I will admit that I have not always been the best Chick-Fil-A boycotter. Though they have been supporting hate groups for years, there is one that’s not all that inconvenient to my home, and when I happen to be out and about in the early morning hours — which is not often — I will occasionally indulge in their breakfast, as that’s about all I like on their menu. The rest = ew. In my defense, when people in this household stop by that establishment, they tend to come back with approximately forty packets of mayonnaise, sixty packets of spicy mustard, thirty packets of jelly, and all the rest of the condiments you can imagine in the most unreasonable numbers and combinations for a single order of a chicken biscuit with cheese and hash browns. Consider it our quiet protest. What if I decide I want to try dipping it in coffee creamer? You never know.
That said, with the revelation that they spent a full two million dollars on hate groups in 2009 alone, it may be a waste of time to deplete their condiment supply, as I wouldn’t want anyone to see me going in there. And the COO of the organization, Dan Cathy, is not only defending his support for hate groups, or as they euphemistically call it, “the traditional family,” he’s doubling down:
Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said [Dan] Cathy when asked about the company’s position.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.
Nice. Jeremy responds:
I am so tired of them flipping this script. Or trying to, at least. The intense scrutiny over the past few years has been in regards to the company’s chosen LACK OF SUPPORT for families like mine. Regardless of where you stand, the placement of LGBT people within our societal picture and within our body of laws is the conversation at hand. That is not the same thing as “support for the traditional family,” no matter how aggressively the self-appointed values movement attempts to (mis)name reality!
If Dan Cathy is proud that his company’s efforts have alienated a customer base that is only going to grow with every passing year, then he has every right to take that defiant position. Pro-equality companies will do the reverse, despite boycotts from groups like NOM. But refusing to own the facts at hand is not an option for either side. And refusing to own the facts by hiding behind a false layer of “family” support (which, by extension, casts LGBT people and allies out of that same unit)? That makes Mr. Cathy sound a bit like a, well—chicken.
Indeed. I would also add that it may not have affected their bottom line yet, but the euphemisms about “supporting the traditional family” aren’t going to work either. We support the “traditional family,” if that’s the kind of family you’re a part of or want to make! We also support our own damn families. Moreover, most extended families these days have a combination of several family “types” within them, so if you’re supporting “the family,” you really need to be supporting it in all its forms. I will also say that the Chick-Fil-A near me is one of their nicest stores, and it has an awful reputation in this neighborhood. Why? Because we live in a fairly progressive area, and people know more and more every day what bigots are running the organization. In the times I have stopped by there to stock up on mayo and coffee creamer for the month, I have very rarely seen anyone who appears to live in the neighborhood, besides the cops from the precinct nearby. It’s a very well-trafficked area, and I see a lot of people who seem to be passing through, but the neighborhood itself tends to ignore the shiny, historically-preserved store as just another example of the sort of suburban blight that belongs near mega-churches.
Oh, also, they’re closed on Sundays, to respect “people of faith” (their own faith, but not anybody else’s), and that’s really the only day those chicken biscuits taste good in the first place.