In case there was any question, Chick-fil-A's president confirmed in a September 29 interview with a local Atlanta television station that his company's philosophy is to “support Biblical families.” Months after Dan Cathy's public comments on the importance of the “biblical definition of the family” prompted an all-out assault on the franchise by homosexual activists, Cathy told the NBC affiliate that families “are very important to our country. And they're very important to those of us who are concerned about being able to hang on to our heritage. We support Biblical families, and they've always been a part of that.”
Last July Cathy said that he and the management of Chick-fil-A were “guilty as charged” in their support “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.” The comments enraged homosexual activists, who saw it as a direct challenge to their militant efforts to normalize homosexuality and same-sex “marriage.”
They were further angered when Cathy appeared on the syndicated Ken Coleman Show, offering a somber warning concerning the nation’s increasingly errant attitude about biblical marriage. “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’” Cathy said. “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we should have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.”
Several homosexual groups launched a nationwide campaign against the franchise, encouraging individuals not only to boycott the restaurant chain, but to demand that their communities bar Chick-fil-A from opening restaurants in neighborhoods and on college campuses. In response, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee launched a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in early August, encouraging Christians and others who support traditional family values to dine at local Chick-fil-A restaurants to show their support and appreciation for Cathy's stand. By August 1, over 650,000 people had signed on to a special Facebook page to show their support for the restaurant, and the Chick-fil-A company recorded record sales on the appreciation day.
In September, one homosexual group claimed that the company had made concessions to stop funding some “anti-gay” groups in return for approval to open a restaurant in a Chicago neighborhood. But Cathy set the record straight on September 21, issuing a statement, posted on Mike Huckabee's website, saying that there continued “to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities in order to obtain permission for a new restaurant in Chicago. That is incorrect. Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been.”
On its own website the company explained that for “many months now, Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized. And while our sincere intent has been to remain out of this political and social debate, events from Chicago this week have once again resulted in questions around our giving. For that reason, we want to provide some context and clarity around who we are, what we believe and our priorities in relation to corporate giving.” The company reiterated that it was committed to being “responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us,” and that its support would continue to be “focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.”
The company also reenforced its commitment to maintain a culture in which every person is treated “with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”
Photo of Chick-fil-A restaurant: AP Images