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Chick-Fil-A conundrum

 The judgment, the torment, the inner turmoil...
Customers line up outside the Chick-fil-A Restaurant in New Bern, N.C, Aug. 1st
Customers line up outside the Chick-fil-A Restaurant in New Bern, N.C, Aug. 1st

 The judgment, the torment, the inner turmoil... you might have faced this Chick-Fil-A moral crisis for sometime now and may have asked yourself  "Can one live on Bojangles alone?" "Is a Bo-Berry Biscuit enough?" "What's so bad about a diet lemonade?" Sure, it sounds petty but if you grew up eating Chick-Fil-A then you know just how intoxicating and addictive those sandwiches can be, no matter what the CEO of the company says about judgment God will impose on people who get gay married.

 This Chick-Fil-A drama has been in a pressure cooker for years (much like the incredibly tender chicken breasts between those white buns at Chick-Fil-A.) People like, no LOVE Chick-Fil-A. (Some of us would also like it if we didn't have to sneak into an NYU food hall to get those waffle fries without leaving Manhattan!) This want of a good chicken sandwich is trivial but the regret that knowing your money is going to causes that may turn your stomach can be real, especially for LGBT people and their supporters. Luckily, we all have the freedom to buy or not to buy. But what if Chick-Fil-A is a necessity? What if it is your income?
A Chick-Fil-A worker, who happens to be gay, writes in The Daily Beast that while she is happy to have a job, on "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day" she felt anything but appreciated... as a person. She writes anonymously (for obvious reasons) and says she would never hope her customers "choke on their nuggets—but one day will swallow their words."  She went on:



The people I work alongside kept going on and on about how powerful it was to be part of such a righteous movement, and how encouraged they were to know that there were so many people who agree with Dan Cathy. They went on at great length about how it was wrong not just for gays to marry, but to exist. One kid, age 19, said “I hope the gays go hungry.”When they go on about “family values,” it’s clearly only their families they value. That arrogance, self-righteousness, and desire for their opponents to suffer: that’s the least Christ-like attitude of all. 

Dan Cathy's public statements are also putting franchise owners in bind. Chicago's only Chick-Fil-A responded to the outcry by requesting a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. She stated that her business supports the entire community with fundraisers and donations for schools & hospitals and a "wide variety of causes, including everything from churches to gay and lesbian organizations." I am sure this is the case with many franchise owners. An owner in New Hampshire is publicly supporting his local "Pride-Fest" and I happen to have known one franchise owner who considers herself to be LGBT. There is a Chick-Fil-A exactly one exit east of the RDU Airport on I-40 and I have failed to resist that urge to stop many times even as the Internet age and blogs like and have tirelessly shed light on the money that Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy has funneled to anti-gay groups.I have decided that if I have another Chick-Fil-A meal on my next trip home I will make an equal contribution to EQUALITY NC or some other group supporting marriage equality. It won't equal Dan Cathy's fortune on the other side but it will balance my contribution. Not everyone probably feels the same, especially after suffering through "Appreciation Day:"

When this first started, I implored my friends and allies not to boycott. Now, if I didn’t work there, I’d be boycotting too. That much hypocrisy and hatred leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and the last thing I want to eat is their chicken.