When Boston Mayor Thomas Menino came out against Chick-Fil-A after its CEO expressed opposition to gay marriage, numerous grassroots campaigns throughout the nation followed suit encouraging people to take their business elsewhere. If your Facebook is anything like mine, it’s probably full of statuses standing with, or against, the Boston Mayor.
What puzzles me is far-right responses to this wave of opposition against Chick-Fil-A. While I would expect them to stand with the Christian-oriented chain, I have trouble buying their arguments against the boycott. Sean Hannity framed this as another example of “The Left” not “tolerating” the “values and opinions” of those who stand opposed to liberal ideals. Other Fox News commentators have presented this as an “overreach” of the government, depicting it almost as persecution against those who support traditional marriage.
Why is it not acceptable for liberals (and those who support Gay equality who don’t identify as liberal) to boycott Chick-Fil-A? Conservative cities have effectively inhibited the construction of Mosques all across the US since 9/11. The Christian Base of the Republican Party – particularly Fundamentalists – has long avoided “secular” and “non-Christian” stores and businesses, sometimes even going so far as to found a society-within-a-society to avoid the “liberal” modern world. When a business or institution does not align with conservative values, the Right uses either government or public opinion to either prevent that institution from existing within a conservative community or prevent that institution form being successful. But when the left attempts to do the same, its “government overreach.”
I do not think any level of government has the right to prohibit businesses from expanding into new areas regardless of how political they are. But for the far right to whine endlessly about the left following the conservative’s playbook is nothing but blatant hypocrisy.