Chick-Fil-A has been in a whole lot of hot water lately. Here, two Mash reporters weigh in on why they will or will not choose to eat at the fast food chain.

By Paige Smart
University of Missouri-Columbia

When entering a restaurant, the most pressure I want to receive is deciding quickly enough what it is that I want from the menu, not whether if by choosing to eat there I’m making some huge political statement. It is understandable that most supporters of gay rights will no longer choose to eat at Chick-Fil-A because by paying to eat there equates donations to anti-gay organizations.

As a society, we’ll continue to buy our clothes, shoes, groceries, and cars without a second thought to who the president of the brand or company is and what they believe. As a country we’re already blind. It’s impossible to know the details of all the people involved in the things people buy on a daily basis, if they did the chaos and the segregation that would ensue from that would be endless. If I wanted to shop and only buy brands that knowingly supported gay rights, I think I would be living a fairytale.

Owner of the Chick-Fil-A Water Tower location downtown, Lauren Silich, told the Chicago Tribune that she is “dedicated to serving everyone with honor, dignity, and respect,” and that’s pretty much all that anyone could ask for. Every Chick-Fil-A franchise is not married to the ideals of its executives, and every employee and customer who buys a chicken sandwich is not conspiring against gay rights.

I don’t support the city forcing beliefs and making a decision for me of where I can and cannot eat. I am personally capable of making that decision on my own so if I ever feel the urge to eat a chicken sandwich, Chick-Fil-A will continue to be an option.

By Leah Barber
University of Chicago Lab

With so many options for fast dining, why would you pick one that spreads hate and bigotry? Last week, the president of Chick-Fil-A (which has long been a promoter of Christian values) Dan Cathy said he was “guilty as charged” for not supporting gay marriage. After the comments were made, a movement against the establishment quickly spread across the country, with people protesting outside of their locations and vowing not to eat their food.

Chick-Fil-A might have good chicken sandwiches, but patronizing them means giving fuel to their anti-gay agenda, whether you intend to or not. It is easy to say that one customer won’t affect the overall impact of the company, but the issue goes back to the old saying: those who stand by and let hate happen are, by association, perpetrators of hate themselves.

Eating at Chick-Fil-A, a company that has long opposed rights for members of the LGBTQ community, ties you to their message in one way or another. One might say it’s not the product that’s bad, it’s the company,  but the two are so intertwined that by supporting the product, one supports the agenda as well. It is just as easy to visit other fast food restaurants that don’t use their money, customer base and influence to spread hatred. Even better, this is an excellent excuse to frequent local businesses. Who knows, you might even find a new favorite chicken sandwich.

>> Paige Smart is a 2012 graduate of Whitney Young.

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About The Mash

The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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