AUGUST 8, 2012
In Silicon Valley, PJI warns city council: Don't mess with Chick-fil-A
MOUTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Constitutional lawyers are warning a Silicon Valley city not to discriminate against restaurant chain Chick-fil-A because of its recent statement in support for traditional marriage.
Chick-fil-A has received both threats from big city politicians and overwhelming support from customers over the past two weeks because of its strong pro-marriage stance. Now, the issue is coming to a head in Silicon Valley, where the city of Mountain View is being asked to reconsider permits for the opening of a new Chick-fil-A. Less than a month ago, just before the nationwide controversy erupted, a zoning official in Mountain View granted a conditional use permit (CUP) for a new site. That decision has now been appealed to the Mountain View City Council by two different groups, at least one of which is pointing to the restaurant's traditional values as grounds for reconsideration.
The Pacific Justice Institute has battled cities in California for years over discriminatory zoning decisions. PJI is sending a legal opinion letter to the Mountain View City Council warning them against rescinding the CUP. PJI is also offering to represent Chick-fil-A in this and similar situations.
"We have seen the ugly face of discrimination in all too many zoning decisions against people of faith," noted Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute. "We have successfully represented many clients in these situations, and we are putting Mountain View on notice that they don't want to go down that path."
PJI will also be monitoring other cities for discrimination whose mayors and other politicians have denounced Chick-fil-A's religious values. Those cities include Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.