Sandwiched in

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!



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12 responses to “Sandwiched in

  1. Pingback: In the news, July 29 | Maryland for All Families

  2. m subroto

    Why is this is an issue at all? Does this need to be rehashed constantly?

  3. Koblog

    Time to play the “Which Party?” game when identifying exactly who is exercising this liberal fascism,

  4. Pingback: July 30 roundup - Overlawyered

  5. Pingback: GayPatriot » Emerging “civil libertarian” consensus on Chick-Fil-A

  6. MassJim

    “Maryland elected officials appear to have stayed away from the issue. Good for them.” is a very sad comment when it comes to the issue of freedom of speech and association. The elected officials of Maryland as well as every other jurisdiction should be loudly standing up for their citizens and condemning the bufoonish thuggery of of Mayors Menino and Emanuel. By their silence on this matter, all elected officials further beclown themselves.

  7. richard40

    Glenn Reynolds supports gay marriage because he is a libertarian conservative, rather than a mainstream one, as are a lot of Tea Party conservatives. Dems either miss this, or willingly ignore it, when they attack the Tea Party as extreme conservatives, when on social issues they are pretty moderate.

  8. Walter

    >MassJim I agree that if Maryland officials say anything at all, they should stand up for freedom of political belief. But I don’t agree that they’re obliged to wade into a controversy like this. Politicians in cities far from Maryland do bad, bad things regularly — when it comes to Chicago, that would mean “every day” — and if Maryland officials felt morally obliged to criticize them each time, they would have little time left with which to misgovern us.

  9. Pingback: Welcome RedMaryland “The Broadside” Listeners | Maryland for All Families

  10. Richard40, The Tea Party is mischaracterized by those on both the left and the right. Many members are indeed libertarian or more socially tolerant than those in the Religious Right, for example, and polls back that up. Many on the right refuse to acknowledge this division as well, since it doesn’t fit with their narrative that support for marriage equality is a left wing plot against American values.

  11. Pingback: In the news, August 4 | Maryland for All Families

  12. Pingback: A culture war that allows no concessions - Overlawyered

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