Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A

Friday is supposed to be “Kiss Day” at Chick-fil-A: a counter-protest in which gay and lesbian activists dine at the restaurant and share same-sex smooches, to make some sort of statement against the company’s CEO, traditional marriage supporter Dan Cathy.

As long as everyone participating in Kiss Day obeys the rules of public behavior and the restaurant’s dining-room policies, there’s nothing objectionable about it from a free-speech standpoint.  Chick-fil-A issued a cheerful statement of welcome to the Kiss Day protesters: “We understand from news reports that Friday may present yet another opportunity for us to serve with genuine hospitality, superior service and great food.”

And well they might have gained that “understanding from news reports,” because Kiss Day instantly garnered far more media coverage than Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day earlier this week, even though the former event was dozens, perhaps hundreds, of times larger.  The nearly monolithic support of the media and entertainment culture for gay marriage activists has been an invaluable asset.

But Kiss Day may prove to be counter-productive, an idea that swiftly occurred to some gay marriage supporters.  The L.A. Times quotes a few of their reservations:

“I respect not patronizing their establishment … but by taunting them in their establishment is hate-filled and inciting anger and hate,” said one commenter on a page urging people to participate in the kiss-in.

Suggested another: “Its okay to disagree but its not okay to confront a person on their views in such an aggressive and provocative manner. There are forums for that.”

This whole idea is as wrong-headed as the rest of the increasingly oppressive gay-marriage movement, which has become almost completely incapable of stating the arguments of their opponents honestly, or conceding them an ounce of good will.  They constantly describe Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy as “anti-gay,” an infantile attempt to dismiss opposing arguments as illegitimate without engaging them.

This oppressive language leaks into “impartial” media coverage, even when some effort is made by reporters to maintain a bit of objectivity.  For example, the L.A. Times relates a statement from a gay activist as follows:

“Without question, Dan Cathy has every right to voice his opinions and beliefs,” Herndon Graddick, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said in a statement released to the Los Angeles Times. “But he should meet and get to know the people … harmed by his company???s multimillion-dollar donations.”

Graddick said he was referring to more than $5 million in donations that Chick-fil-A has given to anti-LGBT organizations. Graddick said in his statement that those organizations included the American Family Assn. and Family Research Council. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization, describes both groups as being actively “anti-gay.”

(Emphasis mine.)  See how that works?  The gay activist describes support for traditional marriage as “harming” people, which means holding an opinion that differs from gay-marriage orthodoxy is somehow equivalent to assaulting them.  Therefore, such opinions are automatically and inherently illegitimate – the equivalent of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, and we all know how the First Amendment feels about that.

And the L.A. Times helpfully proceeds to describe the recipients of Dan Cathy’s donations as “anti-LGBT organizations,” without enclosing the term in scare quotes, suggesting that detractors are the only ones who describe them that way, or making any effort to relate how the organizations describe themselves.  Note also how uncritically they quote the Southern Poverty Law Center – as biased and dishonest an organization as you’ll ever find.

As indicated in their statement, Chick-fil-A management doesn’t seem too dismayed at the prospect of getting more free media coverage, and selling more chicken.  Activists staging peaceful demonstrations are a vast improvement over thug politicians musing that the First Amendment really doesn’t apply to people they strongly disagree with.