Wednesday, August 01, 2012


I don't have a dog in this fight. I have never eaten at Chick-fil-A and I don't care much for chicken sandwiches so I'm not likely to. Accordingly, their attitude on gay marriage is not going to affect my eating habits.

That said, too much is being made about the subject.

First, one of the founders was asked during an interview about his views on gay marriage. He gave his personal opinion and indicated that the other founders agreed. He came across as a bit smug but what he said was nearly identical to what Barack Obama said in 2008 - that he supported the traditional family.

Later Chick-fil-A clarified that this is their personal opinion and that it has no bearing on how they run their business. They stressed that all are welcome to their restaurants. Another wrinkle in the issue is that most new Chick-fil-A restaurants are franchises where the owners pay a licensing fee for the name but are only loosely associated with the main corporation.

That's a pretty weak position to base a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on but it has not stopped several prominent conservatives from proposing one. It also caused Henson's Muppet Workshop to cancel future joint projects.

Ok, freedom means that you can support or boycott anyone you want for any cause.

Then things got a little scary. The mayors of Boston and Chicago announced that Chick-fil-A is not welcome in their cities. There are all sorts of problems here. The biggest one is having powerful elected officials deciding what businesses are and are not welcome based on the ideology of the people running the company. A second problem is the selectiveness of their outrage. Both cities have prominent Muslims who are aggressively anti-gay, not just anti-gay marriage but outright anti-gay. Elected officials are supposed to represent all of the people, not pick and choose.

And what criteria is being used to judge? Is it ok to be anti-gay marriage if you are a Democrat or a Muslim but not if you are a self-identified Christian?

I don't see any reason to be helping or hindering a corporation based on the private beliefs of its owners. Both sides should back off.

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