Chick-fil-a – The Pros and Cons of Business Fairness

People are pretty worked up about Chick-fil-a’s president Dan Cathy’s stance on marriage. He was recently asked about his support of traditional marriage being between a man and a woman in an interview for the Baptist Press. He was quoted:

“Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

This of course turned into a political crapstorm. Both sides of the fence jumped on these comments and reacted strongly. Many people screamed boycott, the Henson Company pulled their Muppet toys from Chick-fil-a children’s meals. The mayor of Boston went so far as to write a letter to the company informing them they aren’t welcome in his city. Other cities like Chicago and San Francisco followed in line, telling them to take their business elsewhere.

Full disclosure: I’m very socially progressive and it blows my mind people still to this day can’t get over hatred for others that may not share the same point of view, lifestyle or religion as themselves. I personally think anyone should be able to marry anyone if they love each other, and nothing else should be brought into it. If Adam and Eve are in love and can get some sweet tax breaks when they tie the knot, then Adam and Steve should be able to get those same breaks -it’s the only fair thing to do.

Saying that, it blows my mind these government officials are getting involved and saying things like this publicly. It’s absolutely not fair to tell privately run businesses that have differing values than yourself they aren’t welcome in your city. As much as I think open mindedness and equality is needed, telling any retail outlet that don’t match your personal values they aren’t welcome could be a double edged sword when it comes to the basic principle of American fairness. America was created for many reasons, one of them giving everyone a fair shot at building a life or business, without prejudice. Opening this can of worms in the name of equality could potentially make things worse, with one possible outcome being being large scale discrimination down the road. Imagine a entire city telling people of any differing religion or sexual preference “your kind isn’t welcome here” – because that’s exactly what happened to Chick-fil-a.

Other people backed Cathy’s stance on traditional marriage and applauded his strong ties to his faith. They announced the “Click-fil-a Appreciation Day” on Aug 1st. People came out in droves and waited for hours in line. Supporters made their wallets talk instead of mouths. Politicians and people alike churned out pictures showing their support and plastered them all over the internet. It broke sales records within the company and one store even had to close early in Georgia due to running out of chicken. Chick-fil-a also got an insane amount of free press throughout this whole ordeal – most media outlets have been covering this story since it broke in a multitude of ways. As much as Chick-fil-a’s personal values goes against my point of view, kudos to them and their supporters for looking unfairness in the face and fighting back.

4 thoughts on “Chick-fil-a – The Pros and Cons of Business Fairness”

  1. Oof. Condemning discrimination is NOT the same as discriminating. It’s not their religious beliefs that anybody has a problem with. It’s their funneling money to support a program of systematically DENYING rights to others based on no other reason than their sexual orientation. This really does go to the heart of what America stands for–liberty and freedom for ALL. So if the mayor of Boston wants to let people know that Chick-fil-a can shove off, well, God bless him. I obviously wouldn’t go so far as to prescribe improprieties like denying or revoking anybody’s business license, unfairly scheduling health inspections, etc. But there is NO problem with a sternly worded letter condemning the practice of discrimination, legal or otherwise.

    1. I completely agree with Boston’s mayor feelings, but I don’t think he should have ever written that letter on his office letterhead. Up to this point Chick-fil-a hasn’t done anything legally wrong or discriminating in their work places (they hire plenty of minorities, and have a track record of not being nightmare employers as a whole). If Cathy wants to make some statements that reflect his personal values on his own time, then he’s got that right – As does Menino.

      If Menino’s letter was about discrimination as a whole not welcome in Massachusetts then that letter should also have addressed to: Wal-mart, Exxon, Target, Salvation Army, A-1 Storage and the various other businesses that back and support these same stances. To me his letter felt like it was only for publicity and sent a singled out message to one of the many companies that have a similar stance.

      1. Fair enough. You’re right in that we should advocate that our municipalities all send such letters, and not just to Chick-fil-a but to all the companies that support systemic discrimination. Hopefully, we’ll all pay a little more attention to what large corporations are doing with their enormous sums of money.

        The main point I wanted to make in response to the article was simply that taking a stance against those who actively promote or practice discrimination is NOT wrongful discrimination.

  2. They are following God’s words according to the bible how do you twist Gods words if he is against something to make it correct for yourself in the bible it does not approve this behavior. (Chick-fil-A) They consider themselves Christians that are following God’s way that’s it. I clearly understand that and I am not racist. I feel they can be with whoever they want to be with however I don’t agree with the behavior. If God say’s its wrong I’m with God but I don’t hate or look down on them. I know God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of the homosexual behavior. The people and the city you have to take that up with God it’s in the Quran and Bible. .Chick-Fil-A follows a strict Christian Culture i don’t feel they are trying to be racist if tat is the case Allah, God, Jehovah or what ever you call the Most High is rasist.

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