Patch’s Poll: Do You Care About a Group’s Public Stance on Civil Issues Such as Gay Rights?

The Boy Scouts of America and Chick-fil-a were subjects of either praise or scrutiny last week for solidifying their opposition on certain gay rights issues.

The Boy Scouts of America made national headlines last week when it reaffirmed its ban on allowing gay youths to be Scouts and gay men or women to be Scout masters.

The announcement came last Tuesday after a two-year review by a special 11-member Boy Scout committee, as reported by The Washington Post, in which the committee agreed to continue an anti-gay policy upheld following a 2000 Supreme Court decision.

Around the same time this news broke, the president of the Chik-fil-A chain of restaurants, Dan Cathy, said that his privately owned company is “guilty as charged” in its support for traditional marriage, the Post reported.

Both stories sparked a media firestorm from supporters and detractors of gay marriage. Some Democrats have taken hard lined stances against the business, such as Boston Mayor Tom Menino who wrote a public letter announcing “there’s no place” for the company’s discrimination in Boston.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, some Republicans have “doubled down” on eating Chick-fil-A,as reported by Politico, saying they support the business and its right to free speech on the issue of marriage.

Back on the Boy Scouts issue, Eagle Scout Kelsey Timmerman wrote in a Huffington Post blog that he would send back his Eagle Scout badge because of the organization’s anti-gay policy. Like Chick-fil-A, this issue has brought out both supporters and detractors.

The core argument at the center of these issues has often centered around free speech and discrimination. Taking another look at it again, we’d like to hear your feelings on whether you are bothered by a decision on a civil issue like this from two private entities.

Do you care about an organization's or business' public stance on civil issues such as gay rights? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

Jerry O'Connor July 26, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Free speech and discrimination are two different things. If the owner of a restaurant chain doesn't think gay marriage is a good idea and expresses that opinion, that's "free speech," it's protected by the Constitution, and others can choose to agree or disagree, and to patronize his restaurant chain (which I'm sure has many gay employees and customers) or not. If the restaurant chain refuses to serve gay people or discriminates in how it treats gay employees, that may be illegal discrimination, and subject to criminal penalties and strong negative reaction by the public. To my knowledge, there are no such allegations against the Chick-fil-a restaurants. All the phony outrage by grandstanding politicians on both the left and right won't change these facts.
Ian Swinton July 26, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Expressing an opinion is free speech as is his funding of extreme hate groups that want being gay to be made a crime. Therefore it goes with out saying that I can exercise my free speech by funding, lobbying and screaming from the rooftops that I will not tolerate his intolerant bigotry.


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