I’ve heard of the restaurant but know nothing about it. It’s made it into headlines recently, though, after one of them in Pennsylvania planned to supply sandwiches to a marriage workshop put on by people who supported traditional (read: biblical) couples. This raised enough bad press and flak to make them change their minds about that.
The Georgia-based lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy group and other university groups across the country are asking their schools to quit getting “Jesus chicken” for lunches now that people have been reminded of where the chain stands on this issue. In a Facebook video, CEO Dan Cathy addressed some concerns.
Cathy explains in the video, “Providing sandwiches and brownies for a local seminar is not an endorsement or a political stance.” He also adds that marriage has long been a focus of Chick-fil-A, which his father, S. Truett Cathy, started in 1967.
But would they have agreed to supply sandwiches for a gay pride parade? Now that I know more about the history of this particular chain, I assume they never would have been asked in the first place.
Fortunately for both Chick-fil-A and the gay community, free speech is still alive in the United States. Also, every American still has the freedom to start a business and build it as they see fit. Chick-fil-A has every right to support, promote and encourage Christian values, while individuals, groups and businesses in the GLBT community have the same rights to further their cause.
However, hateful, derogatory actions or speech toward any group (including gays and Christians) should never be tolerated. That said, it would be prudent for organizations and groups like Chick-fil-A and those within the gay community to pick their battles wisely; decide where their time and resources would be best spent.
The author of this piece, Kim Linton, would probably support Chick-fil-A’s side, given she’s a contributor to a Christian themed webzine, but she still makes a good point. Focus on school bullying and education. Focus on legalizing gay marriage. Nobody’s forcing you to eat their chicken. If you disagree with their position, you can still tell others and get lunch somewhere else. It’ll never be the only food option available.
I’ve seen the very ambiguous statement put out by the Cathy family on this, and I’ve also (because I quite like watching crazy homophobes jump around) trawled through a long discussion on Free Republic in which everybody tried to work out whether they agreed with an analysis by a gay website that said this meant they’d stop donating food (in which case the Freepers would be outraged) or if perhaps the statement was just a little more subtle than that.
I think the consensus was that this not a retraction of the company’s policy of donating resources to groups they consider to be “pro-marriage” (which is loonytoons language for “against marriage for gay people”).
Anyway, whatever. They get to spend their money where they want.
I suppose what winds up perplexing me is the idea that marriage is going to be an issue a restaurant (via its owners) cares about enough to get into stories like this. Money is money. I’m sure good press and a profit is better than bad press and a boycott. Why put themselves in that position?
GAY AND PROUD! LETS STICK TOGETHER!!