Yes. Why are we still having this conversation?
Because it’s Pride Month, when every corporation comes out of the woodwork, slaps a rainbow version of their logo on their social media and pretends to care about gay people to make a quick buck. Chick-fil-A has notably not taken part in this pandering, and while this alone doesn’t indicate any bigotry, they do have a long history of exclusion.
Their founder, S. Truett Cathy devoted almost as much of his life to the Baptist Church as he did his business. Now, it wouldn’t be fair to claim that all Christians use their faith as an excuse to bash the gays. However, Cathy’s son and current CEO Dan Cathy said in 2012 that, “we are inviting God’s judgement on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you do as to what constitutes marriage,” and also mentioned millions of dollars worth of donations to various anti-LGBT groups advocating against marriage equality or in favor of conversion therapy. The controversy, protests and boycotts that followed resulted in the company issuing a press release saying that they intended to “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena” from then on, which was essentially the same as saying “I’m sorry you got mad at the offensive thing I said.”
Despite these claims of staying out of the debate, Chick-fil-A continues to donate to various anti-LGBT organizations to this day, such as $1.8 million to organizations like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which prohibits homosexual athletes from joining, and the Salvation Army, which has had their own sordid history of controversy, in 2017.
So Chick-fil-A’s agenda has been well known for some time now, to the point that it seems like every 6 months or so this conversation rises up again on Twitter or Tumblr. Has it hurt their business at all?
Nope! Chick-fil-A is the 3rd largest fast food chain in the country, right behind McDonald’s and Starbucks.
In this age of consumer activism, speaking with your dollar can only go so far, especially when going up against well-established brands with fanatic evangelical followings. And with the rise of “Rainbow Capitalism,” companies and consumers alike tend to forget that yelling “yass queen” isn’t the same as actually addressing LGBT issues. But hey, it must be exhautsing for straight people to constantly be told they need to care about gay rights. Maybe I should try learning from Upton Sinclair’s mistakes; I’ve been aiming for your hearts, when I should have been aiming for your stomachs.
For some people, even that won’t turn them away (although, really, the science behind just how bad MSG is still a little murky), because apparently the chicken is just that good. However, for those willing to put in a little extra work, there are plenty of copycat recipes for Chick-fil-A’s chicken (hint: you marinate the chicken in pickle juice), as well as their secret sauce (hint, its honey mustard, BBQ sauce and mayo mixed together).
So the next time you hear someone say “Be Gay, Do Crimes,” remember, they’re specifically talking about bootlegging Chick-fil-A.