There is a monumental difference between disapproving of same-sex marriage and actively working to assure homosexual and transgender people can make no socio-economic contribution to civil society. The owners and CEO of Chick-fil-A are starting to learn this lesson. After the company’s CEO Dan Cathy made public statement cementing Chick-fil-A’s public stance against gay marriage, the Jim Henson Co. announced they would sever all ties with the restaurant chain and donated royalty money received to GLAAD.
CEO Cathy’s remarks have caused public outrage across the internet. But the CEO’s words are not the root of the offense that Chick-fil-A commits. What really offends people is the message Chick-fil-A supports with their donations to anti-gay organizations. Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm WinShape Foundation donated nearly $2 million to anti-gay organizations in 2010. ”So, who are these organizations,” you may ask. Let me tell you about the worst offenders.
One group that received Chick-fil-A money is the Family Research Council (FRC). The FRC is officially certified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their vitriolic (and highly inaccurate) statements against homosexuals. Yes, Chick-fil-A donates money a hate group. The FRC routinely spreads lies about gay and lesbian people as it seeks to outlaw same-sex marriage, and overturn hate crimes laws, eliminate anti-bullying programs and reinstate the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. An FRC pamphlet released in 1999 made the startling claim that, “One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.” FRC’s president Tony Perkins also makes the ridiculous claim that pedophilia is a homosexual problem.
Chick-fil-A also donated money to Focus on the Family (FOF), which used to partner with the FRC. According to Right Wing Watch, FOF is anti-choice, anti-gay, and against sex education curricula that are not strictly abstinence-only. The founder of FOF, Dr. James Dobson, regularly makes disparaging remarks about gays and lesbians, and purports that homosexuality is a mental disorder.
Exodus International – another chicken-funded org – advocates the message that there is something wrong with LGBTQ people; and up until a month ago espoused the theory that homosexuality was an illness that could be cured with prayer and “reparative” ex-gay therapy.
Other funding recipients included the Marriage and Family Foundation Inc, the Fellowship Of Christian Athletes, and the Georgia Family Council (an FRC affiliate). This is where Chick-fil-A puts your money.
Chick-fil-A donates money to organizations that actively promote hatred and intolerance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, organizations that promote criminalization of LGBTQ life, organizations that assert LGBTQ couples aren’t fit to raise children, and organizations that condone and actively spread the ideas that LGBTQ people are child molesters, are sexual deviants, that there is something fundamentally wrong with LGBTQ people’s brains or that being gay is a disease that can be cured, and that allowing LGBTQ people to live freely will destroy society. That is a message that I and many others just cannot support.