Poll Position: Will today’s Chick-fil-A ‘kiss-in’ be successful?

The “buycott” of Chick-fil-A on Wednesday produced what the company will only describe as an “unprecedented day” for business. Today, we get the counter-protest (it was announced first, but arrives second) in the form of a “kiss-in” by gay couples angry about remarks made by company president Dan Cathy.

Will it be as successful?

Boycotts have a revered place in American history as an effective form of protest, in large part because of the role they played in the civil rights movement. Lately, however, the tactic’s record is much more spotty. Looking at one list of current boycotts, I don’t see many, if any, that I’d count as successful.

Will today's "kiss-in" by gay couples at Chick-fil-A restaurants be successful?

  • No (3,059 Votes)
  • Yes (210 Votes)
  • I don't know (159 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,428

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Now, a “kiss-in” isn’t exactly the same thing as a boycott; I have no idea how many of the reported 15,000 people nationwide who say they’re participating in today’s protest will buy a chicken sandwich while they’re there. But it is similar in that it’s an attempt to shame a company into a certain action by applying public pressure.

My own theory about this is that activists are reaching a point of diminishing returns when it comes to pressuring corporations, in large part because they have succeeded in pressuring many companies into some form of “corporate social responsibility.” (My sub-theory is that, contrary to the mantra of “think globally, act locally,” most of this CSR pressure has the effect of shifting businesses’ philanthropic efforts from local activities to more visible, globally promoted activities — often leaving local communities in the lurch. But that’s a topic for a different day.)

So according to my theory, even setting aside the Cathy family’s obvious and longtime commitment to their beliefs, a company like Chick-fil-A feels less pressure to acquiesce to one group’s demands because it can point to a long list of corporate “good behavior.” The company and its owners stood on higher moral ground, so to speak, to start with.

All that is a somewhat long-winded way of getting to this week’s Poll Position question: Will today’s “kiss-in” by gay couples at Chick-fil-A restaurants be successful? Define success however you want: Changing the Cathy family’s position; dissuading other businesspeople from voicing similar opinions in the future; winning public sympathy for same-sex marriage; having an effect on Chick-fil-A’s business; or anything else. Just vote in the nearby poll and explain yourself in the comments thread below.

ADDED: I doubt this kind of action, while unrelated to kissing, will engender much sympathy for the cause of today’s protesters.

NOTE: Commenting on this thread has been closed.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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846 comments Add your comment

SlickRick

August 3rd, 2012
10:38 am

I say YES!!! In fact, I’m considering being gay just for the day so that I can provide a counterpoint to traditional Southern values…er…bigotry.

iggy

August 3rd, 2012
10:39 am

of “corporate social responsibility.”

More like Corp Blackmail.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 3rd, 2012
10:39 am

How will you be able to tell? Will they be acting normal today?

Joe Mama

August 3rd, 2012
10:41 am

I don’t know how we could call the protest ’successful’ without a firm idea of what the protestors’ objective is. What is it they want? An apology? Some sort of action taken on CFA’s part? Dan Cathy’s head?

I don’t begrudge anyone the right to protest or to boycott if they want, but I’m kinda fuzzy on just what the protestors would like to see happen.

stands for decibels

August 3rd, 2012
10:42 am

Define success however you want:

ok, I went with the classic definition of a boycott success, which would be a noticeable, harmful drop-off in business, and voted “no” because while I think a one-day sales-record means next to nothing, overall I also think that most everyone who was inclined to drop CFA as a restaurant destination was ALREADY well aware of their politics and had already dropped them.

This publicity bump will merely serve to even out those who somehow weren’t heretofore aware of Cathy’s politics. Some will patronize the place to support him; some won’t.

iggy

August 3rd, 2012
10:44 am

My take is it will backfire. Just as the hippies, at the 1968 DNC conventions, behavior was poorly thoughtout and for the most part stupid. This kiss-in will only serve to galvanize the opposing viewpoint.

Eat a Peach

August 3rd, 2012
10:45 am

I say it will prove nothing.

If you do not agree with Chickfila or the Cathy’s stance do not patronize their restaurant.

The conservative leaning American Family Association and their affiliates have done very little to nothing in terms of their boycotts of corporations who offer domestic partner benefits. They seem to be more organized than a “kissin”, so I say very little to no impact on Chickfila.

With that said, within the law boycott or patronize who you like. Knock your socks off.

non-conforming realist

August 3rd, 2012
10:46 am

No, simply for the reason that a definition of success hasn’t been defined. If you don’t have a defined goal, how can you say you’ve reached it? Are you trying to let people know you’re angry? You’ve already done that. Are you trying to make a dent in their profits? Good luck with that. Are you trying to trying to show you’re different? You’ve already done that. What’s the goal? What’s the purpose? I’m bored with you already.

Brosephus™

August 3rd, 2012
10:47 am

Will today’s “kiss-in” by gay couples at Chick-fil-A restaurants be successful?

As long as the people have the freedom of speech to express themselves, it will always be sucessful. That’s what makes this country so great. You can express yourself by speech even if it runs counter to majority opinion or that of the government.

@@

August 3rd, 2012
10:52 am

I voted “NO” but it’s entirely possible that it may dissuade other business leaders from voicing their opinions, which is kinda sad. Much more of this kinda activism and folks will start ignoring the gay community’s opinions.

I have no idea how many of the reported 15,000 people nationwide who say they’re participating in today’s protest will buy a chicken sandwich while they’re there.

They’re more into the freebies.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/08/awful-hateful-leftist-abuses-young-woman-working-the-chick-fil-a-window-video/

Old Timer

August 3rd, 2012
10:53 am

Just another group trying to get identy and find themselves in a world that currently has no bounds. Good thing my grandmother isn’t still alive. In time it will be another cause that wants recognition. It is a generation thing.

Simple Truths

August 3rd, 2012
10:53 am

What is the betting line over/under on how early Obama is mentioned in this thread?

Voice of Reason

August 3rd, 2012
10:53 am

Still haven’t figured out how anyone is surprised that the owner of an overtly Christian company supports the traditional definition of marriage. For the record, I don’t agree with Dan Cathy in the least, but I’ll still go to CFA because it’s tasty. It’s not like he is barring gays from eating or working there.

As for the kiss-in, I agree with Joe Mama. They have no discernible goals, so it can’t really be a success. It’s just a spiteful, knee-jerk reaction to one man expressing his first ammendment rights. Would everybody prefer that Dan Cathy lie and say he loves the idea of gay marriage? I’d say there are 15,000 people out there that need to get a life.

Freedom of thought

August 3rd, 2012
10:53 am

I think the whole thing is outrages! Who in the hell gives some groups or the government the right to harass somebody for stating their religious belief. Where are we living in Iran?

MarcoD

August 3rd, 2012
10:53 am

Based on the demographics this paper panders to, I am guessing the comments will be totally unbiased.

Its not a competition, btw.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 3rd, 2012
10:53 am

Now Kyle, how could you not include Jon Stewart’s take. http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-2-2012/fast-feud-nation?xrs=share_copy

Mr. Cathy is entitled to his views and to express them however he wants as his personal opinion. However he should not be speaking for franchisees or other shareholders, effectively forcing his personal beliefs on them, unless they have voted as a corporate policy. Moreover the company does not have in place employment or other policies to preclude harrassment and discrimination of those desiring same sex relationships.

Numbers-R-US

August 3rd, 2012
10:55 am

“Appreciation Day”. “Kiss In”. I don’t care about either. I’ll be eating a salad at home again. It costs less than anything on their menu and it’s healthier. Except maybe for the beer. Is Chick-Fil-A serving beer? If yes, I might be persuaded to eat there some time.

John

August 3rd, 2012
10:55 am

It’ll have no effect except to give the news media something to do. Do folks think Dan Cathy will be at any of the stores and get grossed out? Seriously not quite sure what folks are trying to prove with this. IMO it makes it worst as folks that have been undecided on Gay Mariage may lean towards Dan Cathy’s view.

Eat a Peach

August 3rd, 2012
10:56 am

@@

So one stupid idiot and you make a deduction of “they”.

You smut be allergic to logic. Or maybe you have some unbiased facts and links to back up that “they” comment?

lefty_316

August 3rd, 2012
10:56 am

The kiss-in is a knee jerk reaction that will prove nothing. That being said the entire social conservative, agenda is illegitimate because it is unconstitutional; Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion. What does Bible say about gays? That’s the wrong question, the relevant question is “What does the Constitution say?”

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.” Thomas Jefferson, February 10, 1814

Eat a Peach

August 3rd, 2012
10:57 am

Freedome of Thought

See Murfeesboro TN and NYC mosque. Happens all the time.

Piedmont South from North Georgia

August 3rd, 2012
10:57 am

I voted I don’t know. Success can first be defined as having a lot of people show up. That remains to be seen.

Second and most important is the lasting effect any demenstration has. On that I would vote that it will not be successful.
This will blow over and Chich will continue as a successful business, based on the fact that people like their product.
As long as product is good, company will continue to grow and profit.

Eat a Peach

August 3rd, 2012
10:57 am

@@

excuse me

must not smut……….

Aplogize

stands for decibels

August 3rd, 2012
10:57 am

stands for decibels

August 3rd, 2012
10:58 am

no, YOU smut! so there!

Numbers-R-US

August 3rd, 2012
10:58 am

In fact, I wouldn’t care if Dan Cathy came out and proclaimed himself to be a devout follower of Islam. I would not base my decision to partake of Chick-Fil-A’s selections based on that any more than I would any other religion he chose to have faith in. Except maybe that Scientology garbage. I mean, really.

stands for decibels

August 3rd, 2012
11:00 am

Is Chick-Fil-A serving beer?

only on Sundays.

zeke

August 3rd, 2012
11:00 am

Sorry slick rick,

If the rest of the country had ‘TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN VALUES”, The entire country would be much better off!!

Jessica

August 3rd, 2012
11:01 am

It is called FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Why does any of this even matter? Everyone needs to grow up. We all have the right to say what we want and believe what we want. Get over it.

Native Atlantan

August 3rd, 2012
11:01 am

@whiner — normal? Really?

@@

August 3rd, 2012
11:01 am

Peach:

You ?>>>smut<<<? be allergic to logic.

Are you dyslexic? Have a vision problem? A missing finger?

Kyle pondered how “many”. Would you be satisfied if I said “one” of many?

Ivan

August 3rd, 2012
11:02 am

“I don’t begrudge anyone the right to protest or to boycott if they want, but I’m kinda fuzzy on just what the protestors would like to see happen.”

Same here. I’m not sure what they’re actually wanting to get out of the protest.

But I heard an interesting theory that, for the most part, the LGBT group is looking out for the ONE person, whose anger flares up, and does/says something on camera to those at the protest today. That it’s basically a tactic to intice some form of abuse against them, to exploit in their favor.

Interesting indeed.

getalife

August 3rd, 2012
11:03 am

Great jobs report seals the deal.

Four more years!

John Galt

August 3rd, 2012
11:03 am

If you want to go to Chick Fil A and kiss….I really do not care.

If you want to bully a business for not redefining what the word “marriage” means after you asked, that I care about.

Liberal bullyism is no more welcome than any other type of bullying.

david c

August 3rd, 2012
11:03 am

“It’s not like he is barring gays from eating or working there.” But Cathy has stated he would find it grounds for dismissal if he knew you were. All I have to say about it is this: I have lived in Georgia for 20 years, and have always known better than to eat at Chick-Fil-A or Cracker Barrel.

I'm a liberal and believe everything I read and nothing the other side comes up with...cause we're smart and they are not

August 3rd, 2012
11:04 am

Wikepedia say’s there are 39,000 Gay/Lesbians in the metro ATL area. I would guess the real number to be 60,000….and probably about 100,000 hard core non’s supporting them. So, no, unless they ALL show up and it’s at 2 or 3 locations……Most gays are hard working so they will be at work most of the day, maybe lunch. The problem for the gay community will be that the “support cause this week” came off without a hitch. There will be some gays who do something stupid that will further dilute their cause. Just watch.

@@

August 3rd, 2012
11:04 am

Aplogize

Okay! Although I suspect it may have been a freudian slip.

I guess this is where I return the favor?

My sincerest apologies for exhibiting concern.

abc

August 3rd, 2012
11:05 am

I don’t think it matters either way. Nobody cares much about lines around the block to get a chicken sandwich, and nobody will care if a bunch of guys are making out all over the fast food joint. Personally, I don’t eat the junk; and I think that anyone who really cares about what Mr. Cathy thinks and says should re-organize their priorities; or get a job; or get a life.

Vashtai

August 3rd, 2012
11:05 am

If you really want to know where gay people are coming from, please read this blog. I think this guy sums it up best. http://www.owldolatrous.com/?p=288

Peadawg

August 3rd, 2012
11:05 am

I’m not sure what “success” would be.

Free speech goes both ways. Mr. Cathy is welcome to his opinion as long as he doesn’t discriminate (which I haven’t seen any evidence of CFA discriminating against employees or customers). The protesters have every right to express their opinion also as long as they don’t harass or bother the employees or customers.

I may even stop by to watch the females making out. :)

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 3rd, 2012
11:05 am

We all have the right to say what we want and believe what we want.

Absolutely. And as a consequence of your exercise of free speech, I have the right to determine not to spend my money with your business, to speak against your beliefs as incorrect, and to do as I otherwise might see fit within the law.

zdee

August 3rd, 2012
11:05 am

I LOVE CHICK -FIL-A’s NEW COMMERCIAL IN RESPONSE TO THE GAYS.
IT’S THE FUNNIEST COMMERCIAL CHICK-FIL-A HAS EVER MADE.
YOU CAN ALSO SEE IT ON YOUTUBE CALLED “CHOW DOWN (AT CHICK-FIL-A)

John

August 3rd, 2012
11:06 am

The kiss-in will set back the gay rights agenda for years. An activist minority usually oversteps its bounds at some point, and this appears to be that moment. You can’t bully a person into accepting your version of the world. Dan Cathy has every right to his viewpoint, and has never discriminated against gays/lesbians in hiring. A handful of overly zealous gays/lesbians are creating long lasting problems for their like-minded community. I’m straight but have never had issues with gays/lesbians until the behavior of the kiss-in group and that bullying mentality.

Just saying..

August 3rd, 2012
11:07 am

Mr. Cathy makes a wonderful chicken sandwich, runs a successful restaurant chain, and is fully entitled to state his views on any topic he chooses.
And no, I think the likely result of the attention he’s generated will be a long-lived increase in his business.

Freedom of thought

August 3rd, 2012
11:07 am

Jessica, you got it so right! I am tired of the “thought police”!!! Civil debate in this country has evaporated.

Tyrone from East Point

August 3rd, 2012
11:07 am

Who cares what a bunch of gays think or do?
If the gays follow through with their threat, it will only hurt their cause.

Glenn

August 3rd, 2012
11:07 am

Though I have no problem with gay marriage at the end of the day its just a fast food joint…….A fast food joint with the best employees and the best product . The protest might make a handful of people feel good but it will have zero impact . Actually that video of that guy in Arizona getting free water and harassing that employee will have more of an impact . There is no substitute for class . Kudos to her .

yuzeyurbrane

August 3rd, 2012
11:07 am

Who cares? Are we in August doldrums?

Brosephus™

August 3rd, 2012
11:07 am

But I heard an interesting theory that, for the most part, the LGBT group is looking out for the ONE person, whose anger flares up, and does/says something on camera to those at the protest today. That it’s basically a tactic to intice some form of abuse against them, to exploit in their favor.

Is that tactic not what most groups who make such claims do themselves? With the advent of camera phones, anybody has the potential to star in such a video. We see examples of this almost weekly.

Sam the Sham

August 3rd, 2012
11:07 am

The Klan use to go to areas of people who didn’t like or agree with them just to shock and intimidate those people. I wonder if that’s where the leaders of this protest got the idea.