Should the Chick-fil-A chain be banned for the company's anti-gay marriage views?


How do you turn a fried chicken sandwich into a political symbol? Tomorrow in the U.S., conservatives will be celebrating National Support Chick-fil-A Day. They'll be lining up with their traditional families to tuck into a sandwich that's been described by the mayor of Washington, D.C., as 'hate chicken'. Today we look at what a chicken sandwich can teach us about values and the role of government.

Today's guest host was Jim Brown.

Part One of The Current


It's Tuesday, July 31st.

Prominent U.S. conservatives encourage Americans to keep eating chicken at Chick-fil-A, after the owner of the fast food chain spoke out against gay marriage.

Currently, chickens of all political stripes still demand a boycott.

This is The Current.

Should the Chick-fil-A chain be banned for the company's anti-gay marriage views?

Fry some chicken, spice it up with some tasty sauce and serve it on a bun. It's been a recipe for controversy this month in the U.S. culture wars. The Atlanta-based fast-food chain - Chick-fil-A - is owned by a prominent Southern Baptist family. And it serves its fiery sandwiches with a side of brimstone.

We aired a clip from Chick-fil-A president Dan T. Cathy in an interview earlier this month. The company has contributed millions of dollars to groups opposing same-sex marriage. Criticism soon followed that interview -- Hollywood, media pundits, politicians and consumers all condemning the company. Even the Muppets got involved when the Jim Henson Company pulled its toys from the chain's kids' meals. It even called for a boycott of Chick-fil-A through its best-known spokesperson Kermit the Frog.

The mayors of Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. went so far as to suggest that Chick-fil-A is no longer welcome in their communities. We aired a clip from Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, followed by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

And a lot of people who disagree with Chick-fil-A on gay marriage would agree with Mayor Bloomberg that trying to ban the fast-food chain would be a dangerous precedent. People like Adam Serwer, for example. He's a reporter for the liberal magazine Mother Jones, and he joined us from our studio in Washington, D.C.

And Lee Fang is a contributing writer for The Nation magazine, and he says that what's worrisome here isn't CEO Dan Cathy's personal views, but what his company does. We reached Lee Fang in Washington, D.C.

Chick-fil-A Factboard

Chick-fil-A isn't the only American company to line up in the culture wars. Domino's Pizza's Catholic founder Tom Monaghan is a long-time supporter of pro-life initiatives. He's also building America's first town where birth control, abortions, and pornography will be banned.

Carl Karcher, the late founder of the fast-food chain Carl's Jr., publicly denounced gay rights and donated to Catholic charities. Carl's Jr. company meetings begin with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.

On the other side of the ideological spectrum, many companies openly support gay rights. Aside from Amazon's Jeff Bezos ... Starbucks, Google, Microsoft, and Nike have also come out in support of gay marriage. And in honour of gay pride ... Kraft - which owns the Oreo brand - posted an image on its Facebook page of a rainbow-stuffed cookie with the caption: "Proudly support love!"

This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino, Pacinthe Mattar, Andrea Cardillo and Tendisai Cromwell.

Other segment from today's show:

Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero

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