Chick-fil-A thrown back into gay marriage debate
An Ohio church used the restaurant's gift cards to promote a 'biblical marriage' event, though the fried chicken chain didn't sanction it.
Last week an ad in a Dayton, Ohio, newspaper offered $25 Chick-fil-A gift cards to every married heterosexual couple who attended an event honoring "biblical marriage."
The event, hosted by the Cornerstone Baptist Temple, wasn't sponsored by Chick-fil-A or any of its independent restaurants, according to a statement from the fast-food chain emailed to The Huffington Post. The company says that the gift cards were purchased by a local restaurant and donated to the church.
The ad found its way to Reddit, where users dedicated hundreds of comments to the discussion. Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy has made it plain that he is against gay marriage, supports the "biblical definition of the family unit" and welcomes any customers who may come his way as a result of that stance.
His remarks drew rebukes last year from Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who opposed the restaurant's efforts to open a location in his city, but they garnered enough praise from Republicans to make the restaurant one of their top 10 brands of 2012, according to the YouGov Index.
Cathy's viewpoint also drew a lot more corporate money and lobbying clout into the same-sex marriage debate. Big businesses like Starbucks (SBUX) have became increasingly outspoken on the issue, while the Human Rights Campaign launched its Business Coalition for DOMA Repeal in January, recruiting companies including Aetna (AET), Biogen Idec (BIIB), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Diageo (DEO), eBay (EBAY), Electronic Arts (ERTS), Sun Life Financial (SLF) and Marriott (MAR) to the cause.
Back in September, Intel (INTC) told ThinkProgress that it would no longer donate to Boy Scouts of America troops that discriminated against gay scouts. That's no small deal, considering the $700,000 that Intel gave scout troops in 2010, which made the tech giant one of the Boy Scouts' biggest donors.
In November, UPS (UPS) followed Intel's lead and responded to a Change.org petition by withdrawing its support from the Boy Scouts because the organization is in violation of anti-discrimination policies at UPS' charitable wing. UPS gave the scouts $150,000 in 2010 -- a fraction of Intel's contribution but one that will still be missed when it's reduced to zero.
Not surprisingly, The New York Times reported in January that the Boy Scouts were seriously rethinking the ban on openly gay scouts and scout leaders. But that didn't stop Chipotle (CMG) from pulling funding for a scouting event in Utah earlier this year.
Thank You MSN for getting out this free advertising for Chick-fil-A.
Exposure like this is worth a fortune to them.
I like their food and wish them well.
Keep up the good work.
And this is actually a story? Pitiful that somone actually thought this was newsworthy. :(
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