Homophobia Alive and Well at Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day

This is the same in principle as an "appreciation day" for a company whose owner thought women should be required to wear head scarves, or that businesses should have separate entrances for white customers. As Andy Borowitz observed: "Customers across the nation who turned out for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day were in for a surprise, as the chicken restaurant chose today to launch a new product, Hate Sauce." - promoted by Bob_Neer

The response to Mike Huckabee’s Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day puts the lie to blithe assumptions that homophobia is a thing of the past. Of course not everyone who went out of their way to eat fast food yesterday is anti-gay. Even the liberal Boston Globe editorialized in favor of Chick-Fil-A’s unassailable right to conduct its business without discrimination on the basis of political belief. But the prominent identification of the fast food chain with opposition to the “gay agenda” gave haters an opportunity to voice authentic emotions. The Huffington Post tells of a gay Chick-Fil-A employee in Colorado pained by customers citing the chain’s opposition to LGBT equality as the reason for their patronage: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/01/chick-fil-a-anti-gay-controversy-employees-speak-out_n_1729968.html Even more disturbing is this collection of the top 50 homophobic tweets that went out yesterday, some advocating hate violence: http://storify.com/homophobes/top-50-homophobic-chick-fil-a-tweets

Free speech has never been in question–robust judicial protections of the First Amendment assure that. The issue is a major corporation launching a new crusade in the culture wars and the rippling effects it will have in a country where haters need little encouragement to act out.  Hate speech is constitutionally protected but a reason for grave concern all the same.


85 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. First Amendment alive and well, so far

    Glad to read many gay employees have had positive experience working at Chic-Fil-A, according to your link.

    The big question is should mayors like Menino be allowed to abuse the powers of his office to deter CFA from opening a store because the CEO has a difference of opinion on a political/human rights issue? How about if the tables were turned, and a gay owner of a business who believed in gay marriage, etc, wanted to open a store in Texas. How would you feel if Rick Perry quoted Menino, saying this guys beliefs are not Texas values and don’t belong here. Rightfully, you would be up in arms, as you should with CFA.

    Seems like many only believe in free speech only if the other person agrees with you. Nobody likes a bully, and Menino and Emanuel of Chicago acted like ones. If I was at the Burlington Mall, I would have eaten at CFA, not because I hate gays( I support gay marriage), but I support the First Amendment, for everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you don’t like the CEO, then go to KFC.

    • Lies, all lies

      Menino said nothing about preventing them from getting permits and in fact has said the OPPOSITE.

      PS – Free speech goes both ways, my friend. You can’t say that it’s fine for CFA’s CEO to hate on the gays and then restrict Menino from saying that sort of attitude is not welcome in Boston. He’s allowed.

      And no, mayors should not have the power to unilaterally block businesses from coming in – though that power does lie with the zoning laws (which can be changed) and the boards that do the permitting. But that’s not what Menino is doing. I don’t defend Rahm Emanuel for stating he’d go farther, but then again, I’ve always hated Rahm.

      • Menino has used his powers to harass a restaurant

        I can’t believe I am repeating myself. Don’t you recall the pizza place across from the Garden in 2004? The owner put out a Bush/Cheney sign during the Kerry/Edwards convention, and all of sudden, City Inspectors were at the restaurant looking for things to fine the guy and close him down for a while. So don’t tell me Menino wasn’t sending a warning shot to CFA.

        • First

          I’d like proof the two were related. If I had a nickel for every time in Lowell that something that looked “scandalous” wasn’t what it seemed (the Sun loves to make shit up connecting our current City Manager to bad things, because the Sun’s editor is a douchebag…facts be damned).

          Just you stating they got inspected, or the Herald making accusations about it, isn’t proof. Of course, I’m not saying it couldn’t have happened that way. But I’m saying it may well not have.

          PS – they should also have been able to pass those inspections. The fact they did NOT is their own damn fault. So they had unexpected inspections. BFD. Businesses get inspected all the time and DON’T get closed down for violations they don’t have. The whole POINT of inspections is to surprise the business in the middle of DOING business to be sure they are following health codes. If you can’t pass a health code at a random check, too effing bad.

  2. Rick Perry told gay veterans to leave Texas

    which was offensive but not a plausible threat. http://www.houstongayweb.com/Texas-Governor-Rick-Perry.htm Mike Huckabee was silent about the First Amendment that time. My concern is that Chick-Fil-A has opened the door to hate speech and probably hate violence–the former protected by the First Amendment even though there is a linkage to the latter. Our reverence for free expression is such that we tolerate advocacy of violence, which I agree with. But hatred exists, is insidious, and needs to be called out–something you fail to do, DanfromWaltham.

    • It is people like you railing against the CEO's rights

      That is bringing out some of the crazies, which by the way, every side has. The company statement on how they treat every customer equally, even firing an employee for saying a gay slur ( I believe I read that in the link, so many positive stories from gay employees there), is all you should be concerned about. But it gets to a point with that you want the doors closed because he holds a religious belief regarding marriage. That is where you lose people like me, and most Americans. That is what you fail to see, my friend. I never heard of this place until a few weeks ago.

      Rick Perry should be shunned if he said that. So answer my question, should Perry tell a gay owner who donates to gay causes to get out of Dodge threaten to harass him with the permitting process?

      • Sorry

        Asshole CEO’s do NOT have the right to my hard earned dollar. They can say what they want, but they do NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to be like for it, to avoid criticism, OR to be supported in what they say. This is something most of the Republican party cannot figure out, especially moron Sarah Palin.

        End of story. You are, as usual, so far away from reality that I doubt you could see it from your house like Sarah can see Russia.

        PS – in many states it IS legal to fire, harass, or otherwise negatively affect the employment or lives of gay people.

        • Your hard earned money????????

          Excuse me, is he stealing from you? If you go to his restaurant, the you are willing to give him your money for a service being provided.

          If you want to make a big deal over his beliefs and donations, then feel free. But when you get A-Holes, who are elected to protect everyone’s rights to the First Amendment, to threaten a legit business, then expect a boomerang effect that you may not like.

          • Hmm

            But when you get A-Holes, who are elected to protect everyone’s rights to the First Amendment, to threaten a legit business, then expect a boomerang effect that you may not like.

            Where were you when Perry, Trump and other right wing blowhard politicians denied those rights to Muslim Americans in Manhattan? Or Chattanooga? Or as recently as two weeks ago when a high ranking Muslim American foreign service officer was excoriated on the floor of Congress?

        • Why oh why are we responding to Dan's

          remarkably uninteresting opinions?

          • Because

            he’s an internet version of catnip, that’s why. I appreciate Lynne’s (and others’) attempts to counter his idiocy, but, in the end, there comes a point where one simply has to say, “Why bother? He’s a dolt.”

        • Correct Lynne

          I think Dan from Waltham, and the other “I dont hate gays but I support free speech” folks have had that line of argument precisely because it seemed the CEO got demonized for voicing his personal religious views, and I am on record defending him against that demonization. That said, I have not eaten there since this controversy started, and I was a frequent customer at the Chicago location (the owners apparently donate to LGBT charities, so I do not feel too guilty but some of their profits will go up the pipeline) precisely because I am made uncomfortable with the charities, particularly Exodus International, that he donates to.

          And to have known homophobes like Huckabee and Palin launch this day, and all the anti-gay stuff that has come along with it, and to have pastors encourage their flock to attend, and the victimhood the Christian right has claimed->all of these things means that the chain has embraced the controversy and the anti-gay views of the owner have now been aligned with the entire business. I have always defended his right to publicly voice his personal religious views, but now, for reasons cynical or otherwise, he has made his views those of the entire chain. The chain might not have had a position in the culture war but it has been dragged to the far right in the last two weeks.

        • It's not just the CEO's opinions

          From what I’ve read, the Winshape Foundation has given more than a million dollars to the Marriage & Family Foundation, which is tied to groups fighting same-sex marriage, among a number of other organizations. And Chick-Fil-A the company gives millions to Winshape, a foundation created by the company’s founder. So it’s not just the CEO and his opinion; company revenue is being directly funneled to anti-gay activities.

          I’ve actually never been to a Chik-Fil-A, there aren’t any close to where I live or work and I have to say I’ve never felt this was much of a problem in my life, even before I knew about their politics.

      • When's the last straight-bashing you heard about?

        Are you saying LGBT people bring violence on ourselves when we criticize homophobia? That’s an eerie parallel to the rationale that Medgar Evers’ killers used. And there is nothing in the LGBT civil rights movement to compare to gay-bashing–no false equivalencies please.

        • I acknowledeged there a are people who hate LGBT people

          And they infiltrated the vast majority of supporters of CFA who just had enuff of being told what to do, think, and where to eat.Thus they were given a platform to spew their hate.

          It is not helpful when one side publically calls the CEO of CFA and the 99% who look at this as a First Amendment issue, homophobes or bigots and that nobody should eat at CFA or if you do, as the article says, you are called a hater by a gay person.

  3. Not every franchise feels this way.

    Chick-fil-a at Pheasant Lane Mall has chosen to sponsor a gay pride event.

  4. Chick-Fil-A donates corporate profits to the American Family Association and Exodus

    and franchise owners pay over 50% of their net profits to the national chain. So the nice man in New Hampshire is trying to have it both ways.

  5. Don't patronize them

    It isn’t like chicken sandwiches are hard to find. I no longer patronize Upper Crust because they have so egregiously abused their employees, I’m totally good with those who choose to do the same with Chick-Fil-a. A boycott of the chain makes total sense, that’s the free market at work.

    Mayor Menino has every right to express his personal contempt for the policies of the chain. I don’t think he has a right to do that on the public nickel, or when speaking “ex officio”. I’m not even sure he DID that, I’m just saying that if he did, he was wrong. I’m not a fan of Mayor Menino — I suspect his involvement in the whole thing has more to do with distracting attention from his embarrassing support for Carol Johnson and his even more reprehensible dilly-dallying with Scott Brown.

    There are LOTS of businesses and CEOs that I don’t like, for lots of reasons. The Democratic Party is about to put gay marriage rights in our national platform. My own view is that this whole chick-fil-a kerkuffle is a distraction from far more important issues — especially as it relates to LGBT rights.

    • Homophobia cannot be ignored

      Chick-Fil-A is promoting homophobia through the public statements of its President and by giving money to hate groups. I submit that the propagation of homophobia by individuals with extraordinary access to the media is more than a kerfuffle. It fuels opposition to LGBT equality and propels the fists of gay-bashers. Groups like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Anti-Violence Project of Massachusetts exist to challenge the currency of homophobic attitudes in American society.

      • The CEO of Chick-Fil-A has the same opinion that Obama had in 2008

        Give me a break.

      • This action is counterproductive

        I’m an enthusiastic supporter of gay rights. I already said I think a boycott of the chain makes total sense.

        I agree with you that the owners of the company are promoting homophobia (I don’t know about giving money to hate groups, but it wouldn’t surprise me). I think the energy of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Anti-Violence Project of Massachusetts will be better served by getting gay marriage rights onto the Democratic platform and then by getting Barack Obama re-elected, together with enough Democratic senators and representatives to make make that policy the law of the land.

        Chick-fil-a is NOT a “major corporation”. It’s a privately-owned fast-food chain that promotes chicken — with a bigoted and backward homophobe at its head. The effect of all this is to help, not hurt, this loser throughout its geographical market. I submit that the primary result of this kerkuffle is to strengthen the brand and business of Chick-fil-a.

        As far as I’m concerned, if these groups want to stop “opposition to LGBT equality” and block “the fists of gay-bashers” (both worthy and admirable goals), a better target is the United States Council of Catholic Bishops. The USCCB spreads more anti-gay hate and prejudice each week than Mr. Cathy will accomplish in whatever is left of his lifetime. The primary mission of Chick-fil-a is still selling chicken — the anti-gay bias of the USCCB is its mission (together with winning the Catholic war against women).

        The most important thing, however, is re-electing Barack Obama. A resurgent GOP/Tea Party will do far far more harm than any backwards fried-chicken chain management ever imagined.

        • I'm with you on reelecting Obama

          but would point out that there is a larger strategy at work in confronting Chick-Fil-A through the media. Homophobic hate speech in this country gets a pass that would never be extended to anti-Semitism or racism. Cathy was calling down fire and brimstone on supporters of same-sex marriage.

          The First Amendment is a red herring–the Mayor’s first statement was a bit vague to qualify as a threat, and he subsequently clarified that he could not stop a business from opening. Let’s be clear–hate speech is in no danger of being shut down in America, but it should be stigmatized. Yesterday it was celebrated.

    • Thank you Tom

      My own view is that this whole chick-fil-a kerkuffle is a distraction from far more important issues — especially as it relates to LGBT rights.

      And the Kiss In’s will just give Chik Fil A more free publicity and money. I’d much rather turn the attention to that historic platform, the great progressives lined up to speak at that convention, and efforts local to protect gay rights. The Illinois Equality campaign did a great job by getting signature gatherers to hit the streets after this controversy, they are also collecting money for their unprecedented campaign to reward state legislators that supported Civil Unions and to punish those that didn’t. That to me that matters a whole lot more than what a purveyor of fried chicken chooses to do is his own business, but its definitely discomforted a long time fan of that chicken.

  6. Menino has a first amendment right to say pretty much what he wants

    as long as he doesn’t do pretty much what he wants.

    I’m surprised that great libertarian/ republican walthamdan has a problem with this.

  7. Menino Was Wrong

    First, I agree with Tom that this whole kerfuffle is an unwelcome and unhelpful distraction from far more important issues. Including more important isssues facing the LGBT community.

    Second, I agree with Tom that what Mayor Menino did was wrong. Dan (and his good friends at the ACLU) are correct that the First Amendment (in concert with the 14th’s Due Process Clause) prohibits local government from this sort of action.

    Finally, Tom, there really is no dispute (as you suggest) whether the Mayor was speaking “ex officio.” The letter was sent on official City of Boston letterhead, signed “Mayor, City of Boston,” and posted to the City’s official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151791883475752&set=a.336030020751.189466.64266725751&type=1&theater

    Most telling and disturbing, while the letter was addressed to Mr. Cathy, it was explicitly cc’ed to Steven Binnie of Carlisle Propeties. Carlisle Properties is the landord of 1 Union Street, current home of the closing Purple Shamrock and rumored site of the new Boston Chick-Fil-A. In cc’ing Carlisle, the Mayor tips his hand and does at least implicitly threaten to use his office’s power to stop Chick-Fil-A from doing business in Boston.

  8. You are wrong

    There is nothing wrong about Menino’s letter. I agree that not patronizing their stores is the way to go, but Menino has every right to say what he said and citing Dan is not helping your case.

  9. Citing Nothing At All Is Not Helping Your Case

    Of course, Menino has every right to say whatever he wants and could have gone further to urge a boycott of Chick-Fil-A.

    However, for the reasons I detailed in my previous post, I stand by my position that the Mayor’s official letter (particuarly since it was cc’ed to Carlisle Properties) goes beyond mere speech. Despite later “clarifications,” the letter is a clear threat to use local government power to impose unlawful “viewpoint discrimination” in permitting decision. If the Mayor did that, it would be a violation of the First Amendment.

    Threatening do that is itself wrong.

  10. Obama v. Cathy

    Suggesting that 2008 canddiate Obama had “the same opinion” as Chick-Fil-A’s Mr. Cathy on homophobia is ludicrous:

    2008 Candidate Obama:

    Equality is a moral imperative. That’s why throughout my career, I have fought to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans… As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples — whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage. Unlike Senator Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether.”

    2012 Dan Cathy:

    We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.

    And, finally 2012 President Obama:

    At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.

    • They both had the same opinion on gay marriage, both against it, right?

      That is all I am saying.

      One can be against gay marriage and not be a homophobe, no?


    • Not just against marriage equality

      Public opinion often splits into thirds. One third favors marriage rights for gay Americans. One third doesn’t want to go that far but supports civil unions or some kind of registration with many of the rights conferred on married couples. One third wants to see no recognition of gay relationships at all. Mr Obama was, until recently, a member of the middle third. Mr Cathy has never been even that tolerant.

      Much of his giving goes far beyond merely opposition to marriage equality. Mr Cathy has supported conversion therapy. He has supported the Family Research Council which in turn favors the re-criminalization of sodomy. To say he “opposes gay marriage” is to be far too generous.

      • Those are VERY troubling

        Before this I was told they simply catered evangelical events where pastors condemned gay marriage and obviously he voiced his opinion and I defended his right to his opinion. But the fact of those donations and those organizations makes me very uncomfortable and reluctant to eat there now. Particularly the advice the FRC has given to African governments that still routinely arrest and torture gays, and the scarring stories I’ve heard about “conversion therapy”.

  11. Dan steps on his own argument...

    …by including his last sentence along with the first.

    Yes, one can be against marriage equality and not be a homophobe, which is how I would characterize candidate Obama in 2008, who as theloquaciousliberal pointed out, supported repeal of DOMA, and the extension of a broad range of rights to relationships short of calling it marriage.

    Cathy, on the other hand, has expressed his hatred for homosexuals and invokes the judgement of God to make his point, something Obama has never done. Sure, he has free speech, but that only means he can’t be prosecuted for expressing an opinion. It does not guarantee his exemption from whatever social and economic consequences society might impose via the free speech rights of the rest of us. All opinions are free, but not all opinions are created equal. There is nothing wrong with society judging that certain opinions are beyond the pale and not worthy of respect.

  12. Viewpoint discrimination Loquo?

    Perhaps you can cite where that is a crime.

  13. Viewpoint Discrimination is Unconstitional

    I never claimed it was a crime. I said – if it is discrimination by government or government officials like a Mayor – that is is a violation of the First Amendment.

    This is established legal precedent. See e.g. SJC decisions in Good News Club v. Milford Central School; Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia and Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches Union Free School District.

    Each of these cases involves viewpoint discrimination which has been ruled unconstitutional. And each involves discriminating against groups with certain religious opinons.

    See also the ACLU’s page on this topic for more info:

    The government can regulate discrimination in employment or against customers, but what the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words,” said ACLU senior attorney Adam Schwartz. “When an alderman refuses to allow a business to open because its owner has expressed a viewpoint the government disagrees with, the government is practicing viewpoint discrimination,” he added

  14. How has Menino punished them?

    Why just yesterday a republican blowhard from Pennsylvania held a press conference to inaugurate the first day that preventative care under PPACA goes into effect by announcing that this day marks the “death of religious liberty.” If that isn’t viewpoint discrimination it is at least viewpoint challenged.

    I wasn’t aware that Chik-a-doodle intended to open a store in a public school or University.

  15. Who's Minding Your Reading Glasses?

    Again, you mischarecterize what I said.

    It’s simply a fact that government officials who engage in state action–such as refusing a permit–based on viewpoint discrimination are likely violating the First Amendment.

    In this case, I was very careful to argue that Menino’s letter represents not unconstitutional action itself but rather a threat to take action that would be unconstitutional. CC’ing Carlisle Properties is clear evidence this is a threat. Making such a threat, I argue, was “wrong.”

    P.S. Chick-Fil-A was recently refused permission to open a store at Northeastern because of Cathy’s views: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/chick-fil-a-franchise-northeastern-university-scrapped_n_1311755.html
    If Northeastern were a state college, this would have been uncostitutional.

  16. It's a simple question

    I think it deserves an answer: Has Chick-a dee been denied a permit?

    And the cases you cited are about usage of public buildings. In this case, Chicken a- la king isn’t planning to open in a public building. No if’s about it.

  17. Last Try - A Simple Anwer

    No, Chick-fil-a has not been denied a permit.

    I still contend that the Mayor was “wrong” to threaten such an action. As I’ve now explained 4 times.

    Whether or not viewpoint discrimination involves a public building is irrelevent constitutionally. Any “state action” – such as denial of a permit – that involves viewpoint discrimination is unconstitutional. The ACLU – the fairly universally acknowledged experts on the First Amendment – agree as evidenced in the quote I posted. (In case I was unclear, that statement is in direct response to the Chick-Fil-A conroversy).

  18. If you say so, but in answering a simple question

    The government can regulate discrimination in employment or against customers, but what the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words,” said ACLU senior attorney Adam Schwartz. “When an alderman refuses to allow a business to open because its owner has expressed a viewpoint the government disagrees with, the government is practicing viewpoint discrimination,” he added

  19. Sorry - fail - one more time

    If you say so, but I think in answering a simple question, you have shown that Menino has not done anything unconstitutional per your quote pasted below – he has not punished Chick-a-hoot by denying them a permit.

    The government can regulate discrimination in employment or against customers, but what the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words,” said ACLU senior attorney Adam Schwartz. “When an alderman refuses to allow a business to open because its owner has expressed a viewpoint the government disagrees with, the government is practicing viewpoint discrimination,” he added

    What he has done is bring the issue to light, in his usual brash way, to make people aware of this CEO’s religious based views on homosexuality A number of people here claim the never heard of Chick-a-pee until this kerfuffle came up. I am one of them and I’m glad I now know about it. Menino has done a public service, not violated the constitution.

    Otherwise, I think we agree that the best approach is through the market – boycott them if you don’t like their views. I appreciate your patience and willingness to explain your position 4 times. Thanks.

    • Jon Stewart rips mayors who threatened Chic-Fil-A

      Demintfan, see video below, this will help you understand


      • Rare agreement

        This is one of the few times when I agree with you.

        I think this thing was bull-in-a-china-cabinet stupid for Mayor Menino to do, and I think Jon Stewart rightly calls him out on it. I agree with wosmindingdemint that Mr. Menino probably didn’t do anything unconstitutional. In my view, he was nevertheless way out of line.

        I think the optics of this have worked against the LBGT community — so far, the result has been good for business for the company and has helped, rather than hindered, the agenda of hate that the right wing spews.

        • So you're telling us to throw in the towel

          and let corporate support of anti-gay hate groups stand unchallenged. Chick-Fil-A profits fund the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, and Exodus,who militate to have gays thrown in jail if we have sex. The homophobia extends much further than opposition to marriage equality.

          The controversy has been spun, even by our “friends,” as one involving freedom of expression, when that was never in danger. That’s unfortunate, but the LGBT movement isn’t going to roll over and play dead, Tom, because of how you perceive the “optics.” Moreover, Chick-Fil-A’s red state marketing game is no reason to give them a pass. Welcome to the culture wars being fought over LGBT lives.

          It’s unsurprising you’re agreeing with Dan from Waltham.

          • I'm observing what happened

            I didn’t say “throw in the towel”, please reread my comment.

            I’ve said:
            1. Mayor Menino’s action backfired and generated more support (and business) for Chick-fil-a.

            2. Mayor Menino’s ham-handed attempt to intimidate Chick-fil-a is as offensive as the similarly ham-handed attempts by the right wing to impose their dogma (this is the point Jon Stewart makes)

            3. Pick your battles. You’re losing this one.

            There are a gazillion ways to fight anti-gay hate groups. There are a gazillion ways to fight the pervasive homophobia that still permeates our culture.

            This one is a loser.

            • Looks like the kiss-in went over like a lead balloon.

              Very well said, Tom. This is a big loser, too bad some can’t see the forest through the trees. When you lose peole like you andme on this issue, it’s like Pres. Johnson losing Cronkite on Vietnam. Reminds me of a famous line in Rambo, “It’s over Johnny…..IT’s OVER!!!”

              theloquaciousliberal- great posts and readings. Sorry you had to deal with Demintfan, but I think the video clip I posted is a better teaching aide.


              • Feeling defensive

                The sheer number of your posts demonstrates how convincingly ChickGate has lost in MA. Thanks for bumping the comments number up on the thread though and driving traffic higher, all to underline our essential argument.

                • Bob- more like chest thumping than defensive

                  I warned most of you not to go down this road with Chick-Fil-A. I was like the canary in the coal mine. What the LGBT should have done was told Menino that he was wrong and defended the CEO’s right to his opinion and his right to conduct lawful business. Instead, they chose to rumble and ended up looking like fools. One didn’t need a crystal ball to figure out how this would turn out.

                  It is my pleasure to drive traffic and debate or point out serial hypocrisy by some who post here. I wish you and Dave and john001 who sells solar panels and everyone else who make up BMG the very best. I do ask that you or Dave reach out to Richard Tisei and endorse him over Tierney. It would be like the Boston Globe endorsing Brown. It will shock the world but we know you did the right thing, which isn’t always the most popular. But I will have your back on that one, trust me…..

            • Menino won, his statement didn't backfire

              I don’t think Menino convinced many of those urging support for Israel as a way to hasten destruction of the Jews and armageddon — i.e. radical evangelicals — but he laid down a powerful and useful marker in Boston.

            • We're staying on message

              You can rail against the Mayor all you want and pretend like Mike Huckabee that free speech is somehow the issue. LBGT advocates will continue to challenge with our free speech corporate sponsorship of hate groups which promote quack conversion therapy and laws that put gays in prison for having sex.

              If by “this one is a loser” you mean our criticism of hate group funders is unhelpful, we’re going to persevere. Self-professed “allies” of our community have in the past wailed at some of our most effective tactics, like ACT Up guerilla theater.

              • Whatever

                When I say “this one is a loser”, I mean that this action only strengthened the forces of hatred and evil that we are all trying to defeat.

                Stay “on message” if you like — I still say this was the wrong battle to choose.

                • We didn't choose this fight

                  but I appreciate where you’re coming from. At meetings of Join the Impact
                  MA we bemoan the fact that we’re in “reactive” mode so often. And we have no control over Mayor Menino.

                  • Nobody has any control of Mayor Menino

                    Mayor Menino is an embarrassment to Massachusetts Democrats.

                    The rampant corruption in Boston public services, the unchallenged police brutality, and the inept attempts at zoning and development fit right into the public persona of Mayor Menino.

                    Maybe Mayor Menino is Elizabeth Warren’s secret mole in the Scott Brown campaign, alongside the more public ex-Democrat Ray Flynn.

            • Yes, this one is a loser

              Think of it as a military engagement.

              As a commander, you want to engage the enemy when you have the most advantages on your side. Instead, the enemy has been engaged when he can cry victim, pretend we liberals want to shred the Constitution, and organize effective made-for television events.

              Tactically, it’s insane.

              Picketing Chick-fil-a is not going to deter Mr Cathy; it’s not going to change his mind. In fact, it will probably encourage him.

              What tends to win people over to marriage equality is seeing gay couples as loving, deserving, nonthreatening, and sympathetic. These Chick-fil-a protests do none of that — and even do some of the opposite.

              Really, are we trying to win on this issue, or find another way to get off on some kind of “self-expression”?

              • We're playing defense on this one

                and didn’t choose the terms of engagement. I agree that the LGBT civil rights movement has taken a beating, including from a lot of people who are our friends. But we have a long-term objective of challenging the influence of hate groups like Exodus and the Family Research Council in the public debate over whether we get to live our lives free and equal. Retreat in this instance would be a strategic, not a tactical defeat.

                • Defense

                  The best defense is to change the topic, i.e., move the battle to more favorable terrain and quickly now as soon as possible without delay. The message of a “kiss-in” is that public displays of gay affection are shocking. That is absolutely the opposite of what we need to accomplish now. The opposite.

                  Exodus has recently had an amusing revelation. We should be publicizing that. (“We told you one can’t change sexual orientation and someone with Exodus agrees.”) The Family Research Council advocates childrearing methods that amount to child abuse — maybe in 30AD they weren’t child abuse, but in 2012 they certainly are. I fail to understand why the LGBT movement hasn’t pushed them completely onto the ropes on this. It’s a huge vulnerability and making them defend themselves on it will completely discredit them. “In our gay families, unlike the FRC’s families, we don’t believe in breaking our children’s wills in order to gain their obedience. Should we listen to child abusers lecture us on family values?”

                  • The kiss-in's were a tactic

                    intended to get the media to attend to our actual criticisms of Chick-Fil-A instead of the ones misattributed to us by the Mike Huckabees of the world. I hope you appreciate how hard it is for our side to get the same air time that the right-wing has enjoyed in this controversy, and how few tactical choices we have.

                    There is no question that the LGBT movement has been whacked, but I disagree that we are losing strategically. Our secret weapon is perseverence. You could argue that we “lost” the skirmish at the Stonewall Inn because the rioters were beaten and broken up by the police. But those “shocking,” effeminate rioters initiated vast social change.

                    Going forward, the focus will indeed be on the hate groups, not chicken sandwiches. But I would argue that Chick-Fil-A has taken a hit to its brand. Check out this report on the negative impact this controversy has had on Chick-Fil-A for the long term: http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/chick-fil-a-anti-gay-bad-for-business

                    • Oh please

                      You cite a blog entry from http://www.hrc.org as evidence that this has been bad for the Chick-fil-a brand? Come back to me when you see something similar in the WSJ, Fortune, or Forbes.

                      I think this has strengthened their brand enormously. Millions of Americans now KNOW that they exist, that they sell chicken, and that lots of people think their chicken tastes great. As you so correctly observe, America is still unfortunately filled with homophobes — and those homophobes like the stance of Don Cathy.

                      Seriously, let this story go. It was a loser and we lost. Focus on the hate groups, keep an eagle eye out for civic violations, and move on.

                    • HRC cites YouGov BrandIndex as its source

                      so you would be wrong to dismiss the findings out of hand. Still, I’m much less interested in the short-term than I am in the long-term. The jury is still out on the long-term repercussions of the controversy, so you might be wise to withhold judgment on where the Chick-Fil-A brand eventually winds up.

                      Again, the LGBT civil rights movement had nothing to do with Menino’s comments which fed the red herring aspects of this story.

                    • A stupid tactic

                      I don’t get this. We’ll show them by kissing in front of their store. That’ll gross them out. What message is that sending? Sure participants might get a feel good moment. (“I showed those bigots something!” “Did you see that families reaction? We really shocked them!”) After years and years of the LGBT movement fighting against the notion that gays are icky, we have a tactic — that gets press coverage too — that leans on gays being icky. Better to get no press coverage at all on this. Frankly, it would be better to get no press coverage at all if “gays are icky” is going to be the message.

                      Unlike SomvervilleTom, I do find it heartening that their brand has taken a hit, but we’ve yet to see how this translates into sales. Conservatives already have their own television network. Why not their own fast food chain too? With twice as many conservatives as liberals, that could work as a business model. Fox’s ratings are where?


                      The tactics at Stonewall were from a different time when different things needed to be accomplished. In 1969, not even gay people spoke up for gay civil rights. By 1980, only gay people spoke up for gay civil rights. In 2012, the majority of people who speak up for gay civil rights are straight. 1969′s tactics are as useful as bows and arrows are to the U.S. Army.

                • The immediate effects

                  The immediate effects of all this have been:

                  - Chick-fil-a has received brand recognition and publicity worth tens of millions of dollars of advertising.

                  - The company has had a banner month of business, it now has even more money to spend on spreading hate

                  - Homophobes across America saw themselves celebrated on TV, validating their hate through sheer numbers.

                  This “defense” has done more to strengthen the homophobes of America than pretty much ANYTHING they could have done.

                  I think kbusch has nailed it. The best path now is to declare victory and change the topic. Put this story to bed.

                  • Declare victory?

                    That would amount to hubris in view of the shellacking the LGBT civil rights movement has taken at the hands of the Mike Huckabees of the world, what’s worse, armchair quarterbacks who sympathize with us.

                    But we’re in this for the long term, not the short term, so I don’t see your observations as particularly relevant going forward. I approach this epic struggle, in the trenches of which I’ve labored for over 30 years, in Churchillian terms. We will fight them on the beaches and we will never surrender.

                    • Declaring victory

                      is often a useful tactic.

                      The GOP does it all the time. Spin the news in your favor. Get people to think you’re a winner. Then win for real.

  20. Hope you all are proud of this moron harassing a Chick-Fil-A employee

    See link below, video speaks for itself. IMO, the CFA worker belongs a Marylou’s Coffee, she is cute!!

    Real tough guy, don’t you think?


    • Oh look! A maroon!

      He was doing OK until 1:52. That’s when he went from being cute to being ugly. Kudos to her for keeping a remarkably even keel.

      On the flip side, I wouldn’t work for a company* with the values of Chick-fil-A. Then again, I’m fortunate that I’m not in a position of working food service retail.

      * that it is a franchise is a distinction without a difference

    • Where was Romney???

      I reviewed the video several times and Willard Romney is no where to be seen. Where was the Moron of which you speak?

  21. If the moron took down his YouTube, you can watch this


  22. Insitutional bigotry is a "peripheral issue" to the Eagle Tribune.

    Editorial: Chick-fil-A patrons stand up to mayors


    No one should be surprised a newspaper that called the first African-American President of the United States a “man-child” on it’s editorial page would support bigotry.

  23. Chick-fil-a Hate Day made me chuckle

    Rabid Right types have always been wondering why, if gay people had a Gay Pride day, why there shouldn’t be a anti-gay ‘straight’ day. Well, now they’ve found it.

    I would love for nothing more than a Chick-fil-a “Hate Day” march or something like that. Let the bigots march pridefully march in their bigotry, so all the more people can see a little slice of the bigotry gay people face every day.

    RyansTake   @   Fri 3 Aug 11:29 PM
  24. Dan should consider a Malaleuca franchise


  25. I'm sure plenty of gay people lined up at Chick-fil-A

    because they disagreed MORE with the public sector threatening to use the permitting process to impose their own beliefs than they do with Dan Cathy’s opinion of gay marriage.

    And I bet the majority of EVERYONE who ate at Chick-fil-A felt that Americans are entitled to their private opinions, that FREEDOM of speech trumps debates about gay marriage, and that we rely on the rule of law.

    By the way, I believe the imposition of equal marriage rights by the SJC, analogous to Menino telling CFA to stay out of Boston, weakens support for gay marriage among the public, especially when it should have appeared as a ballot question (it would have won in a walk.)

    As told to Tip O’Neill, “you know, Tip, sometimes you just like to be asked.”

    • Don't presume to speak for gay people

      The principal challenge throughout this debate has been getting heard on our own terms–it’s not about one man’s opinion of same-sex marriage, but corporate sponsorship of hate groups.

      Mayor Menino is no more an LBGT spokesperson than you are, although folks seem to be taking out their anger at him on our community, judging by the compilation of the 50 most homophobic tweets of last Wednesday.

    • Freedom of speech allows for debate about gay marriage

      Having said that, matters of civil rights have historically not fared well in the court of public opinion and so while the rule of the majority is expressed through the legislative process, the rights of the minority are protected by the courts through the rule of law.
      Now that the rule of law recognizes corporations as people, doesn’t Chic-fil-a’s contributions to anti-gay groups challenge the rule of law that we rely on and shouldn’t they be accountable for such “speech?” To argue that equal marriage rights – upheld via the SJC – weakens support for gay marriage is not the point, but it is the rule of law. Last time I checked Menino is also protected by the 1st Amendment.

« Blue Mass Group Front Page

Add Your Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Fri 28 Apr 9:37 PM