Chick-Fil-A has been a big topic on social media this week, with everyone from the mayors of Chicago, San Francisco and Boston to Mike Huckabee and even Antoine Dodson (hide your kids, hide your wife) weighing in on whether eating at Chick-Fil-A is a totally immoral act… or a totally moral act.
The Chick-Fil-A debate seems to hinge largely on a misconception — that angry pro-gay folks are trying to impinge on Chick-Fil-A’s constitutional right to free speech under the constitution, or that everyone is trying to force America to accept a sinful gay lifestyle of which many Americans may not approve.
On the other side, many people feel that dining at Chick-Fil-A doesn’t reflect their values, and that any chain that openly espouses anti-gay beliefs isn’t worthy of their support. But both sides are kind of glossing over a very important aspect of the debate — profit and donations.
When someone complains that those who wish to not eat at Chick-Fil-A are trying to “force” a viewpoint on others, it neglects to mention a key portion of the Chick-Fil-A debate — that the company not only believes that gay people shouldn’t get married, but that it donates a significant chunk of change to companies that, in various ways, work to thwart gay marriage legalization. ($2 million in 2010 alone, and one can only assume the amount has stayed the same or grown.)
CEO of Chick-Fil-Asaid I believe in the biblical definition of marriage. Now there is a protest 2 close him down. We can’t let it happen
— Bishop Paul Morton (@BishopPMorton) July 29, 2012
Mayor Gray opposes any expanded presence for Chick-fil-A in DC, refers to the company’s product as ‘hate chicken.’ wj.la/PO2op3
— ABC7News (@ABC7News) July 30, 2012
Okay, still not so bad? Chick-Fil-A also donates to groups that promote and pay for what’s known as “conversion therapy.” Conversion therapy is a discredited and harmful practice in which gay people, usually impressionable teens, are put in treatment to cure their gayness. Not only is the treatment proven to be ineffective, but it is also linked with depression and suicide in gay people exposed to it. It may not seem to be a big deal if you’re straight, but conversion therapy and related practices are traumatic for the people who undergo it — many of whom don’t even have a choice, because they are minor children.
A stunning piece. We are not arguing about chicken. “I am your coworker, your frat brother, your cousin, your neighbor” huffingtonpost.com/conor-gaughan/…
— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) July 29, 2012
Chick-fil-A would rather lose your business than lie about their ideals. It’s no sweat off their back, dumbasses.
— Georgia Betch (@georgiabtchh) July 29, 2012
So by all means, continue eating at Chick-Fil-A. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, and as Americans, we have a tradition of speaking freely. But when you look at why many people choose not to spend money at Chick-Fil-A, be honest about the reasons why — it generally has nothing to do with controlling others, and everything to do with sparing gay people pain and suffering brought about by restricting gay rights at best, or at worst, sending them to camps to be re-educated.
Which side of the Chick-Fil-A controversy are you on?