For those previously unaware of fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A’s narrow-minded social and political viewpoints, company president Dan Cathy recently went on the record to make public their official stance on gay marriage. Cathy incurred the wrath of numerous Hollywood stars when he told the news outlet that the chain supports the “traditional family” and “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation,” he said in the interview, “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.”
The Muppets are the latest in a long list of figures that have since declared war on Chick-fil-A, in addition to actor Ed Helms, talk show host Jon Stewart and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” the mayor said. “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”
The Jim Henson Company, which is responsible for the characters from the films “The Muppets,” “The Labyrinth,” “Fraggle Rock” and more, had recently been working with the chain to create toys for its kids meals. The company, however, posted the following statement on its Facebook page in the wake of Cathy’s remarks:
“The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over 50 years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO, is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-fil-A to GLAAD” (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).
I learned about Chick-fil-A’s freakishly backward ways several years ago, while in college, and have actively boycotted their products ever since. In addition to being unapologetically homophobic, they also endorse what author Jessica Valenti calls “the purity myth,” or “the lie that virginity exists, and that it has some bearing on who we are and how good we are.” Sticking to their conservative Christian guns, the fast food chain at one time sponsored “chastity cards,” or cards that young people sign pledging their virginity until marriage. Teens could receive a free soda by showing these cards at any Chick-fil-A restaurant.
But Chick-fil-A is not without its supporters, including former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. On his Facebook page this weekend, the presidential candidate wrote that he has “been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick-fil-A company,” declaring August 1 “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” Huckabee called the Cathy clan “a wonderful Christian family who are committed to operating the company with Biblical principles and whose story is the true American success story”—one “that is being smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left.”
Vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry? Really? I wonder what the Cathy family, a white, upper-class, Christian, heterosexual nuclear unit, really knows about “vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry.” Homosexuals have incurred the most violent wrath of hate speech and bigotry since African Americans. It is downright ignorant to even begin to compare the experience of a privileged, wealthy and homophobic family with that of a segmented and disadvantaged class of society.
Not to mention the fact that 50% of American adults now support same-sex marriage rights, as opposed to the 45% who are against it, a statistic that would be seemingly hard to overlook from a marketing perspective. If all 50% of those adults decided to boycott Chick-fil-A, as many already have, the company may be in for some serious trouble.
Think about it, people. It’s 2012. If you don’t support marriage equality by now, you are officially in the minority. If you want to pull the Bible card, fine. But remember that this country was founded on the separation of Church and State. If you don’t believe in gay marriage, then don’t get gay married. It’s that simple. Stop trying to impose your religious beliefs on an entire country of people.