Among all the unfortunate actions undertaken by Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, perhaps none is more egregious than his ridiculous and offensive suggestion that Chick-fil-A would not be welcome in the city of Pittsburgh because some of its leaders oppose gay marriage, choosing instead to promote what they consider to be the traditional family.
I am not in Chick-fil-A's camp on this issue. I believe that gay men and women should enjoy the rights afforded heterosexuals and that civil unions should be the law of the land, but I will be darned if I would ever use any official power I had to yank the welcome mat away from a successful business on the basis of its religious or moral beliefs.
Any individual who finds Chick-fil-A's political posture to be offensive is free not to dine there. Any mayor, and particularly this mayor, however, has no right to be our moral arbiter, determining which businesses are welcome and which are not. How would Mayor Ravenstahl react if conservative elected officials sought to ban liberal Ben & Jerry's ice cream from entering their locality? He would be outraged. He cannot have it both ways.
I wonder if Mayor Ravenstahl would have been elected had he made it known that he does not value or understand the provisions of the First Amendment. Judging by the actions of the electorate in the city of Pittsburgh, which has elected anyone with a "D" after his or her name since the 1930s, it would probably have made no difference.
It is another sad day for the rudderless city of Pittsburgh.
OREN M. SPIEGLER
Upper St. Clair