It seems telling that the political conservatives attracting media attention for coming to the defense of Chick-fil-A and its anti-gay crusades — Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty — are all most recently known for having lost elections. Indeed, the anti-gay vitriol that Chick-fil-A’s president Dan Cathy has repeatedly dispensed has been a loser with the public: YouGov BrandIndex polling shows that the public’s approval of Chick-fil-A has taken a nosedive since Cathy’s interview from 65 to 39:
Meanwhile, a number of prominent leaders have continued to show their displeasure with Chick-fil-A. Here’s a sampling:
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “For the record, I prefer Kentucky Fried Chick. #ChickFilA” (Twitter)
- Washington, DC Mayor Vince Gray (D): “Given my longstanding strong support for LGBT rights & marriage equality, I would not support #hatechicken” (Twitter)
- Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker (D): “Wouldn’t deny a biz a permit on those grounds BUT I’d join my residents in taking my $’s elsewhere” (Twitter)
- Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA): “I disagree with what the CEO from Chick-fil-A said. I was glad he spoke further and said that his company does not discriminate.” (Boston.com)
To clarify Brown’s remarks, Chick-fil-A said it will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect,” regardless of sexual orientation, but the company still has no employment protections in its official corporate policies. According to Forbes.com, there have been at least 12 lawsuits against the company since 1988 on various charges of employment discrimination.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) wrote to the president of New York University, home to the city’s only Chick-fil-A, urging him to end the university’s relationship with the anti-gay restaurant:
NYC is a place where we celebrate diversity. We do not believe in denigrating others…As you know from recent press coverage, the President of Chick-fil-A continues to make statements and support causes that are clear messages of extreme intolerance and homophobia and a belief that LGBT Americans are less than others and deserve to be treated as such.[...]
I urge you to sever your relationship with the Chick-fil-A establishment that exists on your campus. This establishment should be replaced with an establishment where the ownership does not denigrate a portion of our population.
Another university’s leadership has already taken action against a Chick-fil-A on its campus. The president and provost at the University of Louisville released a statement saying that they “will not be eating at Chick-fil-A anytime soon.” Responding to a growing student petition, U of L administrators are currently assessing the contractual arrangements with the franchise on campus to evaluate further courses of action. At least seven other universities also have petitions underway challenging the existence of a Chick-fil-A on their campuses.
Attacking gay people as purveyors of society’s destruction is harmful to many people, and as public condemnation grows, it’s proving to be a losing philosophy for Chick-fil-A.