Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chick-Fil-A responds on Facebook to PR disaster from its bible-based, homophobic business screed: #FAIL

Too late, Chick-Fil-A, the blowback begins. You donate to anti-gay causes, and believe in a biblical business model that does in fact discriminate against marriage equality. Perhaps its leadership forgot all of the states where gay and lesbian couples are indeed legally married. And a lot of homos (and allies) will keep their green dollars out of your establishments. From its Facebook post, trying some damage control: 

The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.

Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.

Try seeing how Chick-Fil-A is leaving "the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena" after what Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy told Baptist Press:

“Well, guilty as charged,” he said in the interview when asked about Chick-fil-A’s backing of families led by a man and a woman.

“We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives,” Cathy said.

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.


UPDATE: Here are the charities Chick-Fil-A donates to -- clearly the company doesn't deserve your hard-earned cash (via Talk About Equality)


WinShape Is Chick-Fil-A’s Charitable Arm. The WinShape Foundation is Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm, created by Chick-fil-A founder and chairman S. Truett Cathy in 1984. WinShape has received a substantial amount of funding from Chick-fil-A: in 2009 alone, WinShape received $7,814,788 from Chick-fil-A Inc. [Winshape 2009 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed10/28/11] 

WinShape Gave Over $1.7 Million To Anti-Gay Groups. In 2009 alone, WinShape donated $1,733,699 to multiple anti-gay groups:

  • Marriage & Family Legacy Fund: $994,199
  • Fellowship Of Christian Athletes: $480,000
  • National Christian Foundation: $240,000
  • Focus On The Family: $12,500
  • Eagle Forum: $5,000
  • Exodus International: $1,000
  • Family Research Council: $1,000

[Winshape 2009 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 10/28/11]

And (ThinkProgress):

Chick-fil-A is one of a very small number of major national companies that refuses to offer any employment protections to LGBT employees. In fact, the company received a 0 rating from the Human Rights Campaign and has a record of firing employees it believes engage in “sinful” behavior. This is hardly a tradition of treating everyone “with honor, dignity, and respect.”

Hat tip, Truth Wins Out.

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