I am surprised by the pride folks demonstrate in their bigotry. Nothing seems to galvanize good people of majority status like the opportunity to pick on a minority group that has the audacity to vocalize dissatisfaction. Bigotry about sexual orientation operates on a continuum from "love the sinner" to "kills the gays." In the future, those who support denying basic civil rights to this minority group will be viewed in the same way decent people view those who supported denying civil rights to black people 50 years ago.
I know.... No shame
To them it's not so much bigotry as their way of saying, "I'm better / holier / more pious than YOU are," and in so doing, show off their bigoted attitude to their fellow believers ... AND to everyone else.
In the final analysis, sure, Dan Cathy has the right to give to whatever organizations he wants and to run his business after his preferences. Mayors Menino and Emanuel in response have the right to publicly point out this attitude. It may be that they can't legally prevent Chick-fil-A from coming into their markets, they can make the process a lot more difficult, time-consuming and expensive, while employing their skills at political theater to keep Cathy's less-than-egalitarian attitudes in the public eye.
The bottom line is that Cathy will likely still sell his chicken sandwiches, but probably not so many as he might have otherwise. The black eye he takes for his bigotry won't go away for a long time, either.
Two observations about this.
First, I don't think it will take 50 years to view Cathy and his ilk in the same way white supremacists of the 1960's are currently viewed. I think their viewed the same way right now - at least I do. Which leads me to my next point.
Second. I'm of the opinion that Huckster Huckabee and his "Support Chic-fil-a" campaign will ultimately backfire on them. Think of this. You're a company that, like every other capitalist corporation, wants to expand your market. Do you do that by alienating potential customers, and driving off ones you have now? Yeah, you make a big splash for a couple of days with cheering supporters and lines out to the parking lot. But, after a few weeks, people will go back to their normal routines. Die hard Chic-fil-a customers will continue to eat there. But even then, a constant diet of the same thing gets old. Others will go back to Burger King, McDonald's, Hardees, etc. HOWEVER, you have demonstrably alienated a significant percentage of the population that will never eat there again, or even try it for the first time. The very same population you want for the expansion of your customer base. I'll be the first to admit I'm not an economist, but this doesn't strike as the most intelligent business plan one could come up with. Personal opinion is that their potential for growth just took a major hit.
I don't think Chic-Fil-A will be hurt by the founder giving a fortune to hate groups, and speaking against LGBT people's rights to christian publications. The only bad publicity is no publicity. For many (myself included) then only time I've heard about Chic-Fil-A has been due to the owner being a bigot. The teabaggers have made big inroads in American politics, with their bigotry. Mrs. Palin has made a fortune by being a poop head, even though her voice sounds like pigs eating their young. Even Mrs. Palin's dimwitted daughter has made a fortune by having no talent other than choosing an infamous mother and getting pregnant.
These people, and chic-Fil-A are like the pile of cow poop attracting flies - there are plenty of flies to attract.
Chic-Fil-A may never be McDonalds' but they will do well. America has no shortage of low life.
I am just disgusted with my fellow human beings today, I yelled at network television three times this morning before I decided I'm too sick and it's wearing on me emotionally to watch this clap trap, so no more local t.v. for me... I can't do it... I'm getting uglier whilst I watch, thinking uglier thoughts, wishing we had crazies on our side.
It's a never ending game of whack-a-mole with this type human, I'm convinced that humans will 'never' peacefully coexist and this stupidity, this malignancy on the ass of humanity we call religious fundamentalism has done nothing but destroy civilization after civilization in the name of their gods since its inception, I'm convinced it will not rest until we are extinct, they are our species meteorite, our plague. Maybe we should build a floating city somewhere out there and leave them to kill one another off.
Not watching local TV might be a good idea (sigh). A floating city might be a good idea.
SB, I see your point. And while I agree that even bad publicity is still publicity, I think this works more for politicians than it does for businesses. BP stock fell in value from $60.00 a share to $27.00 a share in light of the Gulf Oil Spill. Bank of America stock dropped by 30%. Hewlett Packard's stock dropped 22% when the CEO Hurd falsified expenses for meeting with a "consultant" (Jodie Fisher - soft core porn star). Now, I realize Chick-fil-a is not a publicly held company, and they didn't bring down the stock market, or cause an environmental disaster. But, I'm still not convinced this will be good for business.
You're correct in that there's always going to be flies attracted to shit. And, I don't think this will cause their bankruptcy, by any stretch (although, one can always hope). However, once the smell permeates things, it may be just the flies that are attracted, and no one else.
On another site it was mentioned that there used to be a Denny's-like pancake restaurant chain, Sambos. According to Wikipedia, in 1979 Sambo's had 1,200 outlets in 47 American states. Then the syrup hit the fan, due to the obvious racist name and theme. I remember eating there as a boy - there was definitely the "plantation theme", stereotype racist imagery on the decorations and menus. Boycotts and protests led to the chain's demise, and even bankruptcy and re-naming could not save it.
I think the difference here is that, in the 1970s, much (by no means all or even maybe most) of the family-restaurant-going populace rightfully saw shame in racism. Or at least, viewed eating at a racist-theme restaurant as being low-life. People wanted to think of themselves as goodhearted and well meaning. To eat at a restaurant that had as its name, a racist symbol and imagery, did not jib with how people wanted to view themselves.
Today, elections are still fought and won by people who use the "gay card" to garner votes. In every state that has put marriage equality on the ballot, the anti-equality side has lost. Even if that changes in a couple of states this fall (don't bet your pants on it), the majority of the country either doesn't give enough of a damn to vote, or is avidly against equality. And plenty, who are not against equality, don't understand why a company's founder being homophobic means they shouldn't enjoy the food.
On their "anti-gay-day", the chain was as busy as a farmer with one hoe and 5 rattlesnakes. That effect will wear off, but we are still a long way from acceptance of LGBT people.
I would like to believe otherwise. I grew up gay, I'm still gay, and I will always be gay. I lived through homophobic redneck childhood, bullying and beatings. I lived through the fame and fortune of Reagan, Anita Bryant, Jerry Farwell, seeing more die from AIDS than died in Vietnam - without gov't comment and with "leaders" blaming the victims, don't ask-don't tell, and countless personal experiences. To expect that a country and culture that has so many times shown promise only to back down, is not realistic. It's like being the wife of an alcoholic who is constantly claiming to be reformed, only to come home and administer yet another beating.
Even thought I nearly cried when Obama came out in support of marriage equality, and Hillary Clinton and other politicians have said, LGBT people are human and deserve respect and equality, it's very hard not to say, thank you so much, truly and sincerely, but I still don't trust American society.
I want to say I understand your mistrust, but I honestly don't. Appreciate it and empathize with it, yes. Understand it based on personal experience, no. I'd be lying if I said I did. I've never been in your shoes, or lived your life experiences. I'm a 60 year old white, heterosexual, male, who was in the demographics that were handed every opportunity society could offer growing up. I was never told I couldn't drink at a water fountain, use a restroom, or eat in a diner because of my skin color. I was never told my opinions were worthless, that I should get back in the kitchen, have career opportunities, or equal pay denied to me because of my gender. I was never picked on, beaten, shunned, ostracized, or made to feel an outcast who is less than human because of my sexual preference or orientation. Unlike so many in our society (and the world), I drew what American society at the time would have defined as a winning lottery ticket at birth.
But, I'm glad I grew up when I did. It was an eye opener to live through the civil rights movement, and realize how dangerous and deadly ignorant bigoted hatred can be. Oh, and I used to get into a shit load of trouble, and more than one ass whipping, with my father when I mentioned I thought blacks were just as equal as everyone else. Now, decades after being a living witness to Selma, Alabama, Bull Connor, and Chaney, Goodman and Schwermer, I hear the same dumb assed arguments, same hatred, same ignorant bigotry, same mean spirited dehumanization being spouted from the same type of people when it comes to LGBTs.
I guess I'm hoping that that there are enough of you and me out there that a change for the better will occur. It's incremental, and long overdue. Two steps forward, and one and three quarters backward. Maybe not in my lifetime or yours. But I can still hope, if for no other reason than for my children and the future. I'll give credit to fellow A|N member James Martin for enlightening me to the following quote.
Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace. Benito Jaurez