Chick-Fil-A’s CEO made quite a splash when he declared his views on marriage to a religious publication. Well in this day and age of instantaneous communication, word about his individual views got out. It started a firestorm of criticism from gay activists. But I don’t think they ever expected the resulting backlash. What was supposed to be a put down and boycott of a company turned into something else completely. The argument transformed from a debate about gay marriage to a stand on the First Amendment — the Amendment that gave us our freedom of speech.
The tide really turned when several mayors, who incidentally need the jobs brought in by Chick-Fil-A, decided that they would refuse to allow the company in. This governmental interference was no longer seen as helping the cause but instead brought out the defenders of the First Amendment. It is not up to the government to censor companies based on their beliefs regardless of whether or not they disagree.
But the real problem for these mayors is forbidding a legitimate company to come in and do business in their town. This is a company that provides paying jobs to communities that so desperately need them. Yes, they are low-paying, fast food jobs. But they are still needed for teenagers who are just starting out on their own, for college kids who have massive school loans, and for moms and dads trying to make ends meet every month. Yes, beliefs are important but so is putting food on the table, keeping the lights on and making sure the rent is paid every month. These mayors who are playing politics are putting their individual beliefs before the needs of the community. There is something very wrong with those cities’ mayors who are so blinded that they can’t see the very real problems in front them.
There was a counter protest with a kiss-in stage in arranged by some activists. The protests weren’t that numerous, even though they did get some press. Even though I get the point of the act, it was kind of a strange protest since you normally don’t see people kissing in fast food restaurants regardless of who they are connected to. Most fast food restaurants are geared more for families.
So far, the only thing the protests have really done is to help Chick-Fil-A’s bottom line. Freedom of speech is still a sacred right in this country and it is great to see people still defending that right regardless of their individual beliefs. That’s one of the great things about America. We are still willing to defend our right to speak out despite our own personal beliefs.