“We believe that homosexual behavior is unhealthy and destructive to the individual, to families, and thus to communities and to society as a whole,” and calls on members to “join us in resisting, on every front, the organized effort to normalize homosexual behavior in our society.”
Oh yes, silly me. The folks at Chick-Fil-A have long been out-of-step, out-of-touch, and have pulled anti-tolerance stunts like this before.
I hope you'll read this story: On Top Magazine has the information on its website.
Here's my open letter addressed to the Chick-Fil-A's powers-that-be:
Dan T. Cathy
President and COO
S. Truett Cathy
Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Donald M. "Bubba" Cathy
Senior Vice President and Dwarf House President
James "Buck" McCabe
Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer
Senior Vice President, Real Estate, Design, and Construction
Senior Vice President, Operations
Greetings to All of You:
As an American corporation and a national franchiser, you and your franchisees have the absolute right to support any cause you like, admire, believe in, and respect. I recognize that.
You and your franchisees have the absolute right to monetarily support groups such as Citizens for Community Values and CCV's intolerance of gay Americans, their right to marry, and CCV's lack of tolerance of any number of other groups. I recognize that, also.
And, as a corporation you may--in your press releases--blame an individual franchisee for supporting lack of tolerance and lack of understanding. However, I don't believe that a handful of franchisees are to blame. Intolerance is systemic and inbred in your corporate culture.
It's difficult for the public to believe that Chick-Fil-A is as progressive on the Human Rights front as you'd like your customers, the public, and your investors to believe.
When a Chick-Fil-A family member like Bubba Cathy is vested with the position of Senior Vice-President and President of Dwarf House, your customers wonder how that contributes to equality. When Bubba Cathy is interviewed in Philanthropy magazine and is quoted like this, it also makes people wonder about many things:
"We need to win back our culture's vision for marriage and family. Changing public sentiment and attitudes towards marriage and family is essential. Our philanthropy needs to stir up the desire for lifelong healthy marriage and catalyze the efforts to help people strengthen their marriage and their family. Private dollars and the influential relational networks that go with those dollars are essential for the marriage movement to succeed."
There's not a person alive who can't decipher what Bubba and ya' all mean by "marriage movement." Especially when headlines like the following have been written about Chick-Fil-A over the past few years.
1. Winshape: Over $1.1M Given To Anti-Gay Groups
2. Chick-Fil-A Reportedly Favors Married Employees, Investigates Their Personal Lives
3. Chick-Fil-A's Partnership With Focus On The Family
4. Sponsorship Of Anti-Gay Hate Group Affiliate
5. WinShape's "Traditional Marriage" Activities
Even Wikipedia is compelled to report on Chick-Fil-A's "religious connections."
And, Chick-Fil-A, please don't take this letter as the rabid vamping of a heathen. I grew up in a religious, multi-faith family in Kansas. I didn't miss one day of Sunday School for 5 years. I still have the lapel pin to prove it.
This letter is just to say to you, Chick-Fil-A, that as a gay man who is in a loving, long-term, family relationship, I take exception with your positioning of the facts to meet your agenda. Equality isn't about exclusion. Equality is about parity in paritys most fundamental human form.
I hope that you and your franchisees recognize that I can shop for a chicken sandwich anywhere. (Hey, I'm gay, I can even make my own. And with a superior aioli sauce.)
The GLBT comunity is large, and strong, and like every Jew who has placed a stone on a grave or a monument, we will never forget.
Thanks for reading. I won't be having one of your Fruit Salads anytime soon. Just so you know.
[UPDATE - July, 26]
I received an email this afternoon from a gal who thought that I wasn't being fair to her favorite fast-food-sanctuary. So, in order to right any wrong--and to correct any indiscretion on my part--I offer this olive leaf: The Chick-Fil-A Song. The song was performed at the Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, Carrollton, Texas.
The singer is Tim Hawkins and if that little ditty doesn't do it for you, well then, you're just not a red-blooded American.