A large topic of recent news has focused on the perceived intolerance of Chik-fil-a’s CEO Dan Cathy’s comments regarding his stance on same-sex marriage. Equality advocates from around the world have taken a firm stance on the rejection of the company after he made remarks that he was “guilty as charged”, when questioned whether or not the company had intended to make donations to organizations who campaign against gay marriage.
Seemingly a large portion of the population has come to the Chicken company’s defense, saying that freedom of speech is involved, and that the chastising of the company’s practice is incorrectly channeled.Where does the law stand in regard to the public debate? In the not so far off past, namely 2011, the Supreme Court held in Snyder v. Phelps, that the Westboro Baptist Church has the right to protest military funerals. Certainly this falls well within the boundaries of the First Amendment right. Currently, only twenty one states in the country offer legal protections for discrimination based on sexual orientation.
What does this mean? Don’t be gay and work at Chik-fil-a.While First Amendment rights may apply to Dan Cathy’s remarks, and he is in no legal danger or range of retaliation, citizens have the same right. What this means, is that Mr. Cathy is entitled to his own beliefs, and so is every American citizen, and that includes the right to protest these restaurants or refuse to give them their business. You can’t invoke a First Amendment right and say that people still have to eat at your restaurant because your entitled to say what you want. As far as business is concerned, the company has lost millions of potential customers because of the uproar. But, many individuals have come to the aid of the ‘moral’, certainly off-setting the potential loss. Were the radical comments made by the CEO good for business? Hardly. But for a company who closes one day a week in observance of the Sabbath, Chik-fil-a cares more about chastising sinners than making a dollar. And let’s not forget the Muppets, who advocate same-sex marriage, and even marriage between species.
A recent photo, floating around the internet, depicts Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy at their memorable wedding ceremony. A recent post on the Muppets’ Facebook page said, “The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-a that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors” Sadly, it appears the cows of Chik-fil-a will not share in the company of famed Kermit the Frog anymore.