Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Bringing Christine Back to the 1980's

The main reason I am not a customer of the Chick-Fil-A fast food franchise is that the food is not kosher.  Nevertheless, I support the enterprise rights of Chick-Fil-A as I do any other legitimate business.

But recently, a controversy has developed.  It seems that Chick-Fil-A's President, Dan Cathy, has made public statements against same-gender marriage, and made disbursements from his personal fortune towards the expression of his sentiments.  [Quite frankly, though I personally agree with his sentiments, the issue is not of sufficient priority for me to be as vocal or as financially munificent in the expression of such personal views.]

There is but a single Chick-Fil-A franchise business in New York City, a concession at New York University's food court.

So Christine Quinn, the New York City Council Speaker, wrote a letter to John Sexton, the President of NYU.  Ms. Quinn stated in her letter that "I write as the Speaker of the NYC Council" and "Let me be clear ‐‐ I do not want establishments in my city that hold such discriminatory views."  The letter, which was written on official New York City stationery, further stated, " I urge you to sever your relationship with the ChickfilA establishment that exists on your campus."  It is a matter of public record, and of unabashed public statements by Ms. Quinn, that she herself is party to a duly solemnized same gender "marriage" relationship.

Firstly, it must be noted that there is no evidence that Chick-Fil-A discriminates against employees or customers based upon sexual preferences.  Moreover, it must be remembered that the Chick-Fil-A establishment at NYU, like most if not all other Chick-Fil-A establishments, is a franchise.  This means that it is independently owned and operated by some entrepreneur or group of entrepreneur who has invested their own money in the business, and pays hefty fees to Chick-Fil-A for the use of its name and logo.

Well now, it seems that Christine is backpedalling.  Notwithstanding the official letterhead, and the rank-pulling statements in the letter, she now says, through a spokesperson, that she was expressing her personal views as a concerned citizen, and that Chick-Fil-A has the same right to do business in New York City as any other law-abiding entrepreneur.

Even the New York Times carried a piece critical of Quinn.

I note that 42 U.S.C. § 1981 protects contract rights from "impairment under color of State law," and that 42 U.S.C. § 1983 gives those whose rights are so impaired the right to sue those persons responsible.  These, and other provisions of the Civil Rights Act, would be powerful artillery for any lawyer taking up the case to sue Christine Quinn.

My question:  Did Christine do her turnabout after coming to her senses on her own, or did she receive some lawyer letters from Chick-Fil-A's retained counsel?


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