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Mayor deserves thanks for standing up to incendiary views of food chain’s president

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy stirred controversy by stating his opposition to same-sex marriage. Mayor Thomas Menino responded by opposing the opening of one of the chain’s restaurants in Boston.MIKE STEWART/ASSOCIATED PRESS

We disagree with the Boston Globe editorial board, which questioned Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s reaction to Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s incendiary remarks about marriage equality (“Boston shouldn’t block chain because of president’s views,” July 25).

Chick-fil-A has donated millions of dollars to organizations such as Family Research Council and Exodus International, which work to promote discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and to create a hostile climate in which homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia can thrive. These hateful actions cause real harm to millions of individuals and families across this country, and are one of the reasons that LGBT people — even here in Massachusetts — face higher rates of youth suicide attempts, youth homelessness, HIV infection rates, stress, and poor health just because of who they are.

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This is not just about policies; it’s about people. For using his public position to ensure and forcefully point out the obvious — that Boston strives to be a wonderfully welcoming and affirming city for LGBT people — Menino deserves our thanks. No doubt, his leadership has improved and even saved lives.

Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A’s Cathy is also learning a lesson in the obvious: It does not pay to discriminate.

Kara S. Suffredini
Executive director
MassEquality
Boston