Chick-Fil-A, Ground-Zero For Gay Marriage Controversy
“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and 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.”
It was the straw that broke the camel's back, an action through which the company "has finally come clean" of its official position which it kept hidden for many years according to Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.
Chick-Fil-A has long been supportive of Christian principles, choosing to remain closed on Sundays, operating debt-free and donating money to charities. Some of these charities, according to a report by LGBT activist group Equality Matters, oppose homosexuality.
In an interview with The Baptist Press, Cathy reaffirmed his position and extended it to that of the company by saying that Chick-Fil-A was "guilty as charged" for their support of the traditional family.
"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit."
Immediately, Cathy's statements were met with fervent opposition from gay rights and left-wing activists who called for a boycott on the fast-food chain. Even celebrities weighed in and tweeted their discontent. On July 18, The Office actor, Ed Helms, tweeted, "Chick-Fil-A doesn't like gay people? So lame. Hate to think what they do to the gay chickens! Lost a loyal fan."
Already, Chicago's and Boston's mayors have stated that Chick-Fil-As are not welcome in their cities, Reuters reports.
After a Chicago alderman vowed to block a Chick-Fil-A proposed to open in his district, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed the alderman and stated that "Chick-Fil-A values are not Chicago values." In Boston, Mayor Thomas Menino wrote a letter to Chick-Fil-A stating, "There is no place for discrimination on Boston's freedom Trial and no place for your company alongside it."
With Chick-Fil-A under a heavy barrage of left-wing criticism, right-wing activists and politicians rushed to the fast-food chain's rescue. The most ardent show of support came from former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who proposed that August 1 be "National Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day." In his Facebook event, the former mayor urged people to show their support for the company by patronizing it on Wednesday.
"No one is being asked to make signs, speeches, or openly demonstrate. The goal is simple: Let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A (...)Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we're considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant."
Days before Huckabee's event, gay rights activist group GLAAD announced "National Same-Sex Kiss Day" and according to their Facebook event, it is to take place at Chick-Fil-As nationwide.
The Guardian reported that unlike Huckabee's call for passive support, GLAAD is encouraging atendees to "fill the stores and post photos and videos of their same-sex kiss."