There has been speculation that the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A is trying to move away from its anti-gay beliefs and practices, but company president and CEO Dan Cathy disproved that myth Wednesday on Twitter. Responding to the Supreme Court’s rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, Cathy tweeted:
Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our gen. to abandon wisdom of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies.
In a telling display of the restaurant’s identity crisis on LGBT issues, the tweet was quickly deleted. Chick-fil-A spokeswoman Carrie Kurlander explained that Cathy “has his own views,” but “Chick-fil-A is focused on providing great tasting food and genuine hospitality.” The distinction may not be very meaningful given that Chick-fil-A is privately owned and Cathy is its owner.
It was, in fact, Cathy’s views on marriage equality that created public controversy last year about the company’s business practices. In addition to the its known financial support for many anti-gay organizations, Cathy publicly described marriage equality as “inviting God’s judgment,” LGBT activists as “prideful” and “arrogant,” and homosexuality itself as “twisted up kind of stuff.”
In January, Shane Windmeyer of Campus Pride, an organization that advocates for LGBT university students, described a friendship he had formed with Cathy, suggesting the company was moving away from its anti-gay past. Contrary to Windmeyer’s claims, however, it turned out that Chick-fil-A had actually given more to anti-gay groups in 2011 (the most recent records available) than it had in years past. Though the deletion of Cathy’s tweet does suggest an attempt to minimize further damage to the company’s anti-gay reputation, the fact that he posted it in the first place demonstrates that progress is slow, if it’s even happening at all.
After this post was published, a Chick-fil-A spokesperson reached out to ThinkProgress with an updated statement about Cathy’s tweet:
He realized his views didn’t necessarily represent the views of all customers, restaurant owners and employees and didn’t want to distract them from providing a great restaurant experience.