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Chick-Fil-A Saga: September 19-23 — My Reaction

Dark Qiviut


Back in late July/early August, Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy admitted to the radio that he donated to charities and churcheswho are both against gay marriage and gay rights altogether. One of the most notorious charities was the Family Research Council, an anti-gay rights hate group who famously lobbied money to not condemn Uganda's bill to execute people just for being gay. This topic was heavily talked about here to the point where it was locked because it was becoming uncivil.


Some of the protests include not allowing Chick-Fil-A restaurants to expand into campuses and cities where gay rights activities are in the forefront, one of them being Chicago. This piece of news occurred four days ago:

The Chicago alderman whose opposition to Chick-fil-A over the restaurant owner’s santi-gay marriage stance made national headlines last month, has announced the company has agreed to stop funding those organizations, according to the Chicago Tribune.

A press release posted on a Chicago-based civil rights advocacy group web site quotes a letter said to have been sent to the alderman from Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate”

“The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.” Winshape, a non-profit funded by Chick-fil-a, has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBT groups, including some classified as hate groups, such as Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage. In meetings the company executives clarified that they will no longer give to anti-gay organizations.
An internal memo declaring the company will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender” and that their “intent is not to engage in political or social debates,” was also said to have been distributed and included in an official company document called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are.”

The Chicago Tribune notes the language is similar to a July 19 Facebook post the company made:


The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.
Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy previously told the Baptist Press the company supported “the biblical definition of family.”


The stance caused a controversy with some calling for a boycott of the restaurant, while others came out en masse to support the stance including staging a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

In July, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared Aug. 1 national “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” in support the chain owner’s recent comments against gay marriage and supporting the right to free speech and thousands flocked to the franchises to show their support.


Here's the link to the piece.


And here's a much longer article courtesy of Yahoo.


My reaction?


This is actually supposedly a major step in the right direction. Contrary to what some people said, what Cathy said and did was very dangerous. If he were someone who was alone, unknown, and was speaking for himself, there may not be as much controversy. However, he demonstrated his anti-same sex marriage beliefs and "charity" donations as basically the entire core of the restaurant from the CEO/Owner to the employees. His words, therefore, were put into a much larger context. He and his company were justifiably criticized and blasted for not only their words, but for also donating money that customers paid to anti-gay right charities and hate groups. Therefore, the supposed harassment of CFA's employees — cooks, waiters, etc. — were one hundred percent Cathy's own fault because he put them in danger. Expressing an opinion doesn't mean guarantee freedom of financial and personal consequences.


However, now that CFA supposedly won't donate any more money to anti-LGBT charities, will I eat at any of the restaurants?




One is the fact that I want no association with someone who donated any money for the sake of "protecting traditional marriage," which is a major fallacy. There hasn't been one good reason why same sex marriage — NOT civil unions, as they're mostly recognized state-wide only; don't offer the same federal legal status protections, benefits, and recognitions as marriage in most states; and the words "civil union" psychologically translate into being part of "different, inferior" class status-wise to plenty of the LGBT and its activists — shouldn't be legalized and recognized throughout the U.S. Every argument against it has been poorly thought out or uses religion as a crutch. In the U.S., using religious as a reason to outlaw constitutional civil rights is against the law.


The other reason is the fact that I have absolutely zero trust in Cathy and the higher-ups in Chick-Fil-A. Here's an article that describes this alleged new practice and an excerpt from the article:

Although Chick-fil-A supposedly assured a Chicago alderman that it would stop donating to antigay groups, this week it held a fundraiser for one anyway.


The fast food chain promised in a letter to Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno, reported by the Chicago Phoenix, that it would end giving to any groups with "political agendas," implying it had stopped a practice that had led to about $5 million for antigay groups. But there might be a loophole.


Although the company's foundation might not be donating directly, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy tweeted a photo on Tuesday from the 2012 WinShape Ride for the Family. He wrote alongside the picture of a pack of motorcyclists: "WinShape Ride for the Family bikers locked and loaded for 200 mile ride to Wilmington out of Charleston."


That long ride is a fundraiser for an organization that helps lobby against marriage equality. Registration forms for the event ask that checks be sent, not to the WinShape Foundation that Chick-fil-A operates, but directly to the Marriage and Family Foundation at 5200 Buffington Road in Atlanta, Ga.


The forms say the ride fee is $3,500 for each individual or couple. But sponsorship packages posted online show that organizations could pledge $5,000 for "silver" status, $10,000 for "gold" or $15,000 and more to reach "platinum." The Chick-fil-A logo accompanies everything, and so does the WinShape name, but it's unclear whether the foundation continues to make donations.


The Marriage and Family Foundation was not only included in the investigation by Equality Matters of the fast-food chain's questionable giving history, it was identified as the top antigay recipient in 2010. WinShape had given more than $1 million to the group in 2010 alone.


Equality Matters explained the group's history in detail. It was originally named the Marriage and Family Legacy Fund when it was founded in 2007 by a member of the Cathy family. In fact, the current Buffington Road address in Atlanta is now shared by Chick-fil-A's headquarters.

Basically, the funds they'll get is indirect. Not from WinShape, but to groups personally, who in turn donate to the anti-gay (marriage) groups like the Family Research Council. If they're going to donate and associate themselves that way, then that's still create a problem for simply one reason.


Dan Cathy lied!


According to meetings in Chicago, CFA claimed to quit donating to anti-gay marriage churches and charities. This practice, while legal, is conniving because he's donating via other means. Cathy's claim was a bold-face lie because the charities he associates with will still receive donations.


It also doesn't help when Cathy denied giving these "concessions" so they can build a restaurant branch in Chicago, which is considered one of the more liberal cities in the U.S.


The previous announcement earlier this week was a major step in the right direction. Unfortunately, Cathy gave the movement the other cold shoulder via attending the "charity" as well as making this statement.


Not cool!


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The Constitution guarantees no one the "right" to redefine marriage to fit their personal preferences.


This assertion that it's "constitutional rights" is getting old and carries no legal basis.


Marriage is between a man and a woman, and has been this way for its entire existence because it's beneficial to humanity.

A man and a man or a woman and a woman are not marriage. No more than a triangle can be called round.

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Oh man, silly America.


Btw, separation of religion and state allows one to look further than old ( and thus not adapted anymore ) views about what actually a relationship is about.


Nobody is to say who is allowed to bond with whom, not even the state. Marriage is between individuals and not "man and woman", because in the end we all start as women so there is no sense at all at imposing something completely unnatural and that has never been intended by our brain chemistry. ( That is forced heterosexual relationships )

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The Constitution guarantees no one the "right" to redefine marriage to fit their personal preferences. This assertion that it's "constitutional rights" is getting old and carries no legal basis.

You're completely wrong here. Marriage is, by U.S. law, a constitutional right. Here is part of the Supreme Court ruling regarding the 1967 case that subsequently allowed interracial marriage:

The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men ...


To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

While it doesn't discuss same sex marriage, this still applies because gays, lesbians, transgenders, and bisexuals are being denied the right to marry someone from the same sex, mostly for religious reasons. In the U.S., that kind of logic is unconstitutional and violates the Fourteenth Amendment. Proposition 8, the referendum that repealed the same sex marriage bill in California during the 2008 election, was declared unconstitutional for this very reason.

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While it doesn't discuss same sex marriage

This summarizes the lack of legal basis for the claim.


The Supreme Court ruling guarantees everyone the right to marry. Not the right to redefine marriage to fit their personal preferences.


That has no support for your case, in the same way it would have no support for anyone claiming it gives them the right to polygamous or incestuous so-called "marriage."

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This summarizes the lack of legal basis for the claim.

Completely incorrect. Reread the rest of that paragraph in my first reply why.


The Supreme Court ruling guarantees everyone the right to marry. Not the right to redefine marriage to fit their personal preferences.


That has no support for your case, in the same way it would have no support for anyone claiming it gives them the right to polygamous or incestuous so-called "marriage."

Completely huge strawman here. Marriage is, by constitutional law, defined as "one of the basic civil right to man," and it was specifically said as such via the 1967 Supreme Court ruling. Proposition 8 was ruled unconstitutional because it violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment (and for the latter, the Fifth Amendment, too).


Also, there has yet to be any objective scientific evidence that same sex marriage encourages polygamy or incest; banning same sex marriage altogether does not close that Pandora's Box of incest and polygamy, because they can easily apply to opposite sex marriages, too.

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And oh, the sweet irony in the fact that this gets Chick-Fil-A a ton of money. Stir up overdefensive butthurt people and continue to poke them with a stick, drawing curiosity and customers of the non-butthurt variety to the restaurant.


Btw, Chick-Fil-A neither discriminates against gays in the hiring process (As that is illegal) nor refuses to let gays eat there (I would know. I was stuck with possibly the least subtle lesbians ever born. I think the people in the next building over could have picked up on their LOUD conversation about their painfully explicit sex lives).

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Completely huge strawman here.

Actually it's you who just pulled off a nice strawman argument.


I did not claim same-sex so-called marriage leads to polygamy and incest.


I stated that claiming the 1967 court ruling supports same-sex so-called marriage has no more legal basis than claiming it supports polygamous and incestuous marriages.

It supports none of these three.


If you can pretend it supports one idea of re-defined marriage, then it can just as easily support any other idea of re-defined marriage.



You have also failed to address my main point. The 1967 court rulings guarantees "man" (i.e. men and women) the right to marry.

It does not, however, guarantee any man or woman the "right" to re-define marriage to fit what they personally want marriage to mean.


A gay person has the right to marry. They do not, however, have the fictitious "right" to decide what marriage is.


The 1967 court rulings does absolutely nothing to support same-sex marriage.

Claiming it does is akin to claiming the right to freedom of speech for men and women implies that you can re-define "freedom of speech" to include hitting people in the face with baseball bats as part of freedom of speech.


You have the right to marriage. Not the right to define marriage.

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Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders can work AND eat there; they never denied that.


The problem with your argument is that you combine the two. They are two completely different things. CFA has constantly lobbied and associated itself with charities who are against same sex marriage (and same sex rights altogether). The Freedom Research Council, for one, is a widely known HATE group and have been in the news quite a bit. Their lobbying to not condemn Uganda's bill to execute gay/bisexual men and women is one of their most notorious.


By pulling yet another strawman, you're completely missing the point of not just marriage, but the 1967 Supreme Court ruling altogether.


Besides dealing with civil rights, part of the purpose for putting forward the ruling in my counterargument is because interracial marriage was deemed illegal, primarily for religious and racial reasons. That's a form of discrimination and violates the United States Constitution. We're seeing that in some states these days because the LGBT is being discriminated against for wanting to marry. The most popular reason against gay marriage is because it violates the "religious tradition of a union between a man and a woman." That logic — and the fact that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders aren't allowed to marry of the same gander (mostly due to their orientation) — completely violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses. Many courts and some states know this. California's Court of Appeals rejected Proposition 8 reasoning for this. The Supreme Court of Iowa (a relatively conservative state) legalized same sex marriage because it violated the Fourteenth Amendment.


Prior to DOMA in 1996, there weren't any notable steps towards providing any legal federal ruling dictating the legal federal — NOT religious — definition of marriage. It was rushed into law because the LGBT in Hawaii was being discriminated against, and the Hawaii legislature wanted to provide more solid equal protection of the law to the LGBT along with opposite sex marriage. DOMA became a severe roadblock for all states, Hawaii including.


And now many states, North Carolina being the most recent, have been ratifying their state constitutions to effectively ban legal same sex unions (marriage or civil unions). The reason is to keep up with the "traditional (religious) marriage," which is an invalid argument under the U.S. Constitution.


Even today, the government still doesn't provide any concrete legal federal definition of marriage. If there were, then how come President W. Bush and other sectors of Congress (including Paul Ryan) have wanted or tried to propose a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman in the first place? They've been repeatedly struck down because Congress will never approve of it.


Despite DOMA still being under law, the Obama administration no longer recognizes it nor will it ever defend it again because it violates the Fourteenth Amendment. DOMA discriminates people of sexual orientation because it gives states the leverage to strip the LGBT of any federal and nationwide recognition, benefits, and protection of the law that heterosexual marriage provides. A Connecticut court struck part of DOMA down on July 31st of this year for this reason.


Under federal law, the only way you can really effectively ban same sex marriage (and thereby making marriage as federally a union between a man and woman) is by passing an amendment that repeals part of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, which will do nothing except open up an even bigger Pandora's Box.


Point blank, there are no good reasons to ban people from marrying in the same gender.

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What if a 63 year old man wanted to marry a 7 year old boy? Should we permit that too? I mean they both consent so apparently we're now "discriminating" them.


by allowing it you would change the literal definition of marriage not the constitutional, if you allow gays to marry we'd have to allow incestual marriage, beastistic marriages, marriages between children, inaniamite objects, etc. lest we be hypocritical

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Your argument is severely flawed.


Many example you have here are sexual paraphilia. Homosexuality, bisexuality, and pansexuality are sexual orientations. Transsexuality (transgenderism) is gender identity. They're not paraphilia. Homosexuals, bisexuals, pansexuals, and transgenders are constantly being shunned by many state governments from marrying in the same gender due to the (bogus) perception of same sex marriage "violating the marriage tradition." That's illegal, and that's orientation discrimination.


In the U.S., marriage between people is illegal until you turn eighteen (a minimum of sixteen via parental consent). I'm very against marriage between adolescents and/or children because marriage — a big step on its own — is a much bigger step for them age-wise and cognitively: Their brains aren't fully developed to working, concentrating, and living on their own then compared to when they turn eighteen, nineteen, twenty years old.

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