I have stayed mostly out of this Chick-Fil-A business, because, ugh.
But my Facebook still remains full of (mostly straight) people on multiple sides (and you can bet there are more than two) of this issue, and a couple of regular readers have asked me for some thoughts or clarity on this, so here it is, in handy list form:
- I don't care whether you boycott Chick-Fil-A. We all live in a semi-capitalist society, and unless you are Amish or similar, you will sometimes patronize businesses that support your values, and sometimes patronize businesses that do not. It sucks, but it's true.
- I do not eat at Chick-Fil-A. I don't call it a boycott, because the nearest Chick-Fil-A is 50 miles from me, so it's a pretty academic distinction.
- I deeply support Dan Cathy's right to spend his money, and his privately owned company's foundation's money, however he chooses. Seriously. He is entitled to his opinion.
- I even more deeply thank Dan Cathy, and all other straightforward folks, for discussing where they spend said money. Understanding point #1, I think we all deserve to know where our money's going, and I'd encourage all people who are going to have company foundations to tell us what's what. Many LGBTQ folks and their allies have had this information for a long time. If you're just now catching on, that doesn't make it new. It means Dan Cathy is doing it right, however abhorrent and oppressive I may find his opinions.
- If you learn nothing else, here is the one point I hope you know, understand, believe, share with all your friends: Boycotts do not suppress free speech. They are free speech. Our right to free speech means Dan Cathy can say what he wants and not get arrested for it.* It also means other people can do what they want about what he says, within the law. Not eating really sugary chicken with pickles is absolutely one of those things people can do.
- Please be nice. If you've decided, in keeping with #1, that you're still going to eat at Chick-Fil-A, OK. If you've decided that that is a proud and noble stand to take, I don't get it, but OK. But if you know you have (or may have) queer friends, who are actively suffering (or may have suffered) thanks to the efforts of the Chick-Fil-A Foundation, maybe don't make such a thing of your proud and noble stand on Facebook?
- That's also not a suppression of free speech. That is a person who tries to be mostly kind hoping that her friends will maybe try to do the same in public spaces they know she'll be in. It's not censorship to remind people I exist.
*BTW, as a wealthy white Christian male, the odds that he'd get arrested for it even without our right to free speech are pretty slim. But whatevs.