Chick-fil-A’s controversial opinion
Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 18:08
By now, many people are aware of the controversial statement made by Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, in which he informed the Baptist Press that his corporation is opposed to gay marriage.
The statements quickly spread via news and social media outlets and boycotts and support for the company began almost immediately.
Opinions on this matter greatly vary between people of various religious backgrounds, political views and personal beliefs.
The controversy started about a month ago when the CEO was asked about his opinions on gay marriage in which he stated his opinions on supporting “traditional marriage” and opposing gay marriage.
The organization has long been known to be religious, even going so far as to be closed for business on Sundays.
Philosophy teacher Greg Whitlock had this to say about Cathys’ opinions, “He’s basing his opinions on biblical passages which to have impact have to be assumed to be true by the general public.” Whitlock continued, “he hasn’t given any reasonable chance for criticism of his opinions.”
The main issue with Dan Cathys’ statements is that he is the CEO of a corporation. It could be inferred that since he’s the CEO, he speaks for the business and that the rest of the company shares his views.
A few days later, the corporation itself sent out a notice saying that Cathy doesn’t speak for them but by then the damage was done.
“I would agree he has the right to free speech since it’s a human right.” Whitlock said. “But it becomes tricky when you’re the CEO of a corporation.”
Shelby Richardon, student and a member of the LGBT community had this to say about Cathy’s statements, “As much as I don’t agree with what he has to say I don’t think what said was necessarily hate speech.”
Richardson explained, “He has the right to his opinions as long as he keeps his restaurants safe for the LBGT employees.”
Opponents of Cathy’s statement claim that the problem with calling what Dan Cathy has said “just his opinion” or defending his right to freedom of speech is that this type of attitude hurts real people.
For the most part, opinions mostly can be considered benign in the long run. Some people are going to get angry about it, but overall it’s an opinion.
But a sentiment like this hurts people in the LGBT community who still haven’t been able to garner equal treatment and are still seen as “odd” by the general public.
Chick-fil-A, as a corporation, has also donated to hate groups and other anti-gay legislations.
According to Think Progress’ website, Chick-fil-A has given up to 5 million dollars to known hate groups since 2003.
For example, one of the corporations they have donated to according to the weblog, The Daily Kos, is “The Family Research Council.” This group donated money in 2010 to members of Congress to convince them not to condemn a Ugandan law in which it is legal to kill publicly gay people.
Entertainment technology major Brittany Helfrich actually took action of her own at a local Chick-Fil-A.
She wrote an impromptu song and played it at the location until security was called to escorted her off the premise. She has her own opinions on the statements and actions of Chick-fil-A.
“It was completely ridiculous what they said,” she said. “Freedom of religion doesn’t mean the rest of us have to tolerate your hate speech.”
“I thought it was ironic that I was kicked out of the store for my song and Cathy and Chick-fil-A hide behind free speech for defense from their statements,” she continued.
Members of the LGBT community are just like the rest of us and deserve the same rights and privileges which include not only marriage, but being treated like human beings. As long as Chick-fil-A holds their controversial views there will always be a boycott, which is the beauty of freedom of speech.
For more information on the groups Chick-fil-A has funded you can go to http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/07/26/589841/memo-to-the-media-and-the-ambivalent-chick-fil-a-condemns-discriminates-and-campaigns-against-lgbt-people/, and http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/01/1115751/-What-really-makes-the-gays-mad-about-Chick-fil-A, For the full quotes and back story on what Cathy said you can visit http://www.snopes.com/politics/sexuality/chickfila.asp, which also provides further sources and information not covered in this article.