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Chick-Fil-A At Center of Same-sex Marriage Debate

Whether he intended for it to happen or not, the president of fast food chain Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, reportedly made some comments that were not taken kindly by supporters of same-sex marriage.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never been to a Chick-Fil-A restaurant but that doesn’t have anything to do with politics. I generally stay away from fast food places anyway and there a whole lot of well-known fast food restaurants I’ve never set foot in. Heck, I don’t get out to eat very much anyway, so when I do, I’m usually not looking for a fast food quickie meal.

I guess it’s no secret that we’ve become a nation divided. Sure, we’ve always hadchicken left and right, conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans or whatever, but in recent years, it seems as if that divide has gotten a lot deeper.

When the controversial comments of the restaurant chain’s president became public, there was a backlash from same-sex marriage supporters. As always, politicians cannot pass up a good opportunity to promote themselves so letters were written, calls for support we made, admonishments flowed and the Chick-Fil-A firestorm was born.

What’s interesting about controversies that go “viral” like this Chick-Fil-A thing is that it seems like the efforts of those who want to make their voices heard can sometimes backfire.

I just got finished watching the news – as much of it as I can take anyway – and the Chick-Fil-A story was right up there as a top story. I should point out that I’ve recently moved from a state that has exactly one Chick-Fil-A restaurant to a state that probably has dozens, maybe hundreds! I should also point out that I know live in an area that is probably considered part of the “Bible Belt,” although that had nothing to do with our decision to relocate here.

Anyway, as you might suspect, the news story had a reporter live at a local Chick-Fil-A location and it was mobbed. There were cars jammed up trying to get into the parking lot and long lines of customers stretching out the doors and down the sidewalk. It was pretty clear that this particular location was raking in a lot more cash than they do on a normal day.

There were also a small group of protesters in attendance who carried signs declaring their support for same-sex marriage and equating Chick-Fil-A with hate. All this in a city that is pretty well-known as a stronghold for “liberals.”

The brisk business that this particular Chick-Fil-A was enjoying is what I’m talking about when I mentioned how these kind of things can backfire. I surely support everyone’s right to free speech and all, but had the same-sex marriage supporters just let Mr. Cathy’s comments slide, it’s unlikely that there would have been an explosion of business at many of the chain’s restaurants.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t speak out, just that they might want to consider their strategy a little more carefully in the future in light of how this is playing out.

Heck, maybe their business is hurting in other regions. I don’t know. I’m just going by what I see on the TV news as well as what I’m seeing on the internet.

Personally, I don’t have strong feelings about same-sex marriage one way or the other. I guess it’s just not one of “my issues.” You would think that people would know what to expect by now when they start a war of words over something like this.

In this particular case, many of the people that support Mr. Cathy’s views on same-sex marriage are going to race down to their local Chick-Fil-A and buy as much food as they can afford. Those that were offended by his comments are going to boycott Chick-Fil-A or maybe even go down to one of their restaurants to protest.

So far, it appears that Mr. Cathy’s supporters are winning this one and there are probably quite a few Chick-Fil-A franchise owners smiling broadly today as all that cash from the extra business rolls in.

So why write about this at all if same-sex marriage is not one of “my issues?” I guess I’m kind of fascinated by how something like this evolves. It starts with a few comments by an executive and the next thing you know, it’s national news!

Again, it shows how deeply divided this country has become. It’s almost like we’ve become two countries in one. I’m sure this won’t be the last time something like this happens.

I guess when you think about it, a guy like Dan Cathy probably doesn’t have all that much to lose by making his personal opinions public. The way things are these days, someone like him can probably count on half the country supporting him and the other half denouncing him.

I don’t know a whole lot about Chick-Fil-A, but a little research reveals that it’s corporate headquarters is just outside Atlanta, Georgia and the chain got it’s start in the south – that area often referred to as the “Bible Belt.” Perhaps that is why Mr. Cathy wasn’t shy about airing his opinions on controversial subjects. So far, it looks like that decision is paying off nicely for him as well as the franchise owners.

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