Karen Ocamb

Does Chick-Fil-A Care if Their 'Positive Influence' is Anti-Gay?

Filed By Karen Ocamb | July 20, 2012 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: businesses that discriminate, Chick-fil-A boycott, chicken sandwiches, Dan Cathy, gay marriage, LGBT rights, rightwing companies, same-sex marriage

You probably heard about Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy one-upping the Boy Scouts in anti-gay Chick-Fil-A-Hates-Fags.pngpublicity – telling the Baptist Press that he and his company are "guilty as charged" for their support of straights over gays:

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…we know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

Cathy then doubled down, saying on “The Ken Coleman Show:

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.” (Listen to the interview on Jeremy Hooper's blog Good as You which can be heard here.)

Cathy and Chick-fil-A have a long proud antigay history, giving lots of money to antigay organizations. Equality Matters documented in March of 2011 that the company's charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation, received $12,595,819 from Chick-fil-A Inc in 2008 alone.

Chick-fil-A also goes way beyond the bounds the Employment Discrimination Act would cover. The company requires people who want to operate a Chick-fil-A to first disclose their marital status, number of dependents, and involvement in social, church, and other organizations, according to Equality Matters. Employees may be fired for engaging in “sinful” behavior and the company would prefer to only hire workers who are married.

Equality Matters released another investigation on Nov. 1 in which they reported that Chick fil-A donated nearly $2 million in 2009 alone to antigay groups. Two weeks ago, on July 2, Equality Matters reported that in 2010, Chick -fil-A contributed nearly $2 million to antigay marriage groups with the bulk going to Marriage & Family Foundation.

Chick-fil-A is using Facebook to try to explain, though they don’t say they’ll stop funding antigay groups:

The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect - regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.

Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.

The Human Rights Campaign is among the organizations pushing back, launching a campaign on their Facebook page that uses the company logo.

When he reported on the Nov. 1, 2011 Equality Matters report, Courage Campaign’s Adam Bink at Prop 8 Trial Tracker sagely wrote:

Whenever one of these reports comes out, everyone says "I'm not eating Chick-Fil-A anymore!" to themselves and their friends and posts it on Facebook, but the message never makes it through to Chick-Fil-A. If it doesn't, they never know how much business they lose. While Chick-Fil-A's ownership and leadership may be driven by personal beliefs, they aren't immune from losing customer support, either -- and the less money they have, the less they have to give it to groups that seek to drive LGBT people off the face of the Earth. So give them a call, drop them an e-mail, walk into your local Chick-Fil-A and give them feedback. Write to your paper and break the news of the Equality Matters report so more people know about it. Call into your radio station and denounce Chick-Fil-A.

The more we create a firestorm, the more we change their policies, or if not, dry up their well of money with which they can feed hate.

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