Fighting for people over profits
“Guilty as charged.”
Those were Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s words when the Baptist Press asked about his company’s financial backing of organizations that promote the “traditional family.” For Chick-fil-A, this means funneling millions of dollars in corporate profits to support the work of vehemently anti-gay groups, including ones that practice “gay-to-straight” conversion therapy and hate groups that advocate for the criminalization of homosexual behavior.
In response, Friday night the Jim Henson company announced that it was severing ties with Chick-fil-A, and instead donating its Chick-fil-A money to GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Now, Chick-fil-A is planning to partner with the Berenstain Bears for its next promotion, using the beloved bear family as a prize package for its kids’ meals.
Chick-fil-A has a long history of handing out money to groups like Exodus International, which specializes in “gay conversion therapy,” a process that views homosexuality as a mental disorder which needs to be “cured.” In addition, Chick-fil-A supports the Family Research Council, which advocates for the criminalization of homosexuality and has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Chick-fil-A is becoming a national symbol for support of homophobia. Next Wednesday, August 1st, Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay supporter, Mike Huckabee is organizing National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day to support the company’s culture of homophobia. Two days later, on August 3rd, activists are organizing National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A to challenge Chick-fil-A “real” definition of a family.
Chick-fil-A has faced a lot of criticism for its stance, but the Muppets cutting ties with Chick-fil-A has been the company’s biggest blow yet. Fast food toy partnerships are multi-million dollar endeavors, with companies using them as the centerpiece of huge advertising campaigns to their target audience of young children. Getting The Berenstain Bears to follow the Muppets out the door will add more fuel to a massive media firestorm and show Chick-fil-A that supporting anti-gay groups is definitely bad for business.
SumOfUs.org members have supported companies in the past for standing up for the LGBT community in the face of homophobic opposition, getting hundreds of thousands of people to sign thank you cards to Starbucks and JCPenney. Now we hope you’ll join us as we put pressure on a company that funds some of the worst anti-gay groups in the US.
The LA Times, Chick-fil-A loses Muppets, gains Mike Huckabee in gay controversy, 23 July 2012