A short essay I wrote that was well-received on Facebook; hopefully the message resonates equally as well here.
This whole Chick-fil-A "issue" is turning into a farce pretty quickly, and I appreciate that some people can step back and laugh about the entire debacle. But there also seems to be a lot of "free speech" and "common sense" being thrown about with little context or understanding of why the controversy began in the first place or why it's evolved into a bigger issue.
Yes, Chick-fil-A's COO reiterated the franchise's stance against marriage equality, and it is his right to say whatever he feels. But the backlash isn't due to one man's - or even one company's - verbal stance on a very relevant political debate. The issue is that the company has donated millions of dollars to political campaigns actively working to deny gay citizens the right to marry. Chick-fil-A has spoken with more than just words; they've spoken with their wallet. And the money that drives their profits comes from the sale of their food. If you purchase something at Chick-fil-A, you're contributing to an organization that actively works against marriage equality. It's no different than writing a check to the Mormon Church or to the National Organization for Marriage. It's not the position that should bother the customers, it's how their money is being used.
What bothers me more than just the issue of the money is the conservative response to the backlash that Chick-fil-A has received. And this is the biggest issue here that needs to be addressed.
Every ignorant conservative pundit, politician, or idiot Facebook commenter has made their "case" that Chick-fil-A has a right to "free speech" and that people aren't respecting this right. Understand that part of "free speech" is my right to disagree and my right to express this disagreement. Understand further that in an economic system such as ours, I'm going to express my disagreement through what conservatives otherwise consider to be the greatest power on the planet: free market forces. If I don't like your company, I'm not going to buy your product. And if I think your company is harming our society, I'm going to go out of my way to prevent that from happening. Sound familiar?
It's the force that conservatives swear by; the philosophy that a company survives when it gives the customers what they want and fails when it doesn't.
And conservatives' willingness to abandon their understanding of capitalism in the face of the Chick-fil-A controversy shows their true colors. This isn't about people exercising their right to free speech and it isn't about using the market to determine which companies survive - it's about defending an organization that donates money to the cause of undermining equality. And preventing gays from marrying has demonstrated itself to be far more important than pointing out the beauty of capitalism in action.
So don't buy into the bullshit of liberals "opposing free speech" or "whining" about Chick-fil-A's political advocacy. It is absolutely imperative that those who support marriage equality make an example of Chick-fil-A through the best method we have: free market forces. If they want to use our money to undermine our free and equal society, then we'll take our business elsewhere.