I have been pondering this story from it's inception....Since it doesn't really affect me directly I went to my friend M. To discuss this...and we found ourselves in agreement. She agreed to write a post for my blog regarding the issue....So here goes....
Citizens in Mountain View, California have filed a zoning challenge to keep Chick-Fil-A from building a restaurant in their town because the head honcho of the company does not support gay marriage. While the zoning challenge is not likely to be upheld, the people responsible for said challenge claim they did so to make a point; they wanted to protect their town from a "bunch of bigots."
This company does not discriminate from hiring gay workers, they don't refuse to serve gay customers. The head of the company simply believes that marriage should be defined as being between a man and a woman. This is his personal opinion, it's not some kind of official decree. Yes, it's a family-owned company and the majority of his family agrees with his stance on this issue. The company did put out the following statement:
Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena...[we] treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.
As a lesbian, I do not understand why the LGBT community is so up-in-arms over this. He said nothing derogatory or hateful about us. He's not preaching our eternal damnation or suggesting that we are in some way detracting from the morality of the world. He defined a single word based on his belief system. To be honest, I actually applaud him for having the integrity to give his honest answer to a direct question.
Frankly, this also felt very much like a set up to grab headlines. Why just ask Mr. Cathy for his opinion? Why not Wendy Thomas, the head of McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, etc.? I'm pretty sure I can guess what Colonel Sander's position would've been back in the day, yet there's no call to boycott KFC. I'll bet that none of these other executives will give an honest answer one way or the other to this question after this fiasco. This was an unfair, underhanded ploy, I think, to garner attention to this issue.
The thing is, I believe we still have free speech in this country. We are all for having this right when we agree with what people say. However, when someone presents an opinion that dissents from our own, we suddenly want them to shut up and drop off the face of the earth. We berate them and name-call and unfriend them on Facebook or whatever. What ever happened to listening to someone's opinion, stating your own, and being able to agree to disagree? Why is everything suddenly an all or nothing proposition?
This boycotting of Chick-Fil-A reminds me of when I was a kid and playing football on the playground. Of course, as kids do, there'd be a disagreement of some sort amongst the kids playing, so the kid who brought the ball would have a fit, grab the ball, and go home. This boycott screams the same immature, knee-jerk reaction to me. Moreover, I think it hurt our position more than it helped. The LGBT boycott has led to a backlash among conservative politicians (Mike Huckabee, for one) who are calling for conservatives to rush off and eat at Chick-Fil-A in support of the president's position. We had a chance to take the high road and we blew it.
Don't get me wrong, I do not agree with Dan Cathy's position on this issue. I am a firm believer that all Americans should have the same rights and privileges under the law—that there should not be special rules that give or remove rights for different segments of the population. I simply believe that condemning a man and raising an uproar to boycott a company because someone voiced a rather benign opinion under suspicious circumstances is ridiculous.