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Can a Business Choose To Be "English-Only"?

Can a Business Choose To Be "English-Only"?

According to a new ruling by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, businesses are allowed to post signs insisting that customers speak English. They ruled that Geno's Steaks restaurant that placed a sign informing customers, "This is America. When ordering speak English," had done nothing to violate discrimination rules.


The sign inspired a larger debate about immigration and freedom of speech. The owner of the restaurant said his right to free speech had been violated by the complaint. The commission ruled that since the sign did not say that non-English speaking diners would be refused service, the restaurant owner was within his rights.

Geno's Steaks is one of Philly's most famous cheese steak shops — and apparently even if you're ordering in English, there's a protocol:

Be prepared and know how to order, because the service is fast and the line keeps moving. For example, on a cheese steak with onions specify which kind of cheese you'd like (Provolone, American or Cheese [sic] Whiz.)

I don't know, I'm a little skeptical that "Cheez Whiz" counts as an English word.

Do you agree with the commission's ruling? Is posting this sign within the rights of a business owner?

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