counties and nearby): “It is a law whose time has come. What is government doing telling us whom to marry anyhow?”
- I’ve got a piece at Huffington Post taking a closer look at the much-criticized Mark Regnerus study alleging that children of parents who have had gay relationships do poorly in life.