Support voiced by mayors and other public officials across the country to initiate city-sponsored bans of the fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A was a thuggish abuse of power. It's an abdication of responsibility by a public servant to use such power to try to destroy a business because an owner expresses an opinion.
We're pleased to see the widespread opposition to calls by mayors and others who favored city-sponsored suppression of Chick-fil-A because its president, Dan Cathy, expressed his opposition to gay marriage in a media interview. We wonder if these mayors understand that their positions would, by association, justify another mayor trying to boycott a business because it supports gay marriage.
When it comes to speech, don't let government mix it with threats to a person's livelihood. It's that simple. We're pleased that some of the officials have backed away from their politically correct actions.
Having said that, Chick-fil-A's Cathy learned an important lesson about the power of social media. Whatever you say can rapidly gain traction and be commented on by far more people than you originally were talking to.
While we oppose mayors and other public servants from initiating boycotts, we have no problem with private efforts by groups to boycott businesses for various reasons, including a company president's views on gay marriage or other issues. There are private groups, both on the left and right, that frequently conduct boycotts,
There was once a time that a prominent individual could pop off in a media setting and not worry about the entire world hearing his thoughts, or mass-responding to them. Those days are long gone. Thinking before speaking is a not only a decorum tool -- it's a survival tool.