Popular fast food chain Chick-fil-A is being protested over perceived promotion of organizations with anti-gay agendas. A Pennsylvania location of Chick-fil-A provided catering to a marriage seminar put on by a conservative evangelical group that is hostile to LGBT causes. Some college students are trying to get the restaurant banned from campuses.
Protests erupt over catering by Pennsylvania Chick-fil-A location
Restaurant chain Chick-fil-A is the center of controversy over the perception that the company has an anti-gay agenda, according to the New York Times. It was disclosed that a Chick-fil-A location is donating sandwiches to a seminar called “The Art of Marriage: Getting to the Heart of God’s Design” by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, being held in February. One location, near Harrisburg, Penn., agreed to donate sandwiches to the event, as the Pennsylvania Family Institute is a 503(c) non-profit. Operators of the restaurants are encouraged to make charitable donations, so the act may not have been religiously motivated. LGBT rights groups are calling for boycotts, and students at several colleges are lobbying to get the restaurant banned from campuses for allying with discriminatory groups.
Long history of Christian values
The Chick-fil-A chain has emphasized Christian values from its beginning. The founder of the chain, Truett Cathy, is a Sunday school teacher as well as a restaurateur. His policy from the founding of the restaurant was that it would be closed on Sundays, which all locations are to this day. The charitable foundation the company runs, WinShape, does promote strong Christian values in the work that it does. WinShape gives scholarships to college students and runs a network of foster homes. WinShape also puts on retreats such as summer camps for kids and getaways for married couples, including a “premarital boot camp” for those about to tie the knot.
Company claims no foul play was involved
The Chick-fil-A corporation has stressed that the company does not, as a matter of principle, try to actively discriminate against any group. The controversy is not addressed on the Chick-fil-A website, though the company’s president, Dan Cathy, posted a video to the restaurant’s Facebook page that corporate policy was to treat all people with “honor, dignity and respect.” Chick-fil-A was sued in 2006 by a Muslim employee who was fired for not participating in prayers at a training session.
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/us/30chick.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&src=twrhp
Chick-fil-A website: http://www.chick-fil-a.com/#home
WinShape Foundation: http://www.winshape.org/
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