Story Archive

Expensive Speech

Adam Smith ordered water at a Chick-fil-A drive-through. The water cost him nothing — the fast-food chain, perhaps motivated by the same Christian ethic that leads its chief executive to oppose same-sex marriage, provides water to the thirsty without charge. In a video of his water run, which Smith uploaded to YouTube, he told the drive-through employee that the chain was a “hateful corporation” with “horrible values,” adding “I don’t know how you live with yourself and work here.” But when he got back to his office, he learned his words cost him plenty: voice mail was filled with bomb threats, and he lost his job as a CFO in the medical industry, along with a million dollars in stock options. That was in 2012. Since then, he’s been turned away by employers who don’t want the distraction of his infamy — even if they agree with him about gay rights. “I think people are scared that it could happen again.” Smith, now 37, is still unemployed, but he’s written a book: A Million Dollar Cup of Water. (AC/ABC) ...Librarians are shelving it next to “How Supporting Traditional Marriage Cost Me My Job as a Tech CEO” by Brendan Eich, but some readers don’t see the connection.
Original Publication Date: 12 April 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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