I find the Chik-fil-a controversy fascinating. Fascinating because people seemed so shocked by the CEO’s statement, even though America has been a predominantly Judeo-Christian society since its inception. Fascinating because people seemed so quick to condemn the opinions of either side and say so all over their social media pages. Fascinating because, despite all of the vitriol, it’s pretty much blown over already.
Remember KONY 2012? Yeah, what happened to him? Did we catch him? Elect him president? We were so passionate about that, too, remember?
But back to the issue at hand.
Most people mistakenly assume that the issue is Morality. Or Freedom of Speech. Or Gay Marriage.
This is a question of what constitutes an “individual” and to what rights that “individual” is entitled.
Under the law, corporations are considered individuals. This is both out of convenience and to protect the rights of the individuals who make up the corporation. Granted, this is an extreme oversimplification of a complex issue, but essentially corporations can’t vote, but they do have the legal right to make donations to charitable and political organizations. Why is this a problem? Well, per the basics of capitalism, they should be paying dividends to their shareholders or providing higher wages or better benefits for their employees. Also, while the corporations might be made up of individuals, it’s often a select few individuals who get to push various social agendas, which may or may not run counter to the financial and economic goals of the corporation.
In another part of the spectrum are Homosexuals. They actually ARE individual citizens, who can vote, but are denied the right to marry or civil unionize for some reason.
I say “for some reason” because there are other instances where the United States government can and does limit or deny the rights of individuals for specific reasons. Usually this is done to protect the individual, such as a child who’s too young to make their own decisions; to incentivize the individual, like the granting of voting rights to encourage citizenship; or to punish the individual, whereby a convicted felon forfeits the right to vote.
Now, some people would like to make homosexuality a felony offense. The flaw in that line of reasoning is that the government still shouldn’t be able to deny them the right to marry or civil unionize; it would only deny homosexuals the right to vote.
So unless a homosexual is an under-aged convicted felon named KONY, by law, they should be afforded the same rights as every other individual.
Or, at least, every monolithic corporation posing as an individual.
And maybe that’s the real solution: Individuals afforded the rights of corporations. Instead of marriage, how about an impromptu merger in Las Vegas? Or rather than a honeymoon in Barbados, you and your betrothed can enjoy a nice offshore, tax-deferred incorporation? It’s the same courthouse after all—just one floor up.