What People Don’t Understand About The Chick-fil-A Uproar

Chick-fil-A is likely getting more publicity these days than the restaurant chain has gotten since it first opened back in 1967.  That’s not necessarily a good thing.  But, then again, some say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

I’ve blogged about the chain and its anti-gay and anti-marriage equality history (February 9, 2012 and March 26, 2012) and I’ve posted on Facebook recently about some comments made by COO Dan Cathy.  When asked by the “Baptist Press” about standing up for the traditional family and being opposed to marriage equality, he replied, “Well, guilty as charged.”

I want to try to clarify a few things today since I’ve been reading a lot of Facebook rants (many inaccurate) and you can’t turn the television on without hearing about the controversy.

First off, I’ve eaten at Chick-fil-A.  Back in the early-1990s, while working in Paducah, Kentucky, I dined there a couple of times and I admit, their sandwiches and waffle fries were excellent!  However, now that I eat healthier (and metaphorically speaking), I’m sure the hate and anti-discriminatory spices the company uses would make it taste different now!  🙂

Cathy stands strong with his “traditional family” views:  “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. … We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that.  We intend to stay the course.  We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

Sit down because I’m going to say something that may shock you!  I agree with this part of Cathy’s comment, “we live in a country where we can share our values.”

Amen!  I’m glad that he can speak his mind just as I can.  I disagree with his views of “traditional” families.  What exactly is that today?  There are so many single or divorced parents raising children, there are more interracial families with kids, and more and more LGBT couples are parents doing a fantastic job with their biological and adopted children.  Regardless of Cathy’s religious views, he needs to move out of the 1950s.  Families are families.

Here’s what ticks me off about the recent media fascination with the Chick-fil-A controversy and what’s confusing the public.  People think that Cathy is getting bullied for voicing his opposition to marriage equality.  Note that I don’t use the words “gay marriage”.  I don’t have a “gay marriage”, I’m married!

Cathy being bullied isn’t the case.  He has a right to his views.  I have some “friends” that have issue with marriage equality.  Fine.  If you don’t like it because you don’t understand it, educate yourself.  If you don’t like it because of religion, love your fellow-man and woman and let God deal with it when the time comes.

Cathy doesn’t have to support marriage equality.  That is not what ticks me off about him or Chick-fil-A and that is why some mayors and politicians are rethinking having the chain in their cities.

What some people don’t understand is that the chain donated $8 million to the WinShape Foundation in 2010 alone.  And, between 2003 and 2009, the WinShape Foundation gave millions of dollars to groups such as “Focus on the Family” and “Eagle Forum”.  Those groups not only oppose same-sex marriages, but gay rights issues!

There, folks, lies the problem.  Rights are rights and should not be dictated by groups getting millions of dollars from corporations that are working to hold back minorities.

Recently, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino stated that he would not allow the company to open franchises in the city telling Cathy, “We are indeed full of pride for our support of same sex marriage and our work to expand freedom for all people.”

This was followed from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emaneul saying, “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values.  They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”

And, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee tweeted, “Very disappointed #ChickFilA doesn’t share San Francisco’s values & strong commitment to equality for everyone.” and “Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”

While I definitely appreciate the support from those mayors and other politicians, keeping Chick-fil-A out of their cities will not likely happen.  Believe it or not, I don’t think we should deny them the right to open a franchise wherever they want to open one.  That would be similar to the people and municipalities that deny or make it difficult for gay bars the right to open, which happens all the time.

I think that people who want to eat at Chick-fil-A should have stores available to do it.  However, I think that people should protest those stores and make the chicken chain accountable for the groups it funds — the money you spend for sandwiches and waffle fries.  Cathy can oppose marriage equality and support the “traditional family”, but funding discrimination is not good business.

I’ve lost so-called “friends” over my disgust with Chick-fil-A and stating the facts about other discriminatory groups and organizations (Boy Scouts of America).  I’ll continue to do that.  You have the right to delete me as a Facebook friend if those views are too real for you and you don’t want to hear it.

The reality of the situation is we all have a right to say what we want, right or wrong.  Cathy can speak his mind.  We don’t have to buy his opinions or his food.  I can speak my mind in my blog and you have the choice of reading it or not.

I don’t take my views to work with me when I present the weather forecast to you.  When I’m at work, I only talk weather.

I just wanted to clear the air about Cathy.  He has a right to his views, but I want people to know the real reason there’s an uproar about Chick-fil-A.  I know there are good franchises with great employees and managers out there that don’t agree with Cathy’s views on marriage or families.

The bottom line is that it’s a proven fact that we know where Cathy, thus Chick-fil-A, spends some of its profits and it’s not good for equality.


16 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kim on July 27, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Anthony I really respect your attitude about chic-fil-a and that you took the time to respect the fact that Cathy is allowed to speak his mind just as everyone is. He has the right to believe in the ‘traditional’ family even if that description has changed from what he thinks it is. Thank you for the extra information – I do enjoy chic-fil-a, but will think twice about my purchases there. Not because Cathy spoke his mind, but I dont believe in supporting anti-minority groups period.


    • Kim,

      Thank you for taking time to read my blog and for responding.

      As I’ve always said, we all have opinions and we always don’t have all the facts.

      I don’t expect all people to be happy for me that I have a non-traditional family and marriage, but please don’t blatantly discriminate to work against me. I will fight back. 🙂

      But, I’m glad we can all speak our minds.

      Take care!



  2. Posted by Norma Jeane Smith on July 27, 2012 at 8:19 am

    A-men, Anthony! Well said. I want to add that those that are against politicians being involved by stating their views against Chick-fil-a are generally the ones for Rick Santorum being public. I am SO very thankful to live in America where debate is even an option, freedom of religion, etc. I am also thankful that my son is able to be openly gay. I will be even more thankful when he can have the equality that his grandparents once had to fight for because they were an interracial couple. My parents weren’t allowed to marry until several years after they were first together. To quote the old Virginia Slims ads that reflected the struggles of equality for women, “We’ve come a long way, baby!” We still have a long way to go.


    • Amen back at you, Norma Jean. We’ve come a long way, baby, and we have a long way to go — even in 2012. We’ll get there one step at a time, one person at a time, and one day at a time.

      Take care, my friend.



    • Norma Jean,

      Thank you very much for sharing your story about James, your parents, and your upbringing. I know we’ve talked about it before, but thank you for sharing it with others.

      That is the main thing I was trying to get across in this blog. I don’t believe in what Cathy believes and I choose not to support him. I still think he has a right to try to operate a business.

      Take care, my friend, and keep in touch.



  3. Posted by Norma Jeane Smith on July 27, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Well, I love the fact that America was founded on the freedom of religion, but I am so disheartened by those that use their religion to hate others. All we can do, Anthony, is educate others with love in our hearts…just as you have said…one person at a time and one day at a time. Yours are the footprints for others to follow, so keep on walking, Mister!


  4. Posted by Scott Smith on July 27, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I gay and proud to be gay and I love me a chic-fil-a sandwich. 🙂


  5. Posted by Becky on July 27, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Anthony, I really appreicated all your comments today. I would love to have a chat with you some time in regards to some “gay” issues verses christian values. I am a very strong Christian but I do not judge … that is God’s job. For me to see two people same sex in love I think is awesome. What is the alternative? Hate? Shoot, they are men and women married who can’t stand each other. But where I lose you is people’s rights. Doesn’t Chick-Fil-a have the right to donate to who they see fit? I like Focus on the Family, they do alot of good. Take care, BJ.


    • Becky,

      Thank you for reading and replying. I can honestly say that I’m surprised to hear from you.

      I’ve always stated my views and others don’t have to agree with them. If they don’t, they can do that diplomatically and in an adult manner.

      Instead, I get accused of always complaining. I love my life, my marriage, my family, and my job. I would find it rather disturbing if everything in life was so perfect that a person didn’t have something to talk about, to vent about, or to enlighten others about.

      You, Chick-fil-A, and everyone else can do what whatever they want with their lives, their business, and their money. It’s when it hurts other people that I have issues. I don’t know much about the good that “Focus on the Family” does. The part that I know and that concerns me is their work against the LGBT community. That affects me.

      I try to be balanced and I try to be fair.

      Have a nice weekend.



  6. Posted by Marcie on July 27, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Hi Anthony,

    I agree with everything u have said about the company, but the is one that chaps my hide, u say ” ur friends” have deleted u or get upset about ur opinion, they WEREN’T ur friends in the first place! I read almost all ur blogs and ur post and I never see u attacking ppl in them. U normally find something positive to say against the ppl that upset u or have different views. So that just really is upsetting. I have never met u in person so I don’t really know u but u seem to try to be fair for the most part. So I know this isn’t about ur main topic but has bothered me since I read the first time ppl that r ur “friends” r deleting u for ur views. Sorry I will get off my soapbox. Have a great day and weekend!!!! – Marcie


    • Hello Marcie,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I always appreciate people stating their views and if they disagree with me, that’s fine if it’s done nicely.

      When I blog, I try very hard to say something nice or leave it on a positive note. I admit that there are blogs and comments when I really can’t say anything nice. Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann come to mind. However, I’m sure they love their families and are great family moms and dads. So there, I said something nice about them! 🙂

      I admit that I was angered, too, about those two people that deleted me because our views differed or they thought I was always complaining. Hello, it’s my personal blog and my personal Facebook!

      What made me mad the most is that I make myself accessible to the public, outside of work, through fundraisers, public appearances, and Facebook.

      I joined Facebook in the spring of 2009 (I think it was) to connect with people back home in Kentucky, in Chicago, and the other places that I’ve worked. I didn’t do it so I could become friends with people that watch me on television. That just happened with the magic of Facebook. And, to be honest, it’s been a good thing.

      I’m very approachable. What you see is what you get. Yes, I play a mild-mannered meteorologist on television. A little small talk here, a little there, and minutes of weather. That is what you get on television and that is all people really want.

      However, I have a brain, I have thoughts, I have opinions, and I have platforms that I will stand strong for and lend my voice. I think that is a problem for some.

      That is the reason that I put the word “friend” in quotation marks. I read as many status updates as I can. I follow people as much as I can when they post. However, there are many people on Facebook that call me “friend” and we’ll never meet. But, that doesn’t diminish me wanting to keep up with them via social network.

      With that being said, by being friends with them on Facebook, I’m not opening myself up to the public for people to attack me. There is a difference when you don’t agree with me and you attack and delete me.

      Now, I’ll get off my soapbox. Who knows, this just might be a future blog topic? 🙂 Have a great weekend Marcie and thank you again.



  7. Posted by FRIDA on July 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    They have the right to believe what they want, and I have the right to know that bigotry is bigotry even when disguised as “christian values”, and I won’t be going there ever. It’s interesting how these bigoted “christians” only follow the parts of the bible that justifies their hatred. I guess the REAL CHRIST-LIKE Christians are not as loud as the ignorant ones so we often don’t hear from them. I do wish they’d speak a little louder to drown out some of the stupidity from the others.


  8. Posted by Norma Jeane Smith on July 28, 2012 at 7:19 am

    I would like to add a few pennies for thought to a few comments others have made. When my son, James, told us he was gay, I remember how hard it was for him. I told him it wasn’t an issue…anymore than it was an issue that our other children were heterosexual. Mind you, I was born and raised strict Southern Baptist, but I also had been thankfully educated both in religion and in medicine. I was taught by my parents that Sodom and Gomorrah was about lust…not sexuality. I chose to leave the faith I was raised in when I was young because I saw so much bigotry. My own parents were forbidden to marry in the church they were members of because they were an interracial couple, 45 years ago, in the deep South. As a nurse, I also know of several medical studies that have shown that there are genetic differences in a gay man and a heterosexual man, for example the size of the hypothalamus in a gay man is generally the same size as a female’s. In one study 300 MRI’s were given to a Neurologist…100 females, 100 heterosexual males, and 100 homosexual males. No information was given to the doctors regarding them. They were asked to sort them by likeness, and were sorted by the Neurologists into 2 piles repeatedly. When asked, the reply was that they were sorted by sex, 100 males and 200 females, based on the size of the hypothalamus. That all being said, I want to add that my God is a loving God. Sexuality is not a choice…nor is it a sin. Lust certainly is. Bigotry, hate, prejudice, certainly are. I believe love should be honored and equal. I believe God loves love. I agree emphatically that any business and it’s owners have the right to state their views…even the KKK or Al Quieda have the right to their views…but I, too, have the right NOT to support their groups especially when I know they are spending their money on values that I oppose. I would never knowingly spend my money if it went to support hate groups, terrorists, bigots of any kind…whether it be child labor, terrorist groups, slave labor, hate groups, etc. I am the one that has to stand before my God when Judgement Day arrives, and I believe that standing before Him, whether I was right or wrong, with love in my heart, is the way I want to be judged. I do not believe that anyone’s sexuality or whom we loved will even be an issue with my God. I believe the things that we had choice and control of will be what is judged. ❤


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