On Wednesday, Chick-fil-A set what they claimed was a one-day sales record in all franchises across the country, the result of Fox News host and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (the perfect poster child for promoting fast food) launching Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. By all accounts, tens of thousands of Americans stood in long lines to clog their arteries for intolerance.
As a talk show host, I have never favored product boycotts based solely on speech. That’s a slippery slope. The fact that Chick-fil-A’s founder, Dan Cathy, opposes gay marriage is his right. It’s also my right to call him a homophobic bigot. And each of us has the right to earn a living, despite our differences of opinion.
But I draw the line when a business actively discriminates against someone based on the color of their skin (like the Woolworth’s lunch counters in the ’60s, which refused to serve “coloreds”), their religion or gender (restricted clubs and hotels that don’t allow Jews or women), or their sexual orientation (too many to count). Then government has a role to play. Discrimination is un-American, even when it’s still legal. As I always say, bigotry is bigotry is bigotry.
“Some” say (and they almost always say it on Fox) that our society has the right to decide what is an acceptable right. I say, NAH! Civil rights are never a matter of public opinion. If we’d done what Chris Christie recently suggested would have been the better way to end racial discrimination — put it to a popular vote — how would that have worked out in, say, Mississippi in 1962? And that’s exactly what he wants to do for marriage equality in New Jersey.
One day we’ll look back on all this and laugh. The time will come, even in Chick-fil-A, when hens will lie with other hens and cocks will lie down with other cocks.
Oh, sorry, you knew I meant roosters, right?