- Posted August 2, 2012 by
Team iReport featured this story
This iReport is part of an assignment:
I'm Gay and I support Chick-fil-A
- hhanks, CNN iReport producer
My name is Matt. I'm approaching 20 years old. I am a liberal and a supporter of Barack Obama in 2012. What's more is that I am gay and I support Chick-Fil-A.
Within the last two weeks the fast food chain has undergone renewed controversy for it's stance on same sex marriage. I've noted that many liberals frame the issue as Chick-Fil-A being a organization that supports anti-gay hate groups and the conservatives frame it as liberals and gays attacking a organizations' right to freedom of speech merely because the company doesn't share the same beliefs. In a sense both parties are wrong. Here's what happened: Dan Cathy, the CEO of Chick-Fil-A recently said his organization was "guilty as charged" in that they support the biblical definition of a marriage, between a man and a woman. This sparked many people to come out and call for the boycott of Chick-Fil-A. Numerous mayors of prominent cities in America announced that Chick-Fil-A was no longer allowed in their city because they didn't share their beliefs. Former Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee proclaimed August 1st a day of appreciation for the fast food chain.
The first issue to address is the First Amendment rights. Everyone these days is a constitutional scholar so I think it goes without saying that our constitution guarantee's us the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion in that section. The issue becomes, where do you draw the limits on the two. It is my strong belief that corporations are not people and thereby they do not have entitlements under the regular Constitution of the United States unless it specifically says this applies to businesses (which it doesn't). However, those running the corporations (like Dan Cathy CEO of Chick-Fil-A) have a right to express their beliefs. It has always been an area that causes me to respect Chick-Fil-A when they close on Sundays for the only purpose of retaining personal convictions over profit motives. Mr. Cathy has been unfairly attacked for his statement that he doesn't support same-sex marriage. As a gay man I say let him not support gays. When the gay community and gay activist groups push on anti-gay people and organizations to change their minds and opinions via bullying or forced involvement I fear it would make whatever accomplishments taste cheap like a greasy coin.Ultimately the acceptance of the gay community and the right of gays to marry will not be achieved through violent means, physical and verbal, but through peaceful and honest negotiations.
The term "marriage" holds a significant value to most people and is seen as sacred based on it's religious usage. The bible often refers to marriage as between a man and a woman. I think it would be fair to term the "marriage" between a man and a man or a woman and a woman as something different but also to ensure that they receive the same responsibilities and benefits. Sometimes we have to accept small gains so that ultimately larger ones can be made. The old argument of "If we allow gays to marry then there will be sex between people and animals and people will marry their dogs" has been exhausted and proven false.
Chick-Fil-A has a right to do business in any city they want. It is the right of the people of that city to boycott the company if they don't believe in it's practices. For example I don't agree with Wal-Mart's treatment of it's employees so I don't shop there, the same should be applied to Chick-Fil-A if people have a problem with them. I would ask this of my fellow gays, How would you feel if Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona, a well known Republican and Christian, told all gay business owners and workers that they could not get a job in the state because their beliefs did not match the beliefs of the state? We would call it unfair and a violation of our civil rights. Why then is it okay for a mayor to tell a company they cannot open business in the city simply because our beliefs differ?
No. I'm a gay man. I love Chick-Fil-A as a place to get good tasting food. I do not support their beliefs and disagree with their funding of groups that are well known to be anti-gay activists. Personally they have never treated me any different as a gay man and I will continue to do business with them so long as that holds true.