It's not a secret that the fast-food chain Chick-Fil-A is owned and operated by conservative Christians. It shouldn't be a secret that the owners of Chick-Fil-A see their mission as spreading Christianity. What's new is that Chick-Fil-A is working with right-wing "family" groups to spread hatred and fear of gays in order to ensure that they are treated as second-class citizens. That's what you're funding when you buy food at Chick-Fil-A.
The recent revelations involve an event that's cosponsored by Chick-Fil-A and the Pennsylvania Family Institute, the state's leading homophobic organization. The homophobia of the Pennsylvania Family Institute is no secret because one of their major causes has been a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. So Chick-Fil-A knew exactly who they were getting in bed with.
The February event co-sponsored by Chick-fil-A is called "The Art of Marriage," and it's intended to be a launching point for Pennsylvania to return to "the biblical definition of marriage." Given the work of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, it's hard not to see where this event is going to go -- straight for the jugular of anyone who supports marriage equality for same-sex couples.
The Pennsylvania Family Institute has been a leading opponent of marriage equality, and has condemned the expansion of civil rights for same-sex couples. Speaking to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the group's president, Michael Geer, said that gay marriage is not moral, and should be put up for a vote rather than decided by courts or legislatures.
"The only way that we can get the people to decide this issue is through the ballot box," Geer said. "Marriage as defined as between a man and a woman has proven to be the best for the health, education and welfare of children."
And that's a mild statement coming from Geer. As more and more states have moved to legalize same-sex marriage, Geer has stated that unless Pennsylvania adopts a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, it could be forced to accept same-sex couples as equals.
"Newspapers across the commonwealth editorialized -- and many legislators said -- we don't need an amendment, we already have a law [banning gay marriage]. This [ruling] makes clear that the law is insufficient," Geer said, after California's Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in 2008. (That ruling was eventually overturned by the passage of Proposition 8.)
Source: Gay Rights
It's true that this particular event in question does not appear to directly promote homophobia, but when it comes to groups like the Pennsylvania Family Institute, you cannot separate any "family" event from the entire "family" ideology.
It's all part of the same overall goal of fostering just one vision of what a "family" and what a "marriage" can be. If you support any one piece of that ideology, you effectively support the entire package. If you sponsor any "family" event of theirs, then you are sponsoring their vision of what a "family" can and cannot be -- and that means sponsoring their vision of a world where gay couples, gay marriages, and gay parents cannot exist. Indeed, it's arguable that their vision is one where gays don't exist at all.
Some of the other anti-gay positions of the Pennsylvania Family Institute include saying that same-sex couple could no more be "married" than a dog's tail can be it's "leg" and alleging that western civilization itself took a "direct hit" when Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional.
The Pennsylvania Family Institute seems to believe that discrimination against gays and gay couples should be perfectly legal because homosexuality and same-sex couples are biologically "wrong." They've also insisted that gay marriage is a threat not just to civilization, but also to children, families, and would effectively punish our entire society because it would mean caving in to a "radical sexual revolution."
After the outrage first erupted, the Chick-Fil-A name was removed from ads promoting the event, but nothing has been said declaring that Chick-Fil-A has definitely withdrawn. And even if they have that doesn't entirely excuse them because there was ample evidence for what they were getting into from the beginning. If they only do the right then when caught, then they aren't doing it for the right reasons.
Do you still buy any food at Chick-Fil-A? If so, why? If so, do you intend to stop and let them know how you feel?