Southern fried-chicken chain Chick-fil-A has recently been accused of anti-gay sentiment for providing sandwiches and brownies to an event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a “traditional, foundational” family based group that has rallied against gay marriage in the past, the “New York Times” reported Saturday.
But Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy says the chain “is not a Christian company,” much less discriminatory.
“We’re not anti-anybody,” Cathy told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday. “Our mission is to create raving fans.”
Cathy said in a statement Saturday, “While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees.”
Known for its Christian values and corporate mission to “glorify God,” Chick-fil-A is an easy target for accusations of discrimination. Indiana University South Bend has joined many universities in opposing Chick-fil-A and has also halted weekly Wednesday sales of Chick-fil-A food at two main dining areas, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In response to the Chick-fil-A uproar, R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, told The Daily Caller that both free speech and the “free market of ideas” are important for Americans to have.
“As the conservative organization for the gay community, Log Cabin Republicans has long defended freedom of speech and the free market of ideas,” Cooper told TheDC. “We, along with many fellow Republicans, believe in individual liberty and individual responsibility. American consumers have the freedom to make their own informed decisions and patronize their businesses of choice.”
GOProud chairman of the board of directors Christopher Barron wrote in an email to TheDC that Chick-fil-A protests are “counter-productive” and analogous to “witch hunts.”
“With the gay left it’s all stick and no carrot. Instead of working to change hearts and minds the angry gay left would rather go on witch hunts,” Barron wrote. “The witch hunts by the professionally outraged gay protestor class may feel good, but I think they are incredibly counter-productive. To most of the world a chicken sandwich is just a chicken sandwich and folks who try to politicize everything usually end up doing more harm to their cause at the end of the day.”