Chick-fil-A president speaks about gay marriage

Much like the boneless chicken featured on its menu, Chick-fil-A is making no bones about the fact that it does not support marriage equality. Often when companies donate profits to anti-gay efforts, they will try to distance themselves from the contributions to avoid alienating a customer base. However, Chick-fil-A’s president, Dan Cathy, is not chickening out of owning up to his views toward homosexuality. “Guilty as charged” – stated Cathy in response to allegations of his anti-gay views.
“We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that” – Cathy said in an interview with Baptist Press, a Christian news service. “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” – added the man who offers only an arrogantly narrow definition of marriage himself.
Cathy’s comments are in line with Chick-fil-A’s “charitable” donations. In 2009, the restaurant chain gave $2 million to groups that oppose same-sex marriage like the Family Research Council and the Marriage & Family Foundation. An additional $2 million was given to the same organizations the following year, as well. An Equality Matters investigation revealed that Chick-fil-A gave financial support to a brand of therapy designed to “cure” homosexuality.

Chick-fil-A president speaks about gay marriage

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 Kraft posted 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 lesbian Ellen DeGeneres as a spokeswoman.
As for Chick-fil-A, Cathy said the company’s leaders “intend to stay the course.”

Chick-fil-A is, of course, not the only company that is less than welcoming of same-sex equality. Though marketed as a brand for young, urban, hipster progressives, Urban Outfitters – URBN – actually has a conservative core. Its founder and CEO Richard Hayne contributed over $13,000 to Rick Santorum during his term as a Pennsylvania senator.
Exxon Mobil – XOM, meanwhile, has consistently gotten a score of zero in the Human Rights Campaign’s (or HRC) annual Corporate Equality Index, which examines the level of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality in American workplaces. In 2012, for the first time, the oil and gas giant actually received a negative score.
On the flip side, high-profile public companies like JC Penney – JCP – and Google – GOOG – have come out publically in support of gay marriage. Besides hiring openly gay Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson, JC Penney put out a Father’s Day ad in June that featured a male same-sex couple with their child. Tech behemoth Google has also launched a new “Legalize Love” campaign, which aims to push for the legal recognition of gay rights in countries like Singapore, where many homosexual activities are illegal.

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