For the life of me, I’ll never understand why some people believe the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech grants them a carte blanche right to say or do anything they like without the least bit of criticism or negative feedback from other citizens.
The recent brouhaha over Chick-fil-A’s sponsorship of an anti-LGBT seminar in Pennsylvania has the LGBT blogosphere, mainstream media and Christian media in a frenzy. Some college students have even organized to get Chick-fil-A thrown off their campuses. The seminar isn’t the first time Chick-fil-A has sponsored or supported conservative, right-wing causes. The anti-gay, evangelical views of the company and its leaders have been well-known for an awfully long time. I guess some folks just got tired of it, found the right blog to on which to speak out and hit the news cycle at just the right time.
In a New York Times piece by Kim Severson, however, a conservative Chick-fil-A customer and supporter says the corporation has every right to say or think anything they please.
From the story:
On the other hand, Rhonda Cline, a dental hygienist in Atlanta and a devout Christian, has only gotten more outspoken in her support. She was one of nearly a thousand people who logged onto the Chick-fil-A Facebook page to comment on the issue.
“I applaud a company that in this climate today will step out on a limb the way the Constitution allows them to,” Ms. Cline said in an interview. “This is the United States, so we should be able to practice our business the way we like.”
Conservatives aren’t the only folks blasting the criticism heaped upon Chick-fil-A.
An LGBT blogger in North Carolina has taken to his site several times to complain about Chick-fil-A criticisms. The blogger, who goes by “SNT” and whose site is named “Sick-N-Tired” (as in, he’s “sick-n-tired” of the LGBT community), isn’t well-known nationally but has gained a small following for his regular and outspoken criticisms of both local and national LGBT leaders and organizations (despite his near-illiteracy). Often his vitriol is as hostile and anti-gay as that of the religious right.
It would seem that Campus fags and dykes have managed to get Chick-fil-A kick off campus.. I wonder if the atheist on campus could us the same tactics to get the all religion banned from Campus?
Once again Gay Inc. Speak and drones goes off to work.
However you must admit the LGBT Community really know how to play the victim don’t they. We are second class citizens, big brother won’t let us be us. This is such bull shit and they know it. The LGBT Community is becoming the Bullies now. They know it, but won’t admit it. They Claim they are standing up for their rights, While trying to deny and suppress the rights of businesses to do business they why they wish.
Sometimes you just have to wonder if the U.S. educational system is really even as good as our already, abysmally-low international rankings.
Does Chick-fil-A have the right to sponsor anti-gay events and seminars? Absolutely. Do they have the right to say, “We don’t serve fags and queers,” if they wanted to? Absolutely (in some jurisdictions, that is). Does the company have the right to preach and proselytize? Absolutely?
But, as many rights as the company has to do and say whatever they please does not and will never abridge the rights of the consuming public to have just as much right to criticize the company, boycott the company and organize to distance themselves or their affiliated institutions from the company.
Free speech is a two-way street, folks. It’s not a hard concept to understand. If Chick-fil-A wants to sponsor anti-gay organizations and events, by all means they have every right to do so. Their only point of decision will come down to whether or not utilizing that right to speech is in their best, fiscal interest. Because, after all, consumers aren’t drones. We have our own thoughts and opinions, and every right to express them and organize around them.
Of course, all this wouldn’t have been necessary to say if only some folks would have paid attention in their high school civics courses.