The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), one of the nation’s most prominent gay-rights organizations, is planning their own version of Tuesday’s Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day: National Same Sex Kiss Day, set for this Friday, August 3. The premise of the event is simple: grab a special someone of the same gender, head to Chick-fil-A and, as they facetiously put it on the Facebook event page, “[show] Chick-fil-A our thanks for their support of love, equality, and the real definition of marriage.”
Currently, the event page has nearly a thousand “likes” on Facebook and over 11,000 people have RSVP’d that they will be attending, though that’s no indication of how many people will actively be participating in the kissing. The event has been in the works since July 19, the description specified, and “was not created as a response to Mike Huckabee’s [Chick-fil-A] Appreciation Day.”
As protest ideas go, this one is particularly cheeky; it’s hard to think of something that would more frustrate a company whose CEO has spoken out in opposition to homosexuality than by putting it proudly on display. Laws on public display of affection vary from state to state and city to city, but kissing in public is perfectly acceptable nearly everywhere in America, even for same-sex couples, so it remains to be seen how Chick-fil-A will respond.
If Chick-fil-A tries to kick out same-sex couples for kissing, I would love to see some straight couples kiss as well, and to see if they get kicked out. One franchise where this protest will be not only accepted, but will in fact probably be celebrated, is in New Hampshire, where franchise owner Antony Picolia is sponsoring New Hampshire Pride Fest.
This event is a good way for the LGBT community to come together and to send the message that opposition from companies will not intimidate them into hiding their sexuality. The importance of sending this message cannot be overestimated. Nevertheless this move certainly won’t win over anyone who opposes homosexuality, especially on a religious basis. It takes guts to stand up for your identity, but to go into a restaurant and to do something that its CEO considers sinful could be fairly called disrespectful.
Don’t’ get me wrong: same-sex couples have absolutely no obligation to hide their identities. At the same time, sticking it to opponents of homosexuality does nothing to alleviate the conflict between gay rights activists and religiously motivated individuals. I’m not sure anything will bridge that divide, though, so you might as well head to Chick-fil-A on Friday.