I'm not about to defend the actions of Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy. He is a backward, Southern hick holding on to the superstitious beliefs imposed upon him by his backward, Southern hick parents, who truly thinks that God wants him to keep LGBT people from having equal rights. But the Constitution guarantees him the right to believe whatever he wants to, when it comes to religion. So if he wants to take the money his privately held corporation makes from franchising fees and use it to promote the values in which he believes (no matter how archaic and unevolved they may be), it is his right as an American citizen to do so. It might be different if Chick-Fil-A was a publicly held company; the shareholders would then have a say in what Cathy does. But it's still privately owned and as such, there isn't much anyone can do to make him stop giving money to hate groups - just as there is nothing Cathy can do to stop me from giving money to pro-LGBT groups. If you don't like what he does with his money (like myself and millions of others), then don't buy Chick-Fil-A's food.
"But Uncle P, each Chick-Fil-A is owned by independent franchisers, many of whom support LGBT rights and causes" (something I've heard from plenty of people, including a few at my usually very liberal Day Job). That may be true, but the money they pay in franchise fees goes to the Cathy family, which donated over $1.7M to anti-LGBT rights groups last year. Those people could buy franchises of any number of other businesses, but they have chosen to be a part of a company whose President openly supports hatred. They do not get a pass.
Cathy says that his company's philosophy is based on "Christian values." You know - Love and Compassion. What he really should say is that their philosophy is based on "Old Testament values" - like selling your daughters into slavery, treating shellfish as an abomination and stoning to death those who "sin." Hardly "Christian" values. So my personal challenge to Mr. Cathy (indeed, anyone who uses Christianity as an excuse to promote intolerance) is this: Find me a New Testament passage in which Christ mentions homosexuality or marriage (and no, the performing of a marriage is not commenting on it). Find me a quote from Jesus that says "Homosexuals are evil." Find me a quote that says "Hate thy neighbor." You won't, because they simply don't exist.
As for the cities of Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia making official proclamations barring Chick-Fil-A from opening franchises, I have to disagree. Government has no right to deny a business the opportunity to operate (unless they are doing something illegal). Chick-Fil-A should be allowed to operate wherever and however they like, just as consumers have the right to boycott Chick-Fil-A for their hateful, harmful, immoral and decidedly un-Christian practices. Personally, no matter how damned delicious I find their food, I will never spend so much as one pink dime of my money at Chick-Fil-A again, and hope that you won't, either.
My friend Bill M (who happens to be straight), has posted some of his thoughts on gay marriage on his blog. I encourage you to check it out. He also recently posted the following on Facebook:
"I don't think gay marriage opposers get how things work. If your religion says you can't watch Doctor Who on Sunday, that doesn't mean you try to outlaw watching Doctor Who on Sunday! It means that YOU cannot watch Doctor Who on Sunday. I can watch all the Doctor Who on Sunday that I damn well please! If your religion is against gay marriage, that doesn't mean you outlaw it. It means YOU cannot marry someone of the same gender. Basically, you don't force your beliefs on others."
If only everyone were as evolved as my friends (of course, that's a big part of why they're my friends in the first place).