You know, full disclaimer: I don’t care if gays get married or not. I’m Christian, and biblically (not going to argue over which bible, so don’t bother) it’s wrong, but the US Constitution isn’t the Bible nor is it based on the Bible. I can find nothing in the US Constitution forbidding gay marriage. Split the baby, do away with marriage altogether – everyone gay and straight gets Civil Unions, and you can call them whatever you want to privately.
Now Chick-fil-A got into a bit of trouble when radical gay groups learned that Chick-fil-A dared to give private money to groups that gays deemed “unacceptable” to them (“terrorist” groups like Focus on the Family, etc.), and so commenced a nationwide boycott of their establishment. One Chicago Alderman, Joe Moreno, even went as far as to block Chick-fil-A from their planned opening a a new Chicago area restaurant
Conservatives rallied together and made it a point to go to Chick-fil-A en masse on a day they called “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” and that restaurant chain had their busiest day ever. I made it a point to go there myself, just to support their right to give money to family-friendly groups.
Well after all that, Chick-fil-A quietly caved to pressure, and dropped funding to their religious groups. I suppose they have to first submit a request to gay groups before they are authorized now to give charitably.
Chick-fil-A stopped funding traditional-marriage groups in an effort to open a new Chicago restaurant, but the company initially kept quiet about the decision, prompting gay rights groups to speculate that the company feared a backlash from conservative customers.
The Christian-rooted fast food restaurant agreed to stop funding groups such as Focus on the Family that oppose same-sex marriage in a meeting with the Chicago politician who had been blocking the company’s move there. Chick-fil-A wrote a letter to Alderman Joe Moreno affirming this, according to his spokesman, Matt Bailey, but the company initially wouldn’t allow his office to release the letter to the public. Three weeks later they relented.
“There was concern from them,” said Anthony Martinez, executive director for the Civil Rights Agenda, the Illinois lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender group that negotiated with both Chick-fil-A and the alderman to stop funding for so-called anti-gay groups. “They really didn’t want to announce it, really, but, of course, the alderman needed to clarify why he was changing his stance on them opening a restaurant within his ward.”
Chick-fil-A did not returns requests for comment, and has previously said it will not discuss the issue with the media.
Bill Jacobson says that information from Chick-fil-A is scarce: they aren’t responding to questions:
While many news outlets are running headlines saying that Chick-fil-A will no longer donate to anti-gay groups, this information appears to stem from one press release put out on “The Civil Rights Agenda” website and Alderman Moreno’s comments to the Chicago Tribune, rather than primary sources. Chick-fil-A has not responded to repeated requests from the Tribune for confirmation. The actual sources currently made available are: the “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are” memo and the statement from the WinShape Foundation. Neither of these makes any mention of donations to anti-gay groups; rather, the language states they are “not supporting organizations with political agendas.” Until more information is released, it appears premature, at best, to say that this means “no more anti-gay donations.”
As to my participating in any retaliatory boycott, I rarely went there to eat anyway. In going there on Appreciation Day I was going out of my way to show support. I won’t do that again soon, but other than that nothing changes for me. It just saddens me to see them cave to pressure like this – it just gives power to radical groups that it’s not good for them to have, and dumps on people like me who went the extra few miles to show support for them.
UPDATE Moe Lane read Jacobson’s post and came away with a much better feeling about all this than I did:
In other words: Chick-fil-A repeats something that they already said; Moreno declares victory; and everybody pretends that he won. You know, I’ve played this game, actually… with my kids. Although my eldest is better at it than Moreno was.
PS: As you can tell from the above: personally, I wouldn’t have been as nice… and yes, this would be a personal failing on my part. Nobody ever said that being a Christian was easy.
As a Christian and a conservative there’s a propensity to expect to be let down sometimes, at least in my case there is. With Chick-fil-A, I just automatically thought “here we go again” instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt as Jenfidel suggests.
Point well taken. I hang my head.