Today local LGBT community members and allies joined groups all across the country in protests aimed to educate the public about the donation practices of Chick-fil-A, a national fast food company.
About a dozen supporters of LGBT rights cheered, chanted, and proudly held signs that read “Bigot-Fil-A,” “Chick Full of Hate,” etc in front of the Chick-Fil-A located at the busy intersection of Blackstone and Nees.
Organizers Michele Wright and Kelly Campbell, along with GetEQUAL wanted this protest to bring to light the donations that Chick-Fil-A has made to anti-LGBT rights organizations. They were quick to point out that their disappointment with the Chic-Fil-A donation policies have nothing to do with religion.
“It isn’t about religion,” Kelly Campbell said, “It is about equality and letting the public know that when they spend their money here, it goes to support anti-LGBT rights.”
“Our rights shouldn’t be part of the cost of doing business,” echoed Michelle Wright, “LGBT youth are dying and organizations that work against them, work against all of us,”
Today’s protesters came from all over the Fresno area. Many were alerted by social media like Facebook about the protest which, while in congress with national efforts by GetEqual and others, was put together relatively last minute. Several of the protesters had never been to a protest before, and they were excited to be a part of something important.
“It’s hard to get people in Fresno to be motivated sometimes, “ protester Idell said, “That’s why it is so important to just show up. To show your support.”
The small but vocal crowd drew attention. A local ABC affiliate was on site (the segment is scheduled to air on tonight’s 6pm news), dozens of cars honked and waved, and several customers of nearby establishments asked the group what the protest was all about. “That’s the point,” Kelly Campbell said after handing a flyer to a motorist, “We are educating the public.”
In the end organizers called today’s event a success. The fight for equality, though, is far from over.
Photos courtesy of Kaylia Metcalfe and Isabel (Izzy) Pulido
(GayFresno will run an article next week with more on the controversy surrounding the donations of Chick-Fil-A, the role that the franchises play, the results of today’s national protests, etc. )