I love the recent Chik-fil-A debate, in which the CEO of Chick-fil-A has publicly condemned gay marriage, sparking many public figures to speak out against the restaurant chain. Regardless of how one might feel about the issue of gay marriage, the fact that Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino wrote a letter to Dan Cathy, the owner of Chik-fil-A and asked him not to expand to his city raises so many interesting questions. Should our politicians take personal public stands that they are unable to enforce in the body politic? If the company is not breaking any laws, should Cathy’s personal feelings on gay marriage affect whether his company can do business in a particular locale? I will leave these questions to more qualified individuals to answer and suggest a call to action each of us can undertake, rather than waiting for our politicians to send letters.
Clearly, when a businessperson makes a public political statement, that person runs the risk of offending potential customers. Yes, that businessperson may be exercising his or her right to speech, but as moral and thinking individuals, we have a responsibility to respond. As we all know, the power of the dollar can have a strong impact and where we spend our dollars is a moral decision. If you disagree with Dan Cathy’s point of view and you support gay marriage, don’t eat at Chik-fil-A and be sure to tell all your friends the same. Personally, I love the fact that Mayor Menino wrote that open letter to Dan Cathy, but it doesn’t really matter. Chik-fil-A will open its stores wherever it wants, and the only thing that will ensure that they close is if nobody eats there.