Chik-Fil-A: The Great Flap

If you’re listening to the hard left, you’d believe that the boycott of chicken chain Chick-Fil-A is working and the brand is being dealt an irreparable blow.

Unfortunately for them, this is pure fantasy. There’s a CFA restaurant right next to my loft, and these days the place is absolutely packed. The dining room is stuffed to the gills and the drive-thru line quickly wraps around the building. Every CFA in the country seems to be getting more business these days.

We all know what the kerfuffle is about. Dan Cathy, the company’s CEO and the son of founder S. Truett Cathy, recently said “guilty as charged” when asked by the Baptist Press if he supported traditional family values. He never specifically singled out gay marriage; he did single out divorce quite specifically, but the way things have gone you’d think Cathy held a forum in support of Fred Phelps and called for us all to be rounded up and herded into concentration camps.

Roseanne Barr said that everyone who eats at CFA deserves to get cancer. After then saying that people who feed their kids at CFA are guilty of child abuse, she went on another nazi-cursing tirade against the chain. Non-celebs went completely bats as well, commenting that CFA sandwiches are “deep fried in hate” and called traditional marriage “a sacred bond between two consenting bigots”.

The really frightening thing about all of this, however, is what elected government officials are doing now. It began with Boston mayor Thomas Menino declaring that CFA was banned from Boston and he would see to it that it was nearly impossible for the company to get proper permits to operate. As soon as he did that, actress Eliza Dushku promptly tweeted, “That’s right, B!” (Eliza, you’re breaking my heart here…I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and SMG is still my celeb girl crush, but I once had a crush on you, too!) That was followed by Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno swearing to block CFA from opening a new restaurant in his district. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel backed him up, saying that “Chick-Fil-A values are not Chicago values” (strange, since gay marriage is illegal in Illinois and nobody in Chicago politics has moved a finger to change that). San Francisco mayor Edwin Lee then tweeted that the nearest CFA restaurant was 40 miles away and “I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.” DC mayor Vincent Gray has now said that “I will not support #hatechicken”.

Calling them a bunch of lunatics is being too nice. They’re outright violating CFA’s First Amendment rights, and frighteningly so. Their reason is that they strongly disagree with Cathy’s beliefs, and they think that because they disagree and can claim that CFA discriminates because of Cathy’s beliefs they have the right to stop the chain from growing, opening new stores and creating more jobs. Our tax dollars hard at work.

First of all, let’s clear the air here: being against the legalization of gay marriage does NOT equal being anti-gay. It certainly does not deserve the title of “hatemonger.” I know a few gay people who don’t believe in legalizing gay marriage. That does not make them hatemongers, they simply want to live their lives in peace and not have to worry about who might be offended. Second, I routinely go to CFA. My item of habit is their grilled chicken sandwich deluxe. I have never, not once, EVER been discriminated against by any employee. In fact, most of them know me by name and chat with me while I’m waiting. They all know I’m gay and not a single one of them cares. CFA employees have frequently been the most gracious I’ve encountered.

Third, it is beyond comprehension that any government official would dare to infringe upon the rights of any person. What would these same people say if a conservative mayor forced a gay-owned-and-themed business out of their city because of religious objections to their beliefs and/or lifestyle? I can tell you now, they’d all be howling for the DOJ to investigate. It’s perfectly acceptable, though, when liberals want to do it.

Boycotting isn’t un-American, and none of us have claimed that it was (Fox News certainly hasn’t, and you’re lying through your teeth when you claim they have). If you want to personally boycott the place, that’s your right. You may not, however, tell them that they’re not allowed to open or expand in your city because of your disagreement with the owner. I will be the first to stand up for their rights, because if I sit back and let you violate their rights, then mine will be next.

Whose Voice?

The Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case turned campaign finance practically on its ear. In essence, the Court determined that laws against corporate contributions to political campaigns of any kind – candidate or issue – were Unconstitutional. Conservatives rejoiced while liberals wailed and gnashed their teeth. Conservatives praised new freedoms while liberals screamed that big corporations would now be able to “buy elections.”

This has come into sharper focus with MoveOn.org’s announced boycott of Target. Target Corp. donated $150,000 to Minnesota Forward, a conservative political group that touted backing for the rights of businesses and business owners. Unfortunately, the group also funds Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. Their beef with him? He openly supports a federal amendment to the Constitution that would ban gay marriage.

Let’s forget for a moment that the Democrats, the very party backed by MoveOn.org and gay rights groups involved in the boycott, signed into law such gems as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act. That doesn’t matter. They’ll never boycott a Democrat for defending either of those laws. Gay rights groups never boycotted the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) for standing up and giving an impassioned, religiously-motivated speech in support of DOMA that called on both Democrats and Republicans to vote yes on the legislation, essentially calling GLBT people sick and wrong. The man never apologized, and gay groups never went after him.

My fellow GLBT people will think I’m crazy, though, for supporting Sarah Palin – whose first act as Alaska’s governor, by the way, was to veto a popular bill voted on by the people that would have ended state benefits to partners of same-sex employees. Yeah. I’m completely out of my mind. The Democrats continually promise us things that they never deliver on (and, in fact, work against our rights), while the few gains we’ve had have come from Republicans, but I’m the one who’s off my rocker.

Let’s talk a little about who’s really buying elections. Much has been made of financial firms and their donations to the Republican party (they totaled right around $88 million in 2008). Did you know, though, that financial firms spent $83 million on Democrats in the same year? Lawyers and law firms spent over $46 million on the Democrats in 2008. Labor unions spent around $6.5 million on the Democrats.

This year, the SEIU and AFL-CIO – the two biggest labor unions in the United States – have announced that they have joined forces to spend at least $88 million on Democratic candidates and causes during this election cycle. That’s two organizations. I fail to see how $150,000 from one corporation is “buying an election” for the Republicans. Bear in mind, too, that Unions pay members to go to political rallies and demonstrations. I highly doubt Target is doing that.

The Huffington Post has been in fine form with their assessment…rather than call out the disparities the way most self-respecting journalists would, they’re joining MoveOn.org in calling MSNBC “hypocrites” for refusing to sell airtime for an ad lambasting Target as the proverbial whipping post of corporate political donors. That’s rich. You don’t want special interests to give money to conservative causes, but you’ll defend liberal causes all day long. And you’ll damn to hell any private corporation – as MSNBC is – that sets rules about what kind of ads they will sell time for and what kind they will refuse.

Whose voice are we really hearing here? Whose voice is the loudest in this room? On Saturday, Glenn Beck hosted around 500,000 Americans who long to see an end to the hard-left liberal takeover of this country. Sarah Palin reminded us how precious our heroes are to us. Yet we have so-called “flash mobs” (*paid for by MoveOn.org, of course) singing to Target customers and employees about how “Target isn’t people” and “Best Buy is next!” because Target is, as they’d tell it, entirely homophobic.

Is the majority really being heard, or are we being drowned out by a violent, angry mob? I’m a lesbian, and I’m not boycotting Target. I’m not boycotting Best Buy, either – in fact, I’ll be there tomorrow to pick up my copy of my favorite band’s new release. I’m getting tired of special interest groups thinking that I should be subservient to their causes simply because of which category I’m in. Gay or straight, I’m still an individual and I’d like to believe I’m still allowed to think for myself.