As consumers, we typically purchase products without putting any thought into where it is that we are spending our hard-earned money. Although, there are consumers, possibly very few, who take the time to consider the motives a business stands for. How often do we as consumers stop to research the companies and businesses that we essentially support in terms of who and what do these companies support in the political and or religious sense? Regardless if consumers want to divert away from politics when it comes to where they spend their money, there is no way around it, even if it is from buying a chicken sandwich and some waffle fries.
Dating back to 1946, the traditional family values have been implemented when S. Truett Cathy founded the chain. Throughout his career, he has verbalized his religious stance (even giving employees Sunday off), through his business, writing six books and merely through donating money to anti-gay organizations. The current CEO is eldest son, Dan. Like his father, he too carries on the traditional family values within the business and has been known for causing controversy through his rhetoric and actions in relations to the LGBTQ community. The political debacle doesn’t necessarily start back to when the company was founded by S. Truett Cathy in 1963. A year before his passing, his son, Dan Cathy became CEO of the family business. Thus, the religious and familial values that the Cathy family uphold came to fruition when same sex marriage was on the ballot to become legalized in 2012. Dan Cathy has spoken out against same-sex marriage, as it does not follow the traditional family values in this country.
I understand that people are entitled to their own personal beliefs and implement them in the work that they do. It becomes unacceptable when those beliefs begin to hatefully target minority groups because it goes against what they “believe” is an abomination. By doing so, the Chik-Fil-A franchise has and continues to donate large sums of money to anti-gay organizations. As there have been many instances where the franchise has spoken out about their religious beliefs and stance on the LGBTQ community in regards to same-sex marriage, it’s important for consumers to educate themselves on the franchise beyond their menu and to fully be aware of what other services they provide to people other than at the register.
Over the years, records have shown the various anti-gay organizations that they have donated money to such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, WinShape (founded by Truett and his wife) and Exodus International (prior to its shut down in 2013, it is served the purpose of helping people rid of their homosexual desires). It is apparent that their money speaks louder than what their website claims what values are implemented into their franchise.
In an interview, back in 2012, Dan Cathy stated that the family owned business does not have an anti-gay policy against the community or anyone. Although, over the course of time and the heated debate of the franchise’s stance on gay marriage, Cathy’s rhetoric is inconsistent and it is evident through his actions that they are not just a business that sells chicken. If you stumble upon their website, it is evident that they do share their love of selling chicken and spreading the word of how much familial and religious ideals are implemented into its franchise. What makes the Cathy family or loyal customers of Chik-Fil-A assume that LGBTQ families don’t share the same values, whether they be in relations to both family and religion?
This issue that the LGBTQ community continues to endure with this franchise (as there are many more harmful businesses to the community), it cannot be stressed enough on how residents of the Central Valley and citizens of this country who identify with the LGBTQ community, along with allies, (of about 2,000 locations, 3 are in the Central Valley) need to become more informed of how much damage this franchise continues to cause people of this community. It is in plain sight of what harm that they are inflicting upon the LGBTQ community. It doesn’t take much time for someone to check out their website and see how much of their faith they implement into the franchise, but to surpass all the “good” displayed on the site, it is accessible to see how the franchise supports programs that are detrimental to the LGBTQ community. Sending a simple message by simply not supporting this franchise can and will go a long way, but only if people are willing to look way past the sauce. Boycotting this franchise, even here in the Central Valley can and will go a long way for the beneficiary of the LGBTQ community.