Column: Want gay fries with that?

An Angus Reid poll from March of this year suggest 48 per cent of Americans are still opposed to gay marriage

Why did the chicken cross the road? To escape the clutches of a homophobic fast food restaurant.

Crap, I screwed up the punchline. It’s supposed to be: to escape the clutches of a fast food restaurant that supports traditional family values.

A few weeks back, Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-fil-A (an American chicken chain), was asked by a small Baptist newspaper whether he supports same-sex marriage.

He indirectly answered the question, saying, “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principle.”

Well Cathy was right about his views being unpopular.

Since then, a nationwide boycott of Chick-fil-A was launched and supported by an overwhelming number of Americans who defend gay marriage.

Cathy, the businessman, was martyred because of his personal views, which don’t seem to be related to his business practices. His restaurants still hire homosexuals and serve fried chicken to gay customers, if they so choose to work or eat there.

And though I disagree wholeheartedly with Cathy’s stance on gay marriage, he’s absolutely right that he can openly share his values and operate on biblical principle, if he so chooses.

And he’s not alone.

An Angus Reid poll from March of this year suggest 48 per cent of Americans are still opposed to gay marriage. That means Cathy’s not alone by any means. Statistically speaking, some 48 per cent of the owners of the businesses at which you shop share a similar view.

But 48 per cent is now a minority. And that minority is shrinking.

It seems Canada is more progressive, at 36 per cent opposition. But that’s still a high number.

And it’s likely – though I don’t want to generalize – that the majority of those who don’t support same-sex marriage probably operate, like Cathy, on biblical principles, or other religious scriptures.

To boycott a company whose president doesn’t share the same religious views as you is silly. To boycott a company whose president doesn’t share the same political views as you is ridiculous. But to boycott a company whose president openly supports a form of inequality is reasonable.

And it’s unfortunate the Chick-fil-A employees who don’t agree with Cathy’s stance – even those who do – are being branded and chastised for being affiliated with a homophobic company, but Cathy must’ve known the impact a public statement on this issue would have.

Not only that, apparently the company annually donates millions of dollars to organizations and groups that actively and openly oppose same-sex marriage.

That’s where I draw the line. Chick-fil-A doesn’t operate in Canada, so I can’t boycott it for reasons other than its unhealthy, deep-fried menu options.

It’s one thing for a businessman to come forward and state his stance on an issue – I may disagree with you, for reasons of equality or religion, but your views are your own. I wouldn’t boycott you for that.

However, it’s another thing entirely to use your company’s profits to finance groups whose sole objective is to deny equal rights to a portion of the population that includes some of your employees and customers. That’s boycott-worthy.

I realistically don’t expect to change anyone’s stance on gay marriage with this column. Your views, like mine, are founded in each of our upbringings and our understandings of our social and political environments.

But I, like many, should thank Cathy for coming out and publicly stating his position on such a divisive issue – even if it makes no sense for a businessman to wade into the discussion.

At least there’s an awareness now of where money goes once it’s exchanged for Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips; I wouldn’t want to knowingly have my money finance discriminatory ventures.

Maybe more business owners should be as open.

 

Kyle Slavin is a reporter with the Saanich News.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria post-secondary schools reveal most popular programs

Camosun College, the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University share students’ top picks

Opposition to gravel quarry in Highlands gains traction

Impact on drinking water a major concern

‘Best in the country’: Formerly homeless man praises Victoria’s outreach services

Jay W. was living on the streets of downtown Victoria in 2018

Greater Victoria sees crime severity index rise

Fraud cases rise 31 per cent over previous year

Time-lapse video shows weekend work on McKenzie Interchange project

Construction crews place concrete underpass bridge beams

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Most Read