Playing chicken

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There are no Chick-fil-A restaurants in Newfoundland, but there are certainly plenty of other fast-food chicken joints.

If you’re gay, you may want to visit one today — purely symbolically — and grab a smooch off your partner.

Gays and lesbians across the U.S. are gathering at Chick-fil-A outlets today and kissing their partners to protest chain president Dan Cathy’s stance against same-sex marriage.

Two weeks ago, Cathy said he feared “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.’

“I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.”

Gay rights advocates were outraged, and protest over Chick-fil-A’s politicization of chicken came from all corners. The mayors of Chicago, Boston and San Francisco said the chain is not welcome in their cities. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos even donated $2.5-million to the same-sex marriage campaign in response to the controversy.

But on Wednesday, egged on by former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and other right-wing hawks, thousands of traditional-marriage stalwarts flocked to Chick-fil-A restaurants to show appreciation for Cathy’s fundamentalist views.

Most businesses have learned that ruffling feathers over social issues — especially homosexuality — is not worth the grief. In the old days, that usually meant avoiding any association with the gay movement.

That has changed radically.

In February, JC Penny ignored a petition by One Million Moms to drop the openly gay Ellen Degeneres from its ad campaign. It was a departure from the usual hair-trigger capitulation companies make when confronted with threats of boycott.

(One Million Moms, incidently, is now calling for a boycott of Amazon.)

The Chick-fil-A furor reflects a deeply entrenched polarization over the issue of same-sex marriage in the U.S. The population is pretty well divided down the middle, and President Barack Obama’s recent endorsement of it has perhaps only further emboldened opponents.

Amid all the squawking, however, many average citizens simply shrugged the whole thing off.

“Look forward to Chick-fil-A introducing their Only Some People Are Allowed to Be Happy Meal,” joked one observer on Twitter.

“I’m not racist, I just believe in traditional bus seating arrangements,” quipped another.

Put the most common sentiment in the days to follow was likely summarized in this tweet:

“All I’m saying is if u see me at a Chick-Fil-A in the near future don’t think I’m making a political statement. I just like chicken.”

Organizations: Chick-fil-A, Amazon

Geographic location: U.S., Newfoundland, Chicago Boston San Francisco

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Recent comments

  • Colin Burke
    August 08, 2012 - 11:01

    Brian, this may be due to a merely pedantic interpretation of your own expression, but an opinion cannot by itself suppress anything. Even your opinion that discriminatory and prejudiced opinions should be suppressed cannot by itself suppress such opinions; that would require acting upon your opinion, which actions then indeed would suppress free speech. If only those opinions were allowed which did not "suppress" (is it really possible you meant "contradict", which is the worst an opinion by itself could do?) other opinions, conversation would be mostly dull. Some people want to suppress speech because they haven't the energy to resist any oppression which some speech might foster.

  • Herb Morrison
    August 07, 2012 - 09:45

    Brian, despite the fact that I may disagree either with what people say or the manner in which they say it, these people do have thae right to freedom of speech. What I find especially objectionable, is the fact that some individuals apparently either express controversial opinions in such a manner as to deliberately offend people or express a controversial opinion , all the while cowering behind a paeudonym. Such practices do, in my opinion constitue a flagrant abuse of the right to freedom of speech

  • Ed
    August 04, 2012 - 10:24

    I do believe the bigger issue regarding the CEO of Chick Fil A expressing his opinion regarding gay marriage was the fact that mayors from at least 3 large US cities came out saying they would not let this franchise set up in their cities and hinting at finding a way to use the law to get the ones already set up to get shut down. People can choose to spend their money as they please but politicians/governments should not have the ability to put someone out of business because its CEO expresses an opposing point of view. One mayor, Rob Emanuel, of Chcago came out strongly against Chick Fil A CEO stated opinion on gay marriage... only a few months ago the president of the USA, Barak Obama, who most recently hailed from Chicago and who is actually the former boss of the current mayor, openly shared the same opinion as Chick Fil A... I guess sometimes it is not so much what is said but who is saying it... or maybe hypocracy is alive and well.

  • Chantal
    August 04, 2012 - 09:23

    Sorry David, I missed out the word 'suicide.' The rates of suicide are five times higher among gay and lesbian youth than straight youth. Notwithsanding, your assertion that straights are victims of gays are absurd.

    • David
      August 04, 2012 - 16:09

      BTW...people who commit suicide are mentally screwed up. You and your ilk think it's plain as day to correlate every such suicide exactly and precisely to bullying and torment. I don't. I'm open minded enough to think that it could be lots of things, including that some people are simply not being able to cope with life. What an outrage, you say! How can anyone be so intolerant of blah...blah...blah...blah..... I'm not running for office, so my brain still actually works. Get a grip. Some gay people might simply be weak-minded, hyper-sensitive, weak-minded individuals. It's possible!!

  • Colin Burke
    August 04, 2012 - 09:23

    When we get right down to "abstract, eternal, and objective standards for judging the universe," as opposed to our merely subjective wishes and goals, the ultimate purpose of marriage is to allow the pursuit of justice to continue within the universe, and I do not see that a same-sex mirage accurately reflects that ultimate reality. Someone's not seeing that resemblance, of course, is not the strongest evidence that it is not there, any more than not seeing why homosexuals ought not to marry one another is the strongest ground for believing that they ought. But those who do see why same-sex marriage is a valid vocation ought to be able to point out what they see.

  • Chantal
    August 04, 2012 - 08:54

    Sorry David, I missed out the word 'suicide.' The rates of suicide are five times higher among gay and lesbian youth than straight youth. Notwithsanding, your assertion that straights are victims of gays are absurd.

  • Herb Morrison
    August 04, 2012 - 07:05

    Well-said, Chantel. This Chick Fil A flap is remanicent of what happened here in this Province when the Provincial Government legalized same-sex marriage. In protest, a group of Fundamentalist Bible-thumpers, I believe they were members of the Pentecostal Tradition, launched a protest in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, in an attempt to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, That's right, Mr.MacGuire, gays and Lesbians have the legal right to marry in this Province.

  • yo mama
    August 04, 2012 - 06:58

    A lesbian get a free pass to heaven the very first time they kiss another woman.

  • Newf
    August 03, 2012 - 19:24

    In my opinion, the support for Chick-Fil-A has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Do any of you remember when Oreo put out a pro-gay marriage ad? Right wingers in the states went bonkers, swearing they'd never eat another oreo. Where was the support for free speech then? It's a completely double standard. Gay people are expected to just put up with being bullied? If it were just that the CEO of Chick-Fil-A had an opinion, then yeah there's no issue with that. The issue is that he spent money actively working against the legalization of same-sex marriage. That's not live and let live, that's let me do what I want, but you can't do what you want. http://i.imgur.com/6UmAR.png

  • Newf
    August 03, 2012 - 19:22

    In my opinion, the support for Chick-Fil-A has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Do any of you remember when Oreo put out a pro-gay marriage ad? Right wingers in the states went bonkers, swearing they'd never eat another oreo. Where was the support for free speech then? It's a completely double standard. Gay people are expected to just put up with being bullied? If it were just that the CEO of Chick-Fil-A had an opinion, then yeah there's no issue with that. The issue is that he spent money actively working against the legalization of same-sex marriage. That's not live and let live, that's let me do what I want, but you can't do what you want. http://i.imgur.com/6UmAR.png

  • David
    August 03, 2012 - 16:20

    Queen Chantal posts: "....Why are the rates of gay and lesbian youth five times higher than among their straight counterparts?....." Uhhh, notwithstanding that I'm not sure what that even means, it might have sometihng to do with 'gay being the new straight', just like I posted? Seriously.....get back on the meds.

  • Onward christian soldiers
    August 03, 2012 - 14:29

    My ,My. What a lot of good Christians here today. I expect you will all be in church this Sunday. Now please excuse me while I attend to my slaves.

  • David
    August 03, 2012 - 12:16

    Gay is the new straight....North America is now quite 'hetero-phobic', and straight-bashing is the social imperative du-jour. And worse, they resort to blatant bullying to force every last person to go along with it...or else! Congratulations. Idiocy has no limits.

    • Chantal
      August 03, 2012 - 13:03

      Straight bashing??? Really? Is anyone denying the right of straight people to marry? Do straight people have to fear what their friends and families will say if they are "found out? Are straight kids beaten up because of their sexuality? Why are the rates of gay and lesbian youth five times higher than among their straight counterparts? How many straight people are murdered for their sexuality? What other minorities are getting too uppity for your liking? Idiocy has no limits, David? As you have shown time and time again, you're the expert!

    • David
      August 03, 2012 - 16:16

      And there you are...I am not allowed my (very valid) opinion. As blunt as a dull axe, and promptly delivered on cue. Thanks, Chantal...you're always good for illustrating my point.

    • Brian
      August 06, 2012 - 13:41

      How does she make your point? By clearly pointing out that your opinion which has zero validity or statistics to back it up has no merit? You are an interesting troll or a confused person. The only thing chantal did was show that there are some good people who post on this site. Thanks Chantal! Great post! Completely nullifying the backwards "opinion" of this poor guy.

  • saelcove
    August 03, 2012 - 12:06

    Well said Peter

  • Politically Incorrect
    August 03, 2012 - 10:25

    How wonderfully American: express your intolerance by cramming your face with processed deep-fried chicken. I guess between hugging your gun and the idea that civil rights should only apply to a certain segment of society, there are no real issues plaguing America.

    • Billy Maguire
      August 03, 2012 - 13:25

      So, no fast food outlets or guns in Canada, PI? How wonderfully self-righteous of you. BTW, when did gay marriage become a Civil right?

  • PETER
    August 03, 2012 - 09:30

    It's a sad day indeed when someone cannot express their personal opioion, regradless of the topic. Dan Cathy never said gays were not allowed in his store, all he expressed is his opinion on gay marriage. Luckily so many came out in support of his opinion, too bad the hate came from the other side of the topic. Dan Cathy showed no hate, the gay side did. It seems today that if someone has an opinion other than the politically correect one the hate comes out in full force. Gay marriage is a fact of life today, but some folks should still be allowed their own opinion, whether it be Christian or other.

    • Brian
      August 06, 2012 - 13:44

      It's a sad day when people view their discriminatory and prejudice opinions as their right to free speech. Free speech should only be free if your opinions are not suppressing another.

  • Colonel Mary
    August 03, 2012 - 08:51

    Free speech is tastey, just like Chick-Fil-A! If I ever get to anoher city with Chick-Fill-A I am sure to it as much as possible now.