Nathan B. Oman: Chick-fil-A and the problem of soft censorship

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  • mdp Bountiful, utah
    Aug. 1, 2012 12:34 p.m.

    Support of traditional marriage (in agreement with 80% of the US) has nothing to do with being against gay rights. A lot of us believe that everyone, including homosexuals, deserve equal treatment under the law, but believe their deviant lifestyle is morally wrong. Marriage is mostly a religious ceremony that happens to also be recognized under the law.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Aug. 1, 2012 12:08 p.m.

    The liberal philosophy is simple.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, just so long as it agrees with mine.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 1, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    I liked Chick-fil-A before but now I love it! Plan on eating there every chance I get! Great to see someone stand up to the ugly world of political correctness.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    July 31, 2012 6:18 a.m.

    "Let them eat cake... chicken-cake."

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    July 30, 2012 6:29 p.m.

    You may be exhibiting some reading comprehension problems. I never said "vast majority". "Majority" means more than 50%. I never said voter turnout is the cause for every state, did I? You have no evidence at all to counter my claim. You didn't address the fact that fervent minority disdain for gay marriage can trump casual majority support in the polls. It doesn't mean you have majority support, it means you just get more people worked up and going to vote. It's telling that you immediately dismiss polls as biased without having a clue of how they were conducted. You are very wrong on this one, sorry.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    July 30, 2012 5:45 p.m.

    Isn't this a lot like people saying that a mosque should not be built in lower Manhattan?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 30, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    To "mcdugall" but there are observations that suggest gay marriage will threaten society.

    In the article "No Explanation, Gay Marriage has sent the Netherlands the way of Scandinavia" at the National Review, they discuss how since they legalized gay marriage they have seen a 2% per year increase in out of wedlock child birth going on.

    Now, go to the DN story "Marriage boosts economic stability in U.S., families" where we find that "intact families were less likely to have participated in food stamp programs than cohabitating or single individuals."

    To connect the dots, it goes like this. First by legalizing gay marriage, it lessens the appeal of marriage, thus you get fewer marriages. Fewer marriages result in more cohabitating couples and single parents. Single parents and cohabitating couples are more likely to be poor. Increased poverty levels are a drain on society. Also, cohabitating relationships are more unstable than married couples (According to the NIH). This means that you have more single parents. More single parents mean higher crime rates.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    July 30, 2012 3:14 p.m.

    "I'm not trying to silence you. No one is trying to silence you," Blue

    hahahahahahahahaha! Most outlandish, hilarious comment on this whole string!

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    July 30, 2012 2:44 p.m.

    Blue, take a good look at your two following statements because they clearly contradict each other:

    "If you behave like a bully then yes, you are a bully. How is actively seeking to deny equal rights to gay citizens _not_ a bullying behavior?

    "I'm not trying to silence you. No one is trying to silence you."

    Bullying behavior is fast becoming illegal in this country. It is wrong and in most cases, illegal. You do not want us to actively seek a political position that we feel is right. Then you say you are not trying to silence us. You can't have it both ways. Period!

  • don17 Temecula, CA
    July 30, 2012 2:30 p.m.

    Just for consideration. With all this supposed agitation going on only 25 people showed up to protest the opening of the newest Chic A Fil a couple days ago in Southern California. Want to guess how many supported the restaurant chain and ate at the new location? Thousands!

    For Assemblyman Moreno in Chicago just this for a thought: You and your cohorts in the city have failed to return Chicago to its greatness. You have no right to say YOU can stop a business from opening there! Now your actions may just mimick why my father didn't open his business in the city and moved to the Noth Shore suburbs. Let me put it plainly: THE CITY GOVERNMENT INCLUDING THE ALDERMAN/WOMAN are CORRUPT!

  • Captain Kirk Lehi, UT
    July 30, 2012 2:22 p.m.

    "I have yet to see a conservative who thinks the Citizens United ruling will taint our politics."

    Well here is one conservative that did not like that ruling and I know many more.
    I too would like to see the money and corruption of Unions and Corporations removed from our politics.

    Humans are endowed by their creator with the right to Free Speech.
    My stance is that a corporation (or union) is CREATED by government. Therefore I think its speech could be limited by its creator. The Government.
    However free speech issues are complicated and I do think there is some danger in my stance.

    Not sure how you could possibly classify what Dan Cathy did as bullying. He has a right to influence his world according to his ideology. Certainly there are many on the other side doing the same.

    The only bullying I see in this case is from the leftist politicians. And that Bullying in my opinion was at a criminal level.

    In my experience, the left loves to claim intolerance and bullying but are more often the ones guilty of it.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2012 2:18 p.m.


    There are many legal implications that will affect religions, religious people and their freedom of conscience if gay marriage is forced upon society. For starters, become familiar with the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy: OR FOR POORER? HOW SAME‚ÄźSEX MARRIAGE
    THREATENS RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, 2007. The D-News has published numerous articles recently about it also.

    We fully understand why people would support gay marriage, we just feel the impacts on freedom of conscience is too great a price to support the legalization of gay marriage, especially since civil unions were created to be a compromise. If you are not religious, you might think otherwise.

    Resorting to name-calling (and suing doctors, photographers, etc.) by so many on the pro-gay marriage side shows that those who support it don't respect or believe in personal liberty, contrary to their insistence otherwise. As such, it is no wonder why half the nation is against the legalization of gay marriage. It is so easy to resort to name-calling, regardless of what side somebody is on, but it accomplishes nothing but furthering the divide between both sides.

    July 30, 2012 2:05 p.m.

    "It's even worse that some groups seem far more protected than others in the public discourse."

    If and when I hear moral attacks toward me as a straight person used in arguments lobbying for gay rights, I'll believe what you said to be true. However, I've yet to hear someone say: "Ugh, what is it with all these heterosexual couples feeling the need to hold hands in public, just throwing their heterosexuality in my face? I can't believe my children are exposed to that kind of garbage!" Yet how many times do we hear the converse?

  • mcdugall Layton, UT
    July 30, 2012 1:25 p.m.

    @Pete1215 "If a person is against gay marriage because they feel it threatens our society, they have the right to work for their position."

    What study or real world observations suggest that gay marriage will threaten society or are some how more dangerous to society than heterosexual marriages? There is no decay into lawlessness, or increases in crime, in states which allow that allow marriages between same sex couple. Laws should only be created when their is a substantiated case, based on facts and not fear, for the needed law.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2012 1:06 p.m.

    Sammy: "Blue, either we agree with you or we are bullies? Really?"

    If you behave like a bully then yes, you are a bully. How is actively seeking to deny equal rights to gay citizens _not_ a bullying behavior?

    I'm not trying to silence you. No one is trying to silence you.

    But your right to say what you believe doesn't prevent me from commenting that your moral compass malfunctioning if you think it's OK for you to force your religious bigotries into public policy and expect to be exempt from vigorous criticism when you try to do so.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    July 30, 2012 12:14 p.m.

    "You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to legislate what my opinion will be."

    Funny how this statement is interpreted between the left and the right. Maybe the pro gay crowd could undertake a clandestine attempt to hire a chick-filet restaurant, that could host or cater one of their gay wedding ceremonies. When they refuse, the gay crowd could take Mr. Chick-filet to court and a federal judge could teach (legislate) Mr Chick Fillet about what "right and wrong" is!
    We all have the same rights, is't just that a few segments of our society, think they need special rights. 15 years ago it was much different and 15 years from now it will be much different again. Good luck to those who believe in the long held concept of traditional family, because the left, and the government will find the need to reeducate and reprogram you!

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2012 11:54 a.m.

    Again we see the gay marriage supporters calling those who disagree with them as "bigots" and "bullies". Again, I am reminded why I do not support the legalization of gay marriage.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    July 30, 2012 11:51 a.m.

    If a person is against gay marriage because they feel it threatens our society, they have the right to work for their position. Calling some position a right does not make it an inherently good idea.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    July 30, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    Remember Hitlers Germany where any one daring to have differing opinions/beliefs was met with swift governemnt punishments? It would seem there are some in American who would like it that way.

  • mcdugall Layton, UT
    July 30, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    @the truth "Everyone is entitled to try influence the creation of laws in this country, not just specific person or groups, that is the greatness of america, and that is how system works."

    First and foremost the rule of the land is dictated by the most wonderful document ever written, the US Constitution. Typically, religious groups wants laws enacted which typically violate the US constitution. Individuals should have every right to practice their beliefs and live their lives according to their beliefs. In no way whatsoever should the government interfere with how someone choose to live their life. Also, looking at it as a war on Christianity is baseless. It is the US Constitution that allows all forms Christianity (any religion for the matter) to be practiced in this country, without any interference from the Government.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    July 30, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    emajor, if you believe polls, that's fine. Unfortunately if they poll in a convenient area of the country then of course they can make a poll agree with their opinion. But in the real world, every time the gay marriage has been put to a vote the voice of the people has always chosen against it.
    Saying that poor voter turn out was the cause of every loss in every state?
    Doesn't say much about the strength of conviction of your "vast majority" does it.
    Only through corrupt officials with their own agendas has it ever been changed.
    I stand with the voice of the people.

  • IndeMak South Jordan, UT
    July 30, 2012 10:53 a.m.

    No rights were violated by the ownership saying what they said. The fact of the matter is the mayor of Boston violated the rights of Chick Fil A.

    If the owner wants his beliefs out there, he should be applauded. He is standing up for what he believes.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 30, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    Oh, how soon we forget the clamor many made when news of an Oreo advertisement spread across the Internet. Thousands of outraged people demanded a boycott of the cookie because it was so offensive that they would "support those gays." It has been a crazy summer on both sides of the issue.

  • Mark from Montana Aurora, CO
    July 30, 2012 10:30 a.m.


    Here is one conservative that is very uncomfortable with the Citizens United decision. It is one that I struggle with a great deal. I believe that the sums of money being spent are having a negative impact on the country as a whole. I include money from businesses as well as unions and individuals.

    At the same time, I see the need for individuals, and groups of individuals, to have the right to express their viewpoints either directly or through how they spend their money.

    Even if money is not directly or indirectly influencing political decisions, there is a strong appearance that the influence in there. This appearance is creating a strong sense of distrust amount the citizens, myself included. Each time a decision is made that has any question or controversy embedded in it, I question where the money comes from, who paid for the study or research that influenced the decision.

    I do not have the answer. Perhaps if someone funded a study I would like to conduct, I could arrive at the correct solution.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 30, 2012 10:23 a.m.


    If I support a cause with which others disagree I am then bullying them?

    If I support abortion rights, am I bullying those who find it religiously repugnant? If I oppose abortion, am I bullying those who favor it?

    Even strong disagreement on the issues is not bullying in my view. It is the necessary discourse in which a free society must engage.

    If folks are outraged at the CEO's statements and donations and vow to never eat at Chick-Fil-A again, no problem. If others find his views to their liking and start eating there more regularly, also no problem. That isn't bullying either. That is the price the organization pays or the benefit it reaps from its CEO expressing political opinions about hot button issues.

    Bullying implies intimidation. We should not devolve into calling everyone who disagrees with our own political stances as bullies. We should celebrate the openness of our politics and find comfort in full participation in the marketplace of ideas and then eat where we want.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    July 30, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    This guy is my hero.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    July 30, 2012 9:03 a.m.


    It's more like the mayor of Salt Lake announcing Ben & Jerry's is not welcome in his city.

  • EPJ Grantsville, UT
    July 30, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave a talk on September 11, 2011, about truth and tolerance.

    Search for the keywords: truth, tolerance, oaks, on

    Everyone should read this one.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    July 30, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    Liberalism on parade. If you do not agree with us we will put you down. The Chief of is on the other side of this story. He donated a bunch of money to the other side of this issue. I have not heard of Conservatives boycotting Amazon. My vote upon first learning of this so called story was I went right out and had two Chic-Fil-A sandwiches. I plan on doing the same every week.So much for liberalism and libera

    July 30, 2012 6:51 a.m.

    "20 years ago, the gay/lesbian only asked for tolerance."

    Yeah! And now they want rights, too?! Appalling!

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    July 30, 2012 6:47 a.m.

    There is a huge difference between exercising free speech ("I oppose gay marriage.") and hate speech ("God hates homosexuals.") It's too bad the gay community and its most ardent supporters can't tell the difference. It makes me nervous that people are so quickly condemned for the slightest politically incorrect comments. It's even worse that some groups seem far more protected than others in the public discourse. Having said that, I'm old enough to remember lots of boycotts -- for example, of sponsors of objectionable programming. There were even a few internet myths -- for example, against Proctor and Gamble for some made-up reason -- that resulted in boycotts by ignoramuses who believed the myths. Boycotting isn't new, but the "culture wars" have gotten ugly.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    July 30, 2012 6:24 a.m.

    My last meeting at church ended with the comment... "Eat Mor Chiken" and an approving chuckle.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    July 30, 2012 6:10 a.m.

    "The gay agenda with it's wealthy supporters are the ones who are trying to change laws and push their beliefs on that Vast majority."

    Nope, dead wrong on that one. Polls show that not only do a majority of Americans now feel that gay marriage is acceptable, the proportion of Americans who feel this way has been increasing greatly over the last few decades. This is in contrast to abortion, which has not seen a large increase in public support over the same time period. The reason why so many states are still able to pass ballot initiatives banning gay marriage is that the opponents of gay marriage tend to be zealous about it, whereas many citizens who accept gay marriage don't see it as a big enough issue to go to the polls over. It's all about voter turnout. Think what you will of those facts, but if the trend continues, religious conservatives will be on the losing side of this debate before too long. You already have lost majority public support.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 30, 2012 6:08 a.m.

    "Are you opposed to a group of wealthy athiests, or wealthy liberals, or wealthy "insert any group here" amassing their money to change laws and force views on everyone?"

    I am opposed to all big money in politics. That clear enough for you?

    Union money corrupts. Corporate money corrupts. And the citizens united ruling put that all on steroids.

    I want the bribery out of our govt and I believe that both sides are much more likely to do a better job.

    I have yet to see a conservative who thinks the Citizens United ruling will taint our politics.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    July 30, 2012 6:03 a.m.

    Screwdriver, Blue, Twin Lights,

    +1. This is a definite and troubling overreaction by city government, it's not as if the owner of Chik-fil-a is espousing White Supremacy. But his stance does make me far less inclined to give my personal business to his chain.

    I find it amusing how proud you are of such a childish sentiment. Let me know how you feel after eating fast food all week. Sacrificing your health for a cause, that is indeed noble.

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    July 30, 2012 12:31 a.m.

    Blue, either we agree with you or we are bullies? Really? Or if we disagree that is okay as long as we are muzzled. Logic is dead.

  • George Bronx, NY
    July 29, 2012 10:51 p.m.

    centuries? barley two decades land only in certain states et alone centuries.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2012 10:49 p.m.

    Twin Lights: "Have I missed something in the Chick-Fil-A debate?"

    It seems pretty clear. What's to not understand? Mr. Cathy donates money to groups that favor forcing their personal religious bigotries onto the public and to the detriment of civil rights for gay citizens. If you support bullies, I say that makes you a bully, too.

    Similarly, if a public official wants to use public resources to threaten an otherwise lawful business solely on the basis of the personal views of the business' owner, that's also an indefensible act of bullying, and is even worse because it is bullying under the cloak of government legitimacy.

    Judge Chick-Fil-A by the quality (or lack thereof) of their food. If Mr. Cathy uses profits from the sale of his sandwiches to support groups that seek to bully other citizens, call him on it and stop eating his sandwiches. That said, no mayor should threaten Chic-Fil-A as a business just because its owner holds beliefs those mayors find repugnant.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    July 29, 2012 9:49 p.m.

    daverl, I think you've got your story a little backward. The laws are already clear and established and have been around for centuries.
    The gay agenda with it's wealthy supporters are the ones who are trying to change laws and push their beliefs on that Vast majority.
    They do not allow for any opinion other than their own, otherwise, it's hateful or bullying.
    The accusation works both ways.
    20 years ago, the gay/lesbian only asked for tolerance.
    Now, they want everyone to agree on every issue or the hatred and outrage begins.

    Just look at the reaction when once again, the voters of California defeated gay marriage.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2012 9:08 p.m.

    I will be eating at chick fila all week. And three times on the day of the GLBT boycott............

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    July 29, 2012 7:51 p.m.

    @ Blue: Very well stated!

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 29, 2012 7:20 p.m.

    It's pretty ironic that people on the left always assume that when fascism comes to America it will come from the right. It's frighteningly obvious that in 2012 the thought police are on the left. Be extremely careful who you support if you truly believe in freedom and liberty.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 29, 2012 7:06 p.m.


    Have I missed something in the Chick-Fil-A debate? The CEO expressing personal opinions opposing gay marriage and contributing funds accordingly does not strike me as bullying. I can understand that some will disagree and will stop eating there. But I simply do not see how this is bullying. Can we not disagree anymore? If you and I disagree on abortion or immigration or any other hot button issue, is one of us therefore bullying?

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    July 29, 2012 6:53 p.m.

    Another example of those seeking tolerence being totally intolerent. I'll be stopping in for a Chick-fil-A this week.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    July 29, 2012 6:42 p.m.

    RE: DaveRL

    Are you opposed to a group of wealthy athiests, or wealthy liberals, or wealthy "insert any group here" amassing their money to change laws and force views on everyone?

    or does your viewpoint only apply to christians or conservatives or groups disagree with?

    Everyone is entitled to try influence the creation of laws in this country, not just specific person or groups, that is the greatness of america, and that is how system works.

    Christians have every right to speak out in public, and help in creation of our laws, they are Americans too.

    And the beauty of America is you have the freedom to CHOOSE where you live, so you can live with like minded people.

    Do those people not have freedom and right to do that?

    The chick-fil-a man stated his beliefs in traditional marriage and was even willing to back it with his money, BUT he actually never said a word about gays.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    July 29, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    I agree Bule, I do have to however I find it fascinating that this author went out of their way to not acknowledge the ACLU has not just stepped forward with the statement they have stated their willingness to represent chick fil a in court. Articles have been running in other papers for a couple of days know about this fact and yet the DN has not run one whisper of it.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    July 29, 2012 10:47 a.m.

    If you want to make a statement for or against Gay Marriage, do it on your own dime.

    If someone decides that won't patronize Chick-fil-A because of their stand on gay marriage that is their right. If the same person is using government money and power to stop them from setting up a restaurant that is NOT their right.

    There is a difference between what we do in the private sphere with our own money and choices and what we do in the public sphere with public money and power. Yet both sides constantly lose site of this important point.

    If the Catholic Church runs a private adoption agency with their own money they can refuse to place children with Gays (or Baptists or Mormons for that matter). If they use public money to run the agency they cannot discriminate. Yet the Deseret News has repeatedly cited the refusal of the State of Massachusetts to allow the Catholic Church to discriminate against gays in adoption agencies run with state dollars as an example of an infringement of religious liberty.

    You can't have it both ways folks.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    Well said, Blue. I agree on both points (though I'd only been to Chick-fil-A once in my life so it's not like my "boycott" of them would change anything).

  • DaveRL OGDEN, UT
    July 29, 2012 8:21 a.m.

    The up-roar over the Chick-fil-A founder has nothing to do with his words, he is after all entitled to his opinion. The up -roar is not even due to his gloating about donating "some money " as stated in the story -what he donated was over $5 million, pocket money to him I'm sure . What is wrong is a group of wealthy so called Christians pooling their mass wealth trying to change laws to force their views on everyone. You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to legislate what my opinion will be. My God is not prejudice or look down on those different from the others, he loves everyone.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2012 5:37 a.m.

    Threatening to use public resources to discriminate against an otherwise lawful business because you disagree with what that business owner has said about gay marriage is bone-headed and indefensible.

    That said, I won't be eating any more Chick-fil-A sandwiches (not the best I've eaten, but not the worst) because I don't want the profits generated by my purchase to fund groups that seek to deny civil rights to American citizens.

    Threatening to use public resources to bully Chick-fil-A is as wrong as Mr. Cathy's bullying of gay citizens.

    We should not tolerate either form of bullying.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    July 29, 2012 4:48 a.m.

    Well good on the ACLU for sticking up for that. There's no excuse for saying he would deny a permit.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 29, 2012 1:05 a.m.

    Like an outfit called 'loose slots and cheap beer O rama' deserves to have 20 franchises in the salt lake valley, chick fil A belongs in Boston.