Chick-fil-A Seeks To Distance Itself From Anti-Gay Owner

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"Chick-fil-A Seeks To Distance Itself From Anti-Gay Owner"

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy

On Monday, a Baptist Press story quoted Chick-fil-A’s president Dan Cathy admitting his company’s anti-gay ideology — a stance the company previously attempted to deny. But after two days of Cathy boasting about the story, the company’s Facebook page now features a message flatly contradicting its head.

In his interview with the Baptist Press, Cathy admitted that the company indeed has an anti-gay political agenda. When asked about reports that the company was against same-sex marriage, he told the paper “Well, guilty as charged,” adding:

We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit … We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.

Cathy reinforced his views in a radio interview, in which he asked “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.” He continued his anti-LGBT campaign Wednesday on Twitter, twice bragging that the Baptist Press interview had “lit up the gay community.”

Today’s statement on the the Chick-fil-a Facebook page takes the exact opposite view. The company now claims:

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.

The Chick-fil-A corporation has long funded anti-gay organizations. According to an Equality Matters analysis of public records, in 2010 the company’s foundation distributed nearly $2 million to anti-LGBT groups including the Marriage & Family Foundation, the Family Research Council, and Exodus International — and millions more in previous years. But this past March, when Northeastern University rejected a proposed contract to bring a Chick-fil-A restaurant on campus, a Cathy bizarrely claimed that the company had “no political agenda.” He said in a media statement “we are not anti-anybody and Chick-fil-A have [sic] no agenda, policy or position against anyone as some reports continue to represent.”

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.”

Either the company is once again trying to conceal its anti-LGBT activism or Cathy’s intention to “stay the course” lasted just three days.

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