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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gay rights or chicken sandwiches?

From what I know, there's no ethical case to be made against Chick-fil-A's food or business model in particular. They use pretty much the same quality chicken as any other fast food place, many of their meals are actually pretty healthy compared to most similar establishments, and they apparently treat their employees well. That makes it especially unfortunate that over the past several years they've been donating millions to groups which oppose gay rights, and they're proud of it:
Its president, Dan Cathy, said this week that his company was "guilty as charged" in response to a question about whether it opposed the concept of same-sex marriage—a forthright admission that surprised even those who have pointed out the fast food chain's financial ties to groups fighting equal rights for gays and lesbians. 
"We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy told the Baptist Press. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that." 
In the past, Chick-fil-A has given millions to WinShape, a group that donates regularly to anti-gay organizations like Focus on the Family, a fact that has drawn increasing scrutiny from pro-LGBT rights consumers of late.
I've written on this topic last year, so this isn't news to me. I do however wonder how many happy Chick-fil-A customers haven't heard a word about this before.

They are a family-owned, family-led business, who are married to their first wives, and they thank God for that. Fine, great. I don't imagine anyone begrudges them that. They're supportive of only the biblical definition of the family unit-- fine, and I won't ask for clarification on which biblical definition of the the family unit they're talking about. But that's obviously not all-- they're also very much opposed to anything other than what they believe to be the biblical definition of the family unit to be, and are trying very hard to legally prevent it. So Mr. Cathy, you should be honest about that. If a company run by a gay couple who had never been married before, and declared how supportive they are of the same-sex family unit, they would be drastically remiss in failing to note it if they also donated millions to outlawing marriage between a man and a woman.

You aren't just grateful for what you have. You don't just support what you have. You condemn what other people have and want to have, and are doing your best to make sure they don't get it. That goes beyond religious commitment and into bigotry, and we should make no bones about saying so. 

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