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Being a corporate citizen is tricky. At what point does a company's inhumane treatment of foreign workers, its political contributions or its decision to move its greatest columnist from the back page to the next-to-last page become so offensive that you can't give it money? Would a world controlled only by people whose ethics I agree with even have fast-food sandwiches? Or anything besides indie rock, coffee shops and blogs? Do I expect people who are against gay marriage to avoid companies that have made pro-gay statements, including Home Depot, J.C. Penney and the Gay Chapel of Las Vegas? And while it's easy to walk away from a chicken sandwich, Tim Cook would have to give Apple employees a day off for Pol Pot's birthday before I gave up my iPhone.
Confused, partly because of dangerously low blood sugar, I talked to Brian Hobbs, who was eating Chick-fil-A for the first time. "I'm super in support of gay marriage," he said. "But I've got a good friend who works at Chick-fil-A. He's openly gay. He was upset, but it's not like he's going to quit his job for it." I looked deeply into Hobbs' sandwich and told him to take a bite so I could see how his soul felt. His review: "I wouldn't go out of my way for it. It's no better than Jack in the Box."
That made my decision a little easier. I left Chick-fil-A and went to the Oaks Gourmet Market, where the guy behind the counter told me he was way into gay marriage. I got a veggie-meatball sandwich and ate it very, very quickly. I don't think it was necessary or even right, but I know it made me feel good. Though, if it got much later, I would have eaten a janjaweed sundae.