Patch’s Poll: Do You Care About a Group’s Public Stance on Civil Issues Such as Gay Rights?

The Boy Scouts of America and Chick-fil-a were subjects of either praise or scrutiny last week for solidifying their opposition on certain gay rights issues.

The Boy Scouts of America made national headlines last week when it reaffirmed its ban on allowing gay youths to be Scouts and gay men or women to be Scout masters.

The announcement came last Tuesday after a two-year review by a special 11-member Boy Scout committee, as reported by The Washington Post, in which the committee agreed to continue an anti-gay policy upheld following a 2000 Supreme Court decision.

Around the same time this news broke, the president of the Chik-fil-A chain of restaurants, Dan Cathy, said that his privately owned company is “guilty as charged” in its support for traditional marriage, the Post reported.

Both stories sparked a media firestorm from supporters and detractors of gay marriage.

Some Democrats have taken hard lined stances against the business, such as Boston Mayor Tom Menino who wrote a public letter announcing “there’s no place” for the company’s discrimination in Boston.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, some Republicans have “doubled down” on eating Chick-fil-A, as reported by Politico, saying they support the business and its right to free speech on the issue of marriage.

Back on the Boy Scouts issue, Eagle Scout Kelsey Timmerman wrote in a Huffington Post blog that he would send back his Eagle Scout badge because of the organization’s anti-gay policy. Like Chick-fil-A, this issue has brought out both supporters and detractors.

The core argument at the center of these issues has often centered around free speech and discrimination. Taking another look at it again, we’d like to hear your feelings on whether you are bothered by a decision on a civil issue like this from two private entities.

Do you care about an organization's or business' public stance on civil issues such as gay rights? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

JG July 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM
In a world where unlimited monied interests increasingly control the public discourse, the boycott (in this case withholding money/support from a business with whom you hold a diametrically opposed viewpoint) is becoming a very potent means of protest and political/social action.
Blockwatch July 26, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Does anyone know the outcome of Jim Bassett (Town Of East Haven Building Inspector) being pulled over and searched today @ approximately 12:00 noon on Short Beach Rd by DEA Agents in an undercover Black Malibu?
Bill Fasula July 26, 2012 at 11:45 PM
I boycott Ben and Jerry's due to their stance on gay marriage.
DonnaR July 27, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Here are my thought on this. I may care about a business or organizations stance on any issue, including Civil Rights. Depending on the issue, I may choose to support or Boycott a business based on that stance.
Scotty July 27, 2012 at 10:54 AM
I would say that it does matter to me how an organization or business that I support or patronize would stand on civil rights issues and it would affect my future support or lack thereof based on their stance. By taking a stance, the business or organization speaks on behalf of its members and employees that they too support their views and opinions and brings it down to a more personal level. Although I am generally not bothered by gay people, I do support only traditional marriage, not gay marriage. I don't think gays or any other minority should receive any additional rights beyond what the constitution grants. I also support the BSA's stance when it pertains to male Scout Masters in charge of young boys, however it seems that their position targets gays in general.
Nutmeg Conservative July 27, 2012 at 03:28 PM
The 1st Ammendment guarantees us freedom of speech. If the Boy Scouts and Chick-fil-A support traditional marriage, that's their right to say so, and they should not be punished for their stance. On the other hand, if Ben and Jerry's supports gay marriage, then I support their right to say that, too. The free market will determine whether the business will thrive, not politicians looking to score points with a certain section of the population. As for me, I haven't had a Ben and Jerry's since they made their stance, and we give directly to the Boy Scouts, rather than give to United Way, which has dropped the scouts.
Biagio Mazzucco III July 27, 2012 at 08:13 PM
As a gay man, I dislike the Boy Scouts of America's restriction that their members and troop leaders be only heterosexual males. However, as an american citizen I have to agree that this private organization can choose who they want as members. Would the Catholic Church baptize someone who doesn't believe Jesus Christ is the son of God? Would you blame them? I can do what I want with my money (once taxes are paid). I choose not to give financial support to the Boy Scouts of America. I don't donate or buy the popcorn. The reason is that I disagree with their beliefs. And just a side note to Scotty: Gay marriage is not a request for rights beyond what straight couples are allowed; we're looking for the equal right to get married. However, I am proud as hell that I live in a country where you can have your belief and I can have my belief.
Mike Atkins July 27, 2012 at 08:15 PM
so closed minded.
Astraanne July 28, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Scotty, I'm not "generally bothered" by straight people either, unless they are sadly unable to express themselves clearly or recognize the rights of all citizens to have the same rights.
Bill Fasula July 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM
You have the equal right to get married. What you are really doing is redefining marriage in much the same way that polygamists did. Marriage is between one man and one woman, not two men or two women or a man an two woman, etc.
Steve from SAAC July 28, 2012 at 03:37 PM
United Way doesn't get my money either, since I disagree with their not supporting Boy Scouts of America.
Sarah C July 28, 2012 at 05:32 PM
As far as the BSA is concerned, I have to agree with Mr. Mazzucco; they are a private organization and are entitled to have their own rules about membership. Until I hear about Chik-Fil-A actually DISCRIMINATING against gay employees or customers, I will not condemn them for supporting a viewpoint that may or may not differ from mine.
Robert Bracer July 28, 2012 at 05:38 PM
@Bill Fasula, denying equal rights to another group of human beings based on your religous beliefs is still called bigotry.
Michael July 28, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Tax money should not be spent supporting racist, bigoted and homophobic organizations and hate groups. And in this case none has. I boycott groups that act so recklessly. I don't go to Chick-Fil-A, I canceled AOL 10 years ago and I do not support the BSA among others. Any one who wants to support these organization can if they feel like being a birds-of-a-feather with them (pun intended).
Paul July 28, 2012 at 09:18 PM
You're missing the point. Of course they have the right to their opinion - this IS America. It's the Millions the companies donate to further a cause that harms people. ($5M to date donated by Chick Fil A). Now if the CEO of CFA personally donated $5M, then no problem...but it's the corporation itself that's donating. There is a difference. Much like Amazon yesterday. The CEO personally donated $2.5M to help ensure gay marriage in Washington State - that's very different than Amazon itself making the donation.
Paul July 28, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Directly or indirectly, it's all the same. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/02/chick-fil-a-anti-gay-group-donations-_n_1644609.html
Flowers July 28, 2012 at 09:25 PM
The Boy Scouts of America, like many others, view homosexual behavior as aberrant and immoral. They don't want their members, young boys, approached or molested by homosexuals , so they ban them from membership. This is consistent with decades of moral teaching and positions taken by the military, government and church. Why is everyone upset about this?
David Gianfredi July 29, 2012 at 03:30 AM
you guys crack me up. The Left, what a mess you people are, the right is not much better. I support Chick because it is their right to give money to whatever organization they would like. The same goes for Ben and Jerry's. The self proclaimed tolerant quickly become intolerant when someone opposes their view. Hypocrites I tell you.


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