I think that, on this Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, first announced by former Governor Mike Huckabee on his Fox News program, subsequently joined by about 24 sponsoring organizations and today resulting in long lines of hundreds of customers up to, around the block and down the street of local Chick-fil-A’s all across the country, it’s appropriate to set the record straight about the current liberal-instigated, liberal media-misrepresented kerfuffle over Chick-fil-A’s alleged bashing of gay marriage.
First, some background. Chick-fil-A, which is a Christian family owned and operated business, started as the Dwarf Grill (later the Dwarf House, a name still used by the chain), a restaurant opened by S. Truett Cathy, who is still the company’s chairman and CEO, in an Atlanta, Georgia suburb in 1946. As an outgrowth of this business, the first Chick-fil-A opened in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall in 1967. Since then, it has become a $4 billion a year business, outselling even MacDonald’s in average sales per restaurant in 2010, despite its company policy of its stores being closed every Sunday and on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Dan Cathy is Chick-fil-A’s current president and COO.
Since 1994, the Atlanta-based company has been the title sponsor of the Peach Bowl, an annual college football bowl game played in Atlanta. Beginning in the 2006 season, the Peach Bowl became the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Chick-fil-A also is a key sponsor of the SEC, ACC, and Big 12 conferences of college athletics. The company also sponsors several charity or charity-related events each year, as well as contributing to a variety of organizations which support and defend Christian, traditional marriage and strong family values.
On Father’s Day weekend in June of this year, Dan Cathy was being interviewed on a syndicated radio talk show about — guess what? — fatherhood, of course — and said, “I think we are inviting 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 have the audacity to define what marriage is about.” Cathy was being interviewed about fatherhood, which led to family, which led to what constitutes marriage and was expressing his opinion in First Amendment protected free speech.
On July 2, 2012, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) watchdog group Equality Matters published a report of donations by Chick-fil-A to organizations opposed to same-sex marriage, such as the Marriage & Family Foundation and the Family Research Council. Also, on July 2, Biblical Recorder published an interview with Dan Cathy, who was asked about opposition to his company’s “support of the traditional family.” He replied: “Well, guilty as charged.” Cathy continued: “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. … We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that. We intend to stay the course,” he said. “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 principles.”
Well, not so fast, Mr. Cathy. According to mouthy, misguided, major city mayors, you may be wrong about that last part about living in a country where we can freely share our values and operate on biblical principles.
But also notice, in contrast to Democrats in public office and other liberals in and out of the lamestream media misrepresenting that Mr. Cathy engaged in bashing gay marriage, in both interviews he instead actually only spoke of supporting traditional marriage. The only actual bashing which has occurred has been of Mr. Cathy and Chick-fil-A.
Boston mayor, Mean Tommy Menino, a Democrat, said he would not allow Chick-fil-A to open franchises in the city “unless they open up their policies.” Despite there being no indication one way or the other whether Chick-fil-A even wanted to open franchises in Boston, methinks the mayor overstepped his bounds. In fact, he has since started walking his position back, perhaps because someone on his staff told him that what he was proposing, i.e., interfering with the opening of a private business, was illegal.
However, that didn’t stop Rambo Rahm Emanuel, of “never let a good crisis go to waste” fame and now Chicago’s mayor, also a Democrat, from doubling down and saying that Chick-fil-A was not welcome in the Windy City because they didn’t share “Chicago’s values.” Well, in a city renowned for political corruption, cronyism and currently the murder capital of America, not sharing Chicago’s “values” may be a good thing, Mr. Mayor. And maybe, just maybe, your mayoral priorities should be elsewhere than on bashing Chick-fil-A.
Predictably, San Fran was next, with its mayor Edwin “Left-wing” Lee, also, you guessed it, a Democrat, tweeting that Chick-fil-A didn’t share its values either and that the closest Chick-fil-A was 40 miles away from San Fran and they should not try to come any closer. Again, no evidence or indication that Chick-fil-A has any such intentions in the first place, but with Chick-fil-A at least it’s the chicken which is flaky, whereas with liberals in San Fran, it’s they themselves who are flaky.
Then, the Jim Henson Company, of Muppets fame, which has always, at least up to now, maintained that they were apolitical and nonpartisan, has now suddenly cancelled its business relationship with Chick-fil-A and said it will instead contribute to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). So much for staying out of the political fray. It’s okay for Jim Henson’s outfit to do this, of course. As with Chick-fil-A, they are free to conduct their business as they wish. Just don’t any longer hypocritically claim to be apolitical when you’re obviously not, ‘kay, Jim?
And most recently, DC mayor, Vincent “Gotta get in on this” Gray, yet another Democrat, said Chick-fil-A was unwelcome in DC and called it “hate chicken.”
UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh said, “[D]enying a private business permits because of such speech by its owner is a blatant First Amendment violation.” Echoing those views were Glenn Greenwald of Salon, professor John Turley of George Washington University, and Adam Schwartz, a senior attorney with the ACLU.
Beyond that, these mouthy and misguided mayors are exceeding their legal authority by suggesting that Chick-fil-A would be treated any differently, much less any more harshly, than any other private business seeking permits and licenses to operate in their cities. They have allowed their Democratic demagoguery to overshadow their sworn and official, mayoral ministerial duties. Mayors, depending on the local city political structure, are the heads, from just titular to managing, of their city governments and charged with mainly ministerial duties, like providing for the public safety, public education, keeping the streets repaired and clean, and ensuring timely trash pickup and disposal.
When they stray much beyond that and into political demagoguery in support of one part of their constituency over others, they are not representing all of their constituents, they are thus breaking their sworn oaths of office, they may also be breaking local, state and federal law, and, in this case, they have let their Democratic demagoguery supplant their democratic duties. Besides, Messrs. Mayor, some of your constituents in Boston, Chicago, San Fran or DC might actually like to have some Chick-fil-A.
Last, I have a question for all these mayors and other liberals: If it’s okay for the CEOs of Home Depot, Starbucks, Target, the Jim Henson Company and others to use their corporate image to support gay marriage and to contribute to organizations and sponsor events which promote gay marriage in particular and the gay agenda in general, why is it not okay for Chick-fil-A to do exactly the same thing in support of traditional marriage? Or is that too pointed a question for you because it conflicts with your Democratic, duplicitous and double standard disingenuousness?
Huh? What? Crickets. I thought so.