The Chick-fil-A Post

Over a two year period, Chick-fil-A donated $5 million to organizations that have clear-cut anti-gay agendas and/or promote and honor individuals who are avowedly anti-gay by honoring them with awards, etc.

Let’s be clear. These organizations have anti-gay agendas. They lobby against our rights – they fight hate crimes bills, they fight bullying programs, they fight legislation that protects our jobs, etc. And they do so by using stereotypes and rhetoric that feeds hate.

Chick-fil-A’s corporate foundation, The WinShape Foundation, has funded these activities to the tune of more than $5 million. That’s not chump change.

It is discrimination. Supporting organizations with a hate agenda is discrimination. You can argue until the end of time that the company complies with anti-discrimination laws so they aren’t discriminating. But trying overturn those laws with profits from your business is discrimination.

And the best way to counter misinformation/disinformation is to spread the simple truth – Chick-fil-A funds anti-gay discrimination. There is a clear FACTUAL connection between the company and that statement. You can deny it or parse it, but you cannot IMHO say you are an ally to the LGBTQ community and support this company.

People are spewing all sorts of misinformation to the media. So let me share a few of my opinions.

  • This is not about same sex marriage and I could scream when people bring that up since it just polarized the hell out of folks. No reasonable person (and more gay people) aren’t concerned if Dan Cathy is opposed to same sex marriage. Yes, the donations his family and corporate foundation are making fund efforts to undermine our freedom to marry, but there are far bigger issues here
  • It is sad to hand any child a sign that says “I support traditional marriage” … or “God Hates Fags” or “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart”  … children do not understand what these statements mean. Because they are children. And I agree a child should not hold a sign that makes sweeping generalizations the other way … no “I support same sex marriage” signs either.  If you are including your child in a political statement, please make sure you respect their age enough to not force your views upon them. It is disgusting and looks like you are running a cult.
  • The Mayors and Alderman need to shut up and focus on their jobs – like creating jobs and protecting all of from being fired from our jobs due to our gender, disability, race, etc. Here in Pittsburgh, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has a half-dozen actions he could focus on that would actually improve the lives of LGBT City residents and employees. They aren’t sexy or headline garnering — well, some are, but I don’t see anyone having those conversations.
  • Journalists failure to include accurate information about “free speech” in their reporting is self-defeating.

There’s an important Pennsylvania note that I will explore more in a separate post. Suffice it to say that when the story broke several years ago, I found a troubling pattern between these players and Cranberry Township. So I wasn’t the least bit surprised that most of the media attention was on the Cranberry Township Chick-fil-A.  In fact, I have a strong suspicion that someone made sure that happened. And I did not see a single reporter mention that residents of Cranberry Township and those who work there have no job protections. What a missed element of context.

Finally, I do believe that the best way to counter hate speech is more speech. Time has proven that to be the case. So I can understand that countering “hate days of appreciation” with “allies days of appreciation” has a certain logic. But I’m probably not going to go to Starbucks on Tuesday because I don’t want to be in another media feeding frenzy. And I worry that it sets a precedent that investing our money in corporate allies trumps the equal need to invest our money in the small, local businesses who also ally themselves with us. It could become a slippery slope and I’m a little uncomfortable with that.

This afternoon, we went to a local restaurant for brunch – she employs 46 local folks, including several LGBTQ individuals. She is very committed to being a Christian, but she simply does not abide with homophobia. I’ll probably elaborate on that in another post. But I’d rather spend my money with her to encourage her to continue hiring our sisters and brothers, supporting our projects and doing good works in general – as well as very vocally carrying a pro-LTBGQ perspective back to the church.

And, man oh man, her friend chicken is absolutely heavenly …