Greetings from Las Vegas, where we are attending the UNITY 2012 journalism diversity conference, along with meetings of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.
We called back home this morning to talk to Brian Lehrer on WNYC about Chik-fil-A, the exciting fast food poultry arena for debating gay marriage that’s sweeping the nation.
In the segment, we discussed New York City’s only Chik-fil-A (in an NYU dorm, which the Voice’s Robert Sietsema and John Surico have done excellent reporting upon). Student protestors there have kicked off what has become a national referendum on Chik-Fil-A’s support of anti-gay causes.
A good deal of the conversation revolved around the role of free speech, as it literally relates to the First Amendment (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”). A conversation between a caller and Lehrer at one point implied that Christine Quinn spoke as a private citizen against Chik-fil-A. We pointed out that, per the New York Observer, Quinn wrote a letter as Council Speaker, on city letterhead, to NYU president John Sexton in which she wrote, “I urge you to sever your relationship with the Chik-fil-A establishment that exists on your campus.”
Lehrer ended by playing audio of John Goodman’s turn as a pro-gay Colonel Sanders in a parody KFC ad. That ad brought up something we’ve been very critical of: when corporations will use gay marriage as a ridiculous cover to shill ridiculous products.