Chick-fil-A Flap

Do you support action against Chick-Fil-A for what some call its anti-gay stance?

The growing debate about whether Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy overstepped the line when he openly spoke of his support for marriage in the biblical sense has once again divided the country on the issue of gay marriage.

Gay rights advocates are calling for a ban on Chick-fil-A and some government officials are backing them up. Two mayors, Rham Emanual in Chicago and Thomas Menino in Boston, have pledged to keep Chick-fil-A out of their cities. In a Time Magazine article, it is reported that there is no report or evidence that the restaurant chain discriminates against gay or lesbian customers or employees. The argument is strictly over Cathy’s statement in support of the biblical definition of the family unit.

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that,” he is quoted as saying in an interview.

A recent story in Online Athens quoted Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign that works for same-sex-marriage,  as saying that Chick-fil-A "has finally come clean" after cloaking its positions for years.

"While they may have been in neutral, kicking this fight into overdrive now allows fair-minded consumers to make up their own minds whether they want to support an openly discriminatory company," Griffin said in a statement. "As the country moves toward inclusion, Chick-fil-A has staked out a decidedly stuck-in-the-past mentality."

The same story quotes from a released statement from Chick-fil-A corporate, headquartered in Atlanta, in which it points out that the company has a history of applying biblically-based principles to its business, such as keeping its stores closed on Sundays.

"The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender," according to the statement.
"Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena," it said.

The Time Magazine article reports Cathy doesn’t mention gay marriage or openly claim to be against it, just reinforces his support of what he refers to as “the biblical definition of the family unit.” But gay rights advocates say you can't be for one without obviously being against the other. Time magazine points out, however,  that any action against the business by city officials in either Boston or Chicago is likely to violate the First Amendment right to free speech.

So do you think that this type of action against the restaurant chain is warranted because not matter what you call it, being in support of “biblical marriage” is just another way of saying you’re against gay marriage? Or is this a free speech issue and in particular nobody should face penalties by a government agency for speaking their mind?

This topic has been tackled by other Patch sites too: (Yes, there are a lot of us around).

Randy Davis August 04, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Those that use the Bible as a stick to beat others with on both sides seem to rarely have a good grasp of what's in it. For instance, how does Jesus driving the money changers out of the temple in Matthew 21:12 fit in with the loving picture being painted here?
Gary Fox August 04, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Hope the good people over @ Kraft Foods are paying attention.
Jeffrey Allen August 06, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I've noticed that this, as in most internet commentary, the comments tend to reflect more on the the person making them than it ever does the person it is directed towards. SO, in the end, there's a lot of angry back-n-forth that can be construed as "hate" from one side or the other. I don't think anyone involved really hates anyone else involved, it just seems like intolerance of other views is rampant...on either side of this. This thread is a tiny slice of the national "conversation"...I think there's an actual conversation happening, but it's not in forums such as this, where people just yell generalities back and forth, not really listening to the other side except to find something in the wording to twist around to sound stupid. What's the point? That doesn't get us anywhere. Take a moment, stop beating your own ideas into the other side and try...just try...to understand where those other people are coming from.
Grant August 06, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Randy , Are you suggesting James Dobson and his "Focus on the Family" folks arent vehemently anti gay? Seems like you owe yourself some more research
Athens Mama August 09, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Dan Cathy's organization's funding.... http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201207020001


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