Despite the attempts of ABC, CBS, and NBC to frame yesterday’s “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” as support for anti-same-sex marriage, Americans across the country packed the company’s 1600 stores to show their support for Dan Cathy’s freedom of speech. Cathy is the CEO of the privately-held, family owned fast food organization, and his support of “traditional marriage and family values” sparked a firestorm that has several high profile Mayors making threats to keep the company from any future expansions in their areas, a chilling thought that borders on fascism.
Pictures of long lines and great service were plastered on every social media.
At my Chick-Fil-A, the staff had been busy all day, and all managers were on hand to make sure everything went great.
This was not a protest against same-sex marriage, and anyone who tried to frame it as such just didn’t get it. It was heartening to even hear a few gay people being interviewed showing their support for Mr. Cathy’s freedom of speech. I am sure there were many, though we know the media will not permit it to be framed in that way.
So tomorrow, members of the LGBT community have called for a “kiss in”, encouraging same-sex couples to express their freedom of speech by kissing each other in Chick-Fil-A. While those who heed this call would be classified as those who “don’t get it”, thinking this was about marriage equality, I strongly support THEIR RIGHT to exercise their freedom of speech. A pastor on TV today said he debated with a lesbian pastor last night on a radio show about the Chick-Fil-A controversy, and to make his point about the freedom of speech issue and the “government intrusion” being intimidated by the likes of Rahm Emannuel, he told this woman that if she wanted to build a church and the city said “no way” because of her values or beliefs, he would stand with HER to defend her right to build her church.
And that is tolerance.