He grew up eating Chick-fil-A and, by his own admission, enjoyed it. But then he decided he could no longer patronize the restaurant whose Christian owner stood by his personal belief in traditional marriage.
Boycotts are the language of the outraged, and that’s exactly what Noah Michelson decided to do. Michelson, an editorial director for HuffPost, argued his case in an op-ed he authored this week after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sparked internet indignation for daring to tweet about Chick-fil-A during Pride Month.
The furor began with former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien and continued with Michelson, who asserted anyone who “really love[s] LGBTQ people” simply can’t indulge in the evils of the fried chicken that hails from the Atlanta-based eatery.
His abhorrence for Chick-fil-A stems from his personal promise to “never let anyone make me feel like I was less than them simply because I lusted after and loved other men.” So when Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy said in 2012 that the country is “inviting God’s judgment … when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,” Michelson began his boycott.
It should be noted that, though Cathy still opposes same-sex marriage, he said in 2014 it was a “mistake” to weigh in on the contentious debate, and Chick-fil-A has since pulled back much of the money it once donated to groups that staunchly oppose gay marriage.
But none of that counts to Michelson. To him, the popular fast-food chain remains a toxin to the LGBT community, and anyone who enters the restaurant is apparently turning a blind eye to evil. In fact, the HuffPost writer said he was “shocked” to learn how many “queer people and their allies” continue to venture into their local Chick-fil-A locations.
“If you care about queer people ― or you yourself are queer ― you have absolutely no business eating at Chick-fil-A. Ever,” Michelson wrote. “It’s really that straightforward.”
Of course, Michelson’s line of thinking is hardly new. Calls for these kinds of ineffective boycotts have been around for years, and they began in earnest against Chick-fil-A in 2012.
At the time, writer Jonathan Merritt, who is a Christian, rebuked the protests, describing the iconic eatery as “a laudable organization on balance” known for “offering world-class customer service to each person that walks through one of the restaurant’s doors.”
In lieu of eating at Chick-fil-A, Michelson suggested readers channel their outrage into making their own chicken sandwiches.
As for Dorsey, he eventually backed down, telling O’Brien he “completely forgot” about Chick-fil-A’s background, presumably referring to Cathy’s personal beliefs about marriage.