Why Chick Fil A Supporters Deserve a Voice, Too

Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBT stance has everyone going crazy. Everyone has an opinion; everyone has a battle to pick; everyone has a side he or she supports.

Personally, I have boycotted Chick-fil-A for the past two years because of their anti-LGBT stance. I cannot, in good conscience, provide financial support to an organization that believes that some fundamental human rights are only for certain people. This particular choice is one I can control, but it should be noted that we make choices everyday that indirectly support certain moral or political positions, whether or not it was intentional. It is unfortunate, but in our society, where our paychecks and money go matters. Money is a form of action, and in many cases, it speaks louder than words. We choose where to spend our money – and sometimes we choose to spend it at places like Chick-fil-A, which use that money in pursuit of a specific agenda.

Having certain beliefs, morals, or values are meaningless when you do nothing to act on them. It is simply a farce. Moreover, it is imperative that we remember that in our country, it is not wrong to have a different opinion than someone else — rather, it is encouraged. I know it is difficult to see the other side, especially on such issues where to many it is a matter of basic human rights and discrimination, but we have to in order to avoid hypocrisy. We cannot preach tolerance and not tolerate an opposite view, even if it goes against many of our core beliefs. Just to be clear, I am definitely not supporting anti-LGBT views, but I have to acknowledge their viewpoint, no matter how much I don’t like it or agree with it.

What really bothers me, however, are the people who fully support LGBT rights (or don’t), but take a position on a particular issue and do nothing to demonstrate their beliefs. There are plenty of individuals who I know in this particular situation, who deem their tasty chicken sandwich as more important than Dan Cathy and his fast food joint’s views on gays, and, unfortunately, that’s just the way it goes. I believe that we are all held accountable for our choices, myself included.

Chick-fil-A is simply a fast food place. However, they cease to just be that when they take a stance on certain issues, compelling you to agree or disagree. When you choose to eat there, your money does not stop in the cash register. That money will be used, possibly in a way that you do not like. There are unseen implications of your actions, which resonate beyond the company’s profits. 

You can, of course, choose to do nothing, and continue doing what you do. You can be apathetic to the situation and just not care about who does what with their money. There are no direct consequences to your apathy – just don’t complain. You lose your privilege to have a complaint worth listening to when you do nothing to change the status quo. Apathy festers and kills any chance of viable dialogue or movement. It’s the antithesis of change – in either direction.

Realistically, it’s not possible to boycott every organization, or fight for every cause. We pick and choose our battles and, understandably, maybe LGBT rights or anti-LGBT rights isn’t one of your top priorities. Maybe you advocate for something else you believe in and choose to sit this one out – that’s fair. At least you are contributing your voice somewhere. As was famously said, “The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, But because of the silence of good people.” 

So if you feel strongly about this issue or any other topic, please take a stand. It doesn’t matter what your stance may be as long as you are open to the opinions and actions of others. Society cannot progress with inaction and stagnant discourse. We need people who don’t agree with us so we can understand why we believe what we believe in, make progress, and, maybe, reconsider our own point of view.

People mention how boycotts or individual decisions fail to impact the larger picture. I disagree. What you do not only determines what you stand for but can create meaningful change within our communities. Wednesday was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, as deemed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and this picture from Houston, Texas demonstrates that ordinary people are making their anti-gay marriage stance known. 

At the same time, the Human Rights Campaign released this article, showcasing how Chick-Fil-A’s reputation has greatly suffered and its ratings from consumers across the country has sharply plummeted. This comes from ordinary individuals like you and me – what we say and do really does matter.

So go to Chick-fil-A or don’t, go to KFC or don’t, shop at Urban Outfitters or don’t, donate to the Salvation Army or don’t – but whatever you do, do it with purpose. Be deliberative, be bold, and take a stance.