Free Speech Presentation

779 words - 3 pages

Free Speech PresentationDecember, 2012Free Speech PresentationThe First Amendment, part of the U.S. Constitution (1791), Bill of Rights states,"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances", (Campbell, Martin, & Fabos, 2012, p. 479).Chick-Fil-A is an American fast food franchise which specializes in chicken meals. The company is known for its controversial stance on traditional marriage, and opposition of same-sex marriages (Scudder, 2012). Chick-Fil-A and president Dan Cathy have been the focus of the media because of Dan Cathy's comments regarding same sex marriages expressed in July, 2012. The well-known conservative view published on a media program sparked a nationwide response from supporters as well as opponents after taking the public stance to a controversial issue. With the expansion, of social media coverage on Twitter and YouTube sparked the organization's business relations with Jim Henson Company to pull Muppet toys from children's meal promotion (Randall, 2012: Scudder, 2012).The frenzy of negative publicity and boycotts among Gay Rights activists raised questions about the first amendment and balance of free market between private enterprise and community values. Gay-rights activists and supporters of same-sex marriage organized public displays of affection to protest Chick-fil-A's conservative views. Advocates for same-sex marriages say Dan Cathy's free speech rights is not the issue, but the company's support to organizations like WinShape Foundation and other known hate speech organizations that rebuke same-sex marriages. The company released a low-key statement reiterating appreciation to all customer they serve. The publicity of Gay-rights activists resulted, in supporters of Chick-fil-A to stage Customer Appreciation Day resulting in record sales for the company.Although same-sex advocates criticize Chick-fil-A for supporting traditional family and marital values, many other companies like Starbucks and Oreo publicly have supported same-sex marriage and political views. Meanwhile politician in, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco informed the fast food chain that they would block the company from opening stores in their area (Scudder, 2012). Chicago's Alderman Joe Moreno on more than one occasion threatened to block Chick-fil-A restaurants from opening in his ward. "The government can regulate discrimination in employment or against customers, but what the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words," said Adam Schwartz, senior attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.Since the controversial...

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