As mayors around the country — including Boston’s, Chicago’s and San Francisco’s — are backing efforts to keep the fast food chain out of their cities due to the company’s president, Dan Cathy, spending millions to push back against gay marriage, Mr. Bloomberg said it’s “a bad idea and it’s not going to happen” on John Gambling’s radio show this morning.
“They’re all friends but I disagree with them really strongly on this one,” Mr. Bloomberg said of his mayoral colleagues. “You can’t have a test for what the owners’ personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city. You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs before you issue a permit, that’s just not government’s job.”
Mr. Bloomberg went on to argue that blocking a business based on their political beliefs opens a potential slippery slope where liberal cities block conservative establishments and vice versa with conservative cities.
“Freedom of speech — everybody’s in favor of it as long as it’s what they want to hear,” he explained. “Well the only way that you have your freedom of speech is if you give other people freedom of speech. … This is just a bad idea and it’s not going to happen in New York City.”
The mayor didn’t weigh in on Chick-fil-A’s particular cuisine, however.
“Never had one,” he said of their sandwiches, maintaining that they would be welcome to open a business in the city with the right permits and inspections. “I didn’t even know about them until I read about them in the paper.”
He may have not been recently sampling the fast food in Greenwich Village.