Is Chick-fil-A Anti-Gay? ‘Guilty As Charged’ Says Its President

If you’re a supporter of marriage equality, eat less chikin.

Fast-food chain Chick-fil-A sparked controversy the last couple of years for donating millions to anti-gay organizations and SPLC-classified hate groups. But while the numbers don’t lie, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy did:

“We have a whole spectrum of team members that work with us who are part of the gay and lesbian community. They know as employees of Chick-fil-A that they are welcomed, they are embraced, and they are part of the Chick-fil-A family. So to be identified with some sort of hate group that has a political agenda — that is not Chick-fil-A at all.”

But Cathy has finally come out of denial about the root of Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay activism. In an interview with the Baptist Press, he was asked whether the company has an official position against marriage equality.

His response?

“Well, guilty as charged… We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

There you have it — don’t give Chick-fil-A your business. They have unapologetically given millions of dollars to groups that work to take away LGBT rights, all in the name of “biblical family values.” No matter how good the waffle fries are, this should leave a bad taste in your mouth.

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a twentysomething working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at gaywrites.org.

  • 1000 Needles

    “We are married to our first wives.”

    I’m curious as to how much money they’ve spent on anti-divorce activism.

    • martymankins

      I’d be curious to know how many divorced people work at Chick-fil-A and if they are treated better than anyone who is gay.

    • eskomo

      Only husbands lead the company. Wives not allowed.

    • elephantix

      They’ve spent a lot on “anti-divorce activism”, actually.  They run retreat centers for couples who are on the verge of divorce so that they can have time alone together to work through the difficulties in their marriages.  You’d be hard pressed to find that reported on the front page, however. 

      • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

        How about people who are already divorced? Are they advocating that they be stigmatized? Are they donating money to political campaigns to take away their civil rights? Of course not, yet somehow they have no problem doing those things to the LGBT community.

    • GT

       Actually the group supportee by Chick Fil A that has caused all the controversy is also a big political supporter of anti-divorce legislation.

  • Alex

    And for FRC’s, OMM’s, and NOM’s outrage over a company not “taking a neutral stance on family values”… yeah, I’m not holding my breath.

  • http://profiles.google.com/schwabby Aaron Schwab

    Biblical definition of the family unit? Sure, I’ll beat this dead horse again… http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_FJ9NuT_L9k/T2cvH59u2aI/AAAAAAAABXc/RfuQ7QAKxuk/s1600/biblical_marriage_chart.jpg

    • 3lemenope

      That is a GREAT infographic. I always hated having to write that out every time the stupid “Biblical Marriage” trope rears its ugly head.

  • http://twitter.com/gingerjet gingerjet

    I have never ate at a Chick-fil-A but I have ate at an In-N-Out burger which is owned by a family with very similiar opinions.  The difference is one is vocal about it and the other isn’t.  Would that still matter to you? 

    • http://twitter.com/MisterWoodles Neal Edwards

      I believe the issue here is that the Chick-fil-A company itself donates money to these groups, not just what the family happens to believe

    • martymankins

      I have not heard nor have there been any levels of serious acitivism on the part of In-N-Out to push an anti-gay agenda.  They have bible verses on the inside bottom of their cups.  That’s pretty low key in pushing beliefs, if you ask me.

      I avoid Chick-fil-A every chance I get.

      • jemiller226

        “I avoid Chick-fi-A every chance I get” sounds like there are times someone is constantly dragging you into one, kicking and screaming.

        • martymankins

          Ha ha..  not really, but there are a few people at my place of work that frequent Chick-fil-A and suggest it as a place to go when we go to lunch as a group.  I bow out each time.

        • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

          LOL: Do you have kids?  Do they like chicken?  Do they think the cows that can’t spell are cute?  For a parent it’s like someone is dragging you kicking and screaming, except they’re the ones doing the kicking and screaming. ;)

          Never underestimate the power of a temper tantrum by a hungry child.  They’re like tiny, sticky-fingered terrorists! I swear!

          (I have no kids of my own, this is purely based on me observing small humans in the wild mall habitat.)

          • jemiller226

            I do not have kids, and I hope I never do. That said, I never had a choice where I ate as a kid.

            • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

              I never had a choice either, but there are a lot of wild brats out there. 

              If you put on headphones with jungle noises and watched the comings and goings of a mall on a given Saturday it’d be like watching Discovery channel.

              I don’t have kids, one day I might.  I can promise you they won’t be dragging me anywhere, much less into a Chick-a-Bigot.

              • allein

                Did you ever see Mean Girls? There is a fantasy scene that is exactly that “Discovery channel” scenario. :)

          • Bret

            so your kids are spoiled brats and you have no control over them.  COOL!

            • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

               Reading comprehension is a very valuable skill.  You should really work on yours.  From my previous comment:

              “(I have no kids of my own, this is purely based on me observing small humans in the wild mall habitat.)”

  • houndies

    “we are married to our first wives” and run around with other women on the side i’ll bet…or men.

  • Nordog

    Is being adamant that marriage is defined as being between one man and one woman sufficient to be a SPLC-classified hate group, ?

    Are there other offenses by the groups supported by Chick-fil-A?  Or is it just the stance taken regarding marriage?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

      Actually, SPLC has specifically said that believing gay marriage to be immoral is not enough to be labeled as a hate group.  

    • Coyotenose

       Nope, it isn’t enough for that. It only means that one is bigoted and doesn’t believe in civil rights or letting outsiders be happy.

    • Baby_Raptor

      No. Holding a belief isn’t enough to get you defined as a hate group. 

      You get that when you start lying about the other side and actively working to push your beliefs on them. 

      Hold your belief all you want. But realize that it’s just that–your personal belief. And keep it that way. Leave the rest of us alone to act how we believe. 

  • Rikka

    and their chikin is so good! D: 

    That being said, I haven’t eaten there since I learned about this a few years ago. :/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503954172 Jeremy Mullins

    I’m from Atlanta, where Chik-Fil-A is headquartered and everyone is all about Chik-Fil-A, but I’ve always hated their food.  The chicken is completely gross.  I’ve hated their politics for years, but all I can do is tell other people.  A boycott from me is kinda ineffective since I refused to eat their disgusting “food” for years before I even learned of their politics.

    • Tracker

       AGREED!!!!  The food is crap. 

  • CheesecakeCzar

    I wish I could undo my single visit there. 

  • http://secular.org/staff Lauren

    This seriously sucks. I LOVE chic-fil-a. Why oh why did he have to put me in this unfortunate situation? 

  • Isilzha

    Saying you’re married to your FIRST wife sort of implies that you intend there will be a SECOND wife in the near future.  Shouldn’t they be saying that they are married to their ONLY wife?

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      Yeah, that part kind of made me scratch my head too.  Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary, I’m not about to say that I’m happy to be marking the special occasion with my FIRST husband!  That just sounds… weirdly stupid.

    • Drakk

      Or he’s married to his first wife…and second, and third, up to his nth wife. The statement itself doesn’t preclude that scenario.

      • Isilzha

         Yeah, you go tell your SO that they’re your FIRST spouse and see what response you get.  It may not “preclude that scenario”, but it sure as hell strongly implies it!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

    Back when I worked in Holy Roller TV,  Chik-fil-A would bring in baskets of sandwiches to feed the crew during the semi-annual beg-a-thon. 
    One time I stopped by the store to get a sandwich and was rather taken back by how much a piece of fried chicken and a pickle slice on a plain bun cost.
    And that’s in addition to their reprehensible stand on marriage equality…

  • Ryan

    Little known fact – the Chick-fil-A logo was created by the father of Louie Giglio. The laminin guy. Small world.

  • Gunstargreen

    But the chicken Camille! Dammit the chicken is so good!

    Thankfully there isn’t one in my area or I would probably eat guilt chicken occasionally.

  • Ashley

    Hey check out http://threadfinapparel.com/Some-Chicks-Some-Chicks.htm to see their t shirt to stand against chick fil a

  • http://www.facebook.com/mandie.mills.3 Mandie Mills

    For bigotry free chik-fil-a style chicken sandwiches, check
    out this chik-fil-gay recipe!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNq8r4S5jSk

  • kdp

    Good thing I’m already not a fan of their “food”…..

  • Miss_Beara

    One opened rather recently here. Never been there and don’t really want to.

    But waffle fries sound soooooo gooooood…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Scoggin/100000044792747 Aaron Scoggin

    Never heard of Chik-a-fil. Is it like KFC?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503954172 Jeremy Mullins

      Not really.  It’s mostly things like chicken sandwiches, chicken bites, etc.  All filet-based stuff, and mostly sandwiches.  No bone-in fried chicken.  People in the South go nuts over it but I never got it, even before I learned of their politics.  The quality of the meat is decent (better than McDonalds/Wendy’s/etc, but nothing approaching good fried chicken), but the breading is soggy and bland.  You really aren’t missing anything.  If you want good chicken in that style from a Southern owned business that keeps its nose out of politics, try Zaxby’s.

  • Imthird717

    Homosexuality isn’t the only thing against God plan. You might as well say you don’t hire sinners.

  • rlrose328

    Never been to a Chick-Fil-A and never will be.  There is one about 10 minutes from my house.  I see their sign and gag.  Way too much good fast food out there to settle for something from them.

  • m6wg4bxw

    I understand the motivation here, but I’m discomforted by consistent application of the principle. How far should we go to limit patronage?

    Given that the majority of people in this country are Christians, it is necessarily so that the majority of employees at any given business are Christians. How many of them, individually, give a percentage of their wages to groups and causes with which the average atheist might dislike? 
    Imagine trying to open or maintain a business as an atheist or supporter of some cause with which Christians disagree. Given the numbers, they could effectively boycott such a business out of existence… if they chose en masse to apply this same principle of boycotting.

    • Guest

      I struggled with this myself m6wg4bxw, because I am very much in favor of marriage equality, but also in favor of tasty chicken. But I finally decided against eating at Chik Fil A. It’s one thing if I buy my groceries from someone who happens to secretly be a child molester (or whatever, it’s just an example). It’s not like I’m donating to the pro-child molester fund, I’m just buying groceries, what they do with the money is their damage. It’s another thing entirely if the grocery person says “Hey, I’m a child molester, I’m not ashamed of it, I’m never going to stop, and any money you give me is going to go into a pro-child molesting fund that I use to buy child-molesting supplies and child-molesting paraphernalia.” In the former instance I don’t think I’m morally culpable, in the latter I think maybe I am a little bit.

      Note, however, that I have not yet stopped paying state and federal taxes. :(

  • Sapphire

    Christians are odd people. They seem to go for pseudo science, pseudo education, pseudo psychology and even pseudo food.
    I don’t think we have any of these in the UK (I hope not anyway) but I’d like to go in one and order – in a loud voice – Kentucky fried dinosaur and see just how fundie the staff are. 

  • Becki

    who cares what they support?  Many businesses support pro-homosexual groups.  Big whoop. They are entitled to their opinions and beliefs just as you are.

    • http://www.facebook.com/miriam.mogilevsky Miriam Mogilevsky

      And we’re entitled to advocate against them and to urge people not to give them their business. I don’t see your point.

      Also, some opinions and beliefs are wrong. They just are. This is one of them.

      • Nordog

        “Also, some opinions and beliefs are wrong. They just are. This is one of them. ”

        And who said dogma was always a bad thing.

        • Isilzha

          So, Nordog, you believe that sexual abuse of children CAN be a GOOD thing? (sort of NAMBLA’s mission statement, I think) 

          Or do you NOW agree with the statement, “Also, some opinions and beliefs are wrong.”

          • Nordog

            That’s an interesting dichotomy you present, though I’m not sure where it comes from.

            I do not NOW agree that some opinions and beliefs are wrong.  I’ve always held that position.

    • Isilzha

      I care what they support because I don’t want MY money going to support those causes by proxy!

  • Isilzha

    There’s also a women’s only fitness center, Curves, that puts lots of money into anti-abortion crap.

  • http://profiles.google.com/fader2011 Alex Harman

    And the nice thing is, practically every fast-food restaurant has some form of chicken sandwich these days; I don’t think there’s anything you can get at Chick-Fil-A that doesn’t have a close analog you can get at one or more other places.  (Assuming you want to eat fast-food at all, which is a questionable choice for other reasons involving health and the economic and environmental impacts of the fast-food business.)

  • SJH

    I don’t think Chic-fil-a was caught in a lie. It seems that they made two separate statements.

    1. They welcome all people into their restaurants and do not discriminate in terms of who they serve.

    2. They think homosexuality is wrong for the country and support attempts to change our society to one which there is less homosexuality. (Presuming of course that they believe homosexuality is not innate and it is changeable) This would be true with everything else they think is wrong. This is consistent with everyone. I assume you think their view is wrong and you decide to try to change our society to reflect your view thus you become an activist. Whatever our disagreements are we can respect each other.

    Just because you think someone is involved in something you think is wrong does not mean that you also will discriminate who you serve.

    • Guest

      Well principles are all well and good, right up until there’s money on the table.

  • Jlvinkc

    I think there is another form of discrimination that is being overlooked…. “We are married to our first wives”??? It must be nice living in those ivory towers.  Apparently divorcees raising children are no more real/biblical families than gay couples providing loving homes to unwanted children.  I love the way Mr. Cathy thinks he is somehow qualified to discern the scriptures and speak for God.  I’m assuming he has some type of theology degree or is a prophet of God.  How else can he state with no uncertainty what a biblical family is?  He must have a unique gift to understand the translation, the culture, the context and the spirit of the scriptures.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling him he shouldn’t believe what he does, everyone has the right to come to their own conclusions.  My conclusion is that he is perverting the Bible.  He sounds a lot like the Pharisee who prayed outloud in the synagogue for everyone to hear while he thanked God he wasn’t like the poor lonely sinner next to him.  The poor lonely sinner prayed in silence and asked God for forgiveness for his own sins that offended God.  God is love….

  • Tim Schluter
  • elephantix

    “asked whether the company has an official position against marriage equality.” 

    I thought he was responding to how he views the definition of marriage, not responding to how he feels about gay marriage.  If so, it seems like a lot of selective editing going on in these articles. 

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      Wait, what?
       

      Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position. “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.

       
      Therefore, not in support of lesbian and gay families. The company has an official position against marriage equality and has donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups. There’s nothing ambiguous about that.

  • Bcreasy

    What anti-gay groups has Chick-Fil-A donated to?

  • Polaris Silvertree

    Is this real journalism?  A few quotes, a few generalities and then a “There you have it…”??  My question is why can’t both of Chick-Fil-A’s CEO’s statements mentioned above be equally accepted as his unified view on this issue?  I really don’t see how their contradict each other if you distill it down.  I’m just calling it like I see it. Do you not think he can have a complex framework to his value system that is both conditional and unconditional?  Perhaps that is a stereotype (against Christians) that needs to be addressed as well?  See, I’m more about open dialogue and mutual understanding/respect.  I’m not feeling that here.  Rather, I am seeing a very quick narrow-minded accusatory tone in the name of the LGBT community that feels more reactionary and very little substance in terms of insightful, thoughtful reporting.  I, for one, plan to eat at Chick-Fil-A — if anything to rebel against the rebellion (but I’m not an empire man either).   Sorry if that didn’t quite fit your mold…


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X