Then, recently Dan Cathy spoke out specifically against gay marriage, announcing that gay rights supporters are "inviting God's judgment on our nation," and suddenly everyone who has been ignoring the financials for years decided action was needed. Talk of a boycott starting bouncing around again (for about the hundredth time in recent memory), and then Mike Huckabee was all this is just more hatin' on Christians and boycotters are bullying us and decrying the intolerance of people who don't like their money being filtered to anti-gay hate groups, and suddenly its an issue.
First of all, this isn't really news. Where have you all been for the past few years? Boycotts of CFA have been happening for at least a few years now. I can only guess that the reason for CFA Appreciation Day as a response to this most recent call for boycotts is because it is an election year, with an incumbent Democrat, in a political climate that has been divisively (and dangerously) polarized by (in my opinion) the rise of Tea Party extremists.
Secondly, this isn't about CFA being boycotted for being Christian. Ever since I can remember, CFA has been closed on Sundays, and nobody has said word one about a boycott. Most people I know, including many who boycott CFA, do not give even a single crap about the religion of their favorite restaurant's owner. Sure, Christians might be more likely to go eat dinner at their church friend's restaurant, and LGBT people might be more likely to patronize a "family-owned" establishment. Hell, most of the LGBT people I know are Christians, and might fall into both of the above camps! But for the most part, I've never met anyone who quit eating at their favorite Chinese restaurant because the owners are Buddhist. When I go out to eat at a local place, I don't ask for the owner's personal tithing records before I place my order. Good food is good food, and most of us like good food. Saying that this is "an attack on Christian values" makes you look silly, unless I missed the part where Christ encouraged us to judge others and donate thousands to groups that try to link an entire group of people to criminal behavior in which they do not participate.
Third, this isn't a free speech issue. The first amendment reads: "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." Again, unless I missed the part where our government stepped in and shut Chick-fil-A down for its owner making some public statements and for company donations to questionable nonprofits, this isn't a free speech issue. Free speech means the government shall not impede your right to have free speech. It doesn't protect you from the social and financial consequences of what you say. For the record, it also doesn't protect you from being offended by what someone else says. Saying that a Chick-fil-A boycott is an attack on free speech makes you look like you need to re-read the Bill of Rights.
Fourth, Cathy's right to free speech (and its consequences) aside, Chick-fil-A participates in discriminatory business practices that are legally questionable. The parent company has been sued 12 times on charges of employment discrimination. Muslim workers have been fired for refusing to participate in prayers to Jesus Christ, and employees are regularly screened for meeting the "Christian values" litmus test before being hired. If you don't want me to discriminate against you as a private business owner based on your religion, I'd love it if you'd not discriminate against potential employees based on their religion. If you're running a church, mosque, synagogue, or other explicitly religious non-profit, then I understand a need to have like-minded employees. Otherwise, you have no business discriminating. We do not live in a theocracy, and our country has laws against workplace discrimination.
Fifth, there is a difference between a business owner expressing an opinion that does not directly harm potential customers, and a business owner expressing an opinion that does directly harm potential customers. If I, as a woman in a heterosexual marriage, walk into a store and see a sign saying that they support gay marriage, this has no direct impact on my marriage. They aren't encouraging people to take away my rights. Their sign is not trying to invalidate my marriage, and I won't get a letter in the mail saying that my marriage has been dissolved by the state if gay marriage passes. If, on the other hand, a committed same-sex couple walks into a business and sees a sign opposing gay marriage (or reads interviews in which the business owner opposes gay marriage, blames gays for God's wrath on our entire country, and only supports the "biblical definition of the family unit"), this does directly impact them. They have every right to not spend their money there, as do those who stand in solidarity with them.
Sixth, let's just explore the "biblical definition" of marriage for a minute.