Some people are boycotting the food chain Chick-fil-A in its attempt to come to Boston because Chick-fil-A has given money to organizations opposing gay marriage and its ownership has publicly affirmed its support for “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
In a story about Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s position on this topic, the Boston Herald reports: “‘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.”
I must be missing something, since it sure looks to me as if Mayor Menino is contradicting himself in those comments. Boston is “an open city,” “at the forefront of inclusion,” and will not tolerate discrimination—and yet at the same time will not be open to, include, or tolerate Chick-fil-A?
Completely aside from the issue of gay marriage itself, is it not self-contradictory to claim, on the one hand, that one is inclusive and nondiscriminatory, and yet, on the other hand, that one is excluding organizations with views different from one’s own? It would seem that Chick-fil-A is attempting to exercise exactly the same freedom to associate (or dissociate) that Mayor Menino is claiming on his own behalf: Both of them wish not to associate with people with whom they disagree. The only difference is that Chick-fil-A is not claiming to be open, inclusive, and tolerant, while Mayor Menino—seemingly inconsistently—is.
Or am I missing something?