Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy
Like many gays, I’ve been conflicted about how to reconcile my love of both same sex relationships and chicken sandwiches in the wake of Chick-fil-A’s reported anti-gay marriage stance.
My struggle didn’t start in the last few weeks following comments made by Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy, but years ago when reports of the company contributing money to initiatives deemed anti-gay first surfaced. As I once noted in a blog entry about the issue: The company never lied to me about who they were. I merely needed to decide if I wanted to keep spending my money there.
That’s a right that everyone has, though I am bit bothered at how the debate is currently being framed.
Dan Cathy’s inference that those who support marriage equality possess “prideful, arrogant attitude” made me wince, though I do feel there is an irony in so many of the responses to Chick-fil-A being just as sanctimonious as the sanctified folks under attack. I’ve seen far too many branding the company as a “hate group” full of bigots.
If you want to talk about pulling back funds from corporations with ultra-conservative viewpoints and the money to push them onto the masses, there is quite a lengthy list of companies that span several facets of our daily lives.
I’d love for Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino to take a glance at it considering his recent pledge to ban Chick-fil-A from Boston. According to him, “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.”
No offense, Bostonians, but Boston at the forefront of inclusion? Hardy har har har.
Meanwhile, I completely understand why the Jim Henson Company would part ways with Chick-fil-A, and love that they took money from the company and donated it to GLAAD. Still, they didn’t brand them as a “hate group” – an example maybe more ought to follow.
They are not a hate group. As Jonathan Merritt mentioned in a piece for The Atlantic, Chick-fil-A “funds a large foster care program, several schools of a higher learning, and a children’s camp” in addition to scholarships for its employees.
The company itself said in a recent statement: “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.”