By Jueseppi B.
Is Chick-fil-A anti-gay marriage? ‘Guilty as charged,’ leader says
Chick-fil-A is “very much supportive of the family,” according to Dan Cathy, president of the popular fast food chain. That is, “the biblical definition of the family unit,” he said.
And that doesn’t include Adam and Steve, suggests Cathy, whose father S. Truett Cathy founded the Atlanta-based company.
In a new interview with Baptist Press, Cathy puts on the record what critics say his company’s actions have indicated for years. “Well, guilty as charged,” he said in the interview when asked about Chick-fil-A’s backing of families led by a man and a woman.
“We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives,” Cathy said.
The chain, according to the report, has 1,608 restaurants, sales of more than $4 billion and employees who are trained “to focus on values rooted in the Bible.” Chick-fil-A’s across the country shut down on Sundays.
“We don’t claim to be a Christian business,” Cathy said. “But as an organization we can operate on biblical principles.”
Last year, protesters accused Chick-fil-A of supporting an anti-gay agenda with donations, which the company has steadily denied. The company could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
A report from LGBT advocacy group Equality Matters concluded that Chick-fil-A donated more than $3 million between 2003 and 2009 to Christian groups that oppose homosexuality. In 2010 alone, the company gave nearly $2 million to such causes, according to the report.
In Los Feliz, similar donations from the new owner of a beloved local health food store also stirred controversy this fall. After Peter Lassen bought the neighborhood Nature Mart, many shoppers began to picket and boycott the business.
Blogger Howie Klein summed up the reaction in a post, accusing Lassen, a Mormon, of donating tens of thousands of dollars toward “the anti-gay jihad.”
The post, however, also quotes Lassen’s niece defending the business: “We have a lot a gay and lesbian customers. We have nothing against them. To us, it is a moral issue, not a civil issue.”
But companies that embrace gay pride aren’t immune to debate. When Kraftposted a photo of an Oreo cookie with rainbow-hued filling last month, its profile on the social media site erupted in comments – not all of them flattering. J.C. Penney encountered similar resistance when it drafted lesbianEllen DeGeneres as a spokeswoman.
As for Chick-fil-A, Cathy said the company’s leaders “intend to stay the course.”
“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,” he said.
Sometimes in business, the mission should be NOT to alienate your customers:
Chick-fil-A loses Muppets, gains Mike Huckabee in gay controversy
From the maker of “The Muppets” to the mayor of Boston, the list of folks severing ties with Chick-fil-A due to the fast-food company’s opposition to gay marriage is growing.
Jim Henson Co., which has produced characters for “The Muppets,” “Labyrinth” and “Fraggle Rock,” had recently been working with the Atlanta restaurant chain to create products for its kids’ meals.
The offerings included five build-your-own puppets from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, using pieces that are punched out from the plastic meal container, according to a cached version of the Chick-fil-A website.
But after last week, when President Dan Cathy said the fast-food giant was “guilty as charged” of supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit,” Henson Co. nixed the partnership.
The company posted the following statement on its Facebook page: “The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over 50 years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO, is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-fil-A to GLAAD” (an advocacy group for lesbian, gay and transgender people).
Also not a fan of Chick-fil-A’s position: Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. In an interview with the Boston Herald, Menino vowed to block the chain from opening up shop in his city, promising to make it extremely difficult for the company to procure the required licenses.
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” Meninotold the publication. “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”
Nearly 4,000 people have signed a pledge to boycott Chick-fil-A.
“Not that I ate much Chick-fil-A before but I sho nuff don’t have an appetite for it now,” tweeted singer Audra McDonald. Actor Ed Helms tweeted a similar comment.
But Chick-fil-A has its share of supporters, including Mike Huckabee. On his Facebook page this weekend, the former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate wrote that he has “been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick-fil-A company.”
He called the Cathy clan “a wonderful Christian family who are committed to operating the company with Biblical principles and whose story is the true American success story” – one “that is being smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left.”
Huckabee declared Aug. 1 “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”
“Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we’re considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant,” Huckabee wrote.
On Thursday, Chick-fil-A said in a statement that it would “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena” and refrain from “proactively being engaged in the dialogue” on the subject.
In business as in politics, you depend on a public that is a cross section of America. Offending any group of clients/voters that you depend on…..is just plain bad business,…..and down right stupid.
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