As a businessman myself who has extensively marketed his companies, plus several clients' companies, I can definitely appreciate your stand that this whole debacle isn't about chicken sandwiches but rather "free speech". And why not? "Free speech" is great for spreading messages... from community service to having insane people shoot elected officials in public simply for disagreeing with the "message". This is America, and we can say whatever we want and completely denigrate and discriminate against anyone and get away with it, right?
Well, sir, no, not exactly.
I realize you've been running Chik-Fil-A twice as long as I've been alive (and frankly, your food tastes similar), but I would like to venture a little wisdom from a n00b that has dealt with the people you'd happily not have at your restaurants because they make your straight customers think (which in America these days is a bad thing, apparently).
Gays have money. TONS of money. And they shop. LOVE to shop. They buy a LOT of EXPENSIVE stuff. They also make the expensive stuff you happen to like buying, like Ralph Lauren and Versace. Guess what? Gay founders. Unlike you with your food ingredients, gays aren't cheap on getting the materials they use to make the stuff you buy in stores.
So while I will respect your claim to "free speech", as this is still America for now, I am laughing my butt off by making this announcement, right here, right now (and GLBT, pay attention)...
In honor of August 1st's "Chik-Fil-A Intolerance Non-Appreciation Day", Nick the Stitch will be giving everyone, especially GLBT customers, FREE SHIPPING on EVERYTHING on our crafted accessories store, http://www.etsy.com/shop/nickthestitch, complete with FREE 30-day replacement warranty for ALL PINS, for the ENTIRE month of August 2012. Just hit the store, shop, and at the checkout use coupon code "DOGDAYS2012" for the free shipping (MUST use code for free shipping.)
Now, I know I'm going to be risking a lynching by the conservative readers, but let me share something else with you. I've been on the receiving end of discrimination for being different, and I'm not gay, so I know what it's like to be told "God loves you" only to find you're excluded because you're not X-enough. If you don't want to shop a store that promotes equality, honesty, and integrity for all, then please, feel free not to. It just means more products for everyone else to buy instead.
Sucks to be you, Chik-Fil-A. Because while you're dreaming of being more than a "Popeye's" podunk snack shack wannabe, I'm banking fast stacks. But that's okay, that's what "free speech" is for... right?
Nick The Stitch