Between the Boy Scouts reconfirming their stance on excluding gays, and controversy over Target’s refusal to sell Frank Ocean’s album, it’s been an uproarious week in the debate over gay rights. The latest firestorm of conflicting public opinions on the subject was sparked by anti-gay marriage comments made by Dan Cathy, President of Chick-fil-A. The fast food company famous for inventing the chicken sandwich is now scrambling to invent a way out of the political spotlight.
According to CNN, when asked on Monday about his company’s opposition to gay marriage and support of the traditional family unit, Cathy told the Baptist Press that he and his company were “guilty as charged.” He went on to say that he and his company 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.”
Both an outpouring of support and a wildfire of outrage followed, with Chick-fil-A’s Facebook and Twitter accounts being flooded with arguments on both sides, causing Chick-fil-A to become a top trending subject on Google on Thursday. In an apparent attempt to douse the flames, the company posted the following statement on their Facebook page:
“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 is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.
Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
This statement would suggest that the company is attempting to bow out of the political spotlight (without actually apologizing or denouncing anything Cathy said) while simultaniously trying to keep their conservative Christian reputation, and appear non-discriminatory. So basically, they’re trying to please everyone, which on a hot button issue like this, is likely impossible. So while I’m sure they’d rather have the public flocking to Chick-fil-A’s social media accounts to discuss their tantalizing peach milkshakes (the return of which was announced earlier this week), their sweet treats and famous chicken will probably be overshadowed by this controversy for some time to come.