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Our view: Batavia correct in supporting the opening of Chick-fil-A

Published: Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012 5:30 a.m. CST

The founder of the chicken sandwich chain Chick-fil-A created controversy last month when he indicated in an interview that he opposes same-sex marriage. That led to comments from both the mayors of Chicago and Boston – as well as a Chicago alderman – saying they would try to restrict the chain from reaching into their territories.

Putting religious and political beliefs aside, what the Chicago alderman plans to do likely violates the First Amendment and his veto probably wouldn’t have a chance of standing up if Chick-fil-A were to sue the city.

In the Tri-Cities, Batavia is yearning for the area’s first Chick-fil-A. All that’s left to accomplish before the eatery is given a building permit are procedural details, said Jerry Swanson, the community development director for Batavia.

“We support Chick-fil-A’s right to open,” Swanson said in an interview with Kane County Chronicle reporter Jonathan Bilyk earlier last week. “They are a property owner that has every right to get a permit.”

Apparently, the Chicago alderman, Joe Moreno, hasn’t revisited the Constitution in quite some time. By vetoing the eatery’s right to open a location in his Chicago ward, Moreno would be putting his personal beliefs ahead of the law.

The company has the right to open new locations as long as it follows the laws of the country, state and community in which it will reside.

And as far as we know, Chick-fil-A is not breaking any laws when it comes to its hiring or serving policies.

We applaud Batavia for welcoming the new business into the community and not getting involved in a First Amendment rights issue. If area residents really have a difficult time dealing with Chick-fil-A and its CEO’s opinions, they can vote with their wallets and take their business elsewhere.

Opinions don’t dictate ones legal right to open an establishment. Laws do.

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