Chick-fil-A: What Now?
The Huffington Post is reporting that Chick-fil-A will cease donations to hate groups, namely the Family Research Council and Exodus International.
HuffPo’s source was an LGTB activist group, the Civil Rights Agenda, who announced in a press release that Chick-fil-A distributed an internal memorandum, and would:
- Cease donations to anti-LGTB groups.
- “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender”
No word yet from Chick-fil-A themselves about the cessation of donations, but their website does say on its FAQ:
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.
If I remember correctly, though, it already said this even while donations were being made.
In any case, I see no reason to doubt the stories at this point. And, with that tentative acceptance, I think it’s a great step forward for gay marriage in America. But…
Is it enough?
In my opinion, yes. But there are a few things to consider…
While the widely-known Chick-fil-A boycott was sparked by Dan Cathy’s comments on July 16, boycotts have been in place for the past year, based on the Exodus and FRC donations. If you were boycotting Chick-fil-A, you should probably ask yourself why.
If it was for the donations, as was my own decision not to support them, then this move is enough to resume that support. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m about to drive down the road and eat an army of chicken nuggets. But I will no longer make a point not to support them.
If you chose to boycott them due to Cathy’s comments, though, you’re in for a world of hurt if you try to universally apply that. Can you really claim to know the sociopolitical views of every COO, CFO, CEO, and President of every company you patronize? Do you boycott them all?
What about personal donations?
Now here’s another question: What if Dan Cathy decides to donate to the organizations from his own pocket? It gets a little more complicated there, because Chick-fil-A is his livelihood. But in my opinion, it would not be enough not to eat at the restaurant.
Corporate structure is more complicated than “This is the guy in charge.” Profits go towards a lot of people’s stock options and salaries… from the COO down to the custodians. And at least one of those people supports something you don’t like, no matter what your views.
Also, you’d have to look at other companies as well… Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. was run by an anti-abortion and anti-gay activist for a long time. But his donations were from his own funds.
What do you think?
Has Chick-fil-A done enough to earn your support with this move? Will it affect a decision you have made not to eat there?
For those of you who agreed with Chick-fil-A during the boycott, does this change your mind?
(For the sake of argument, please stick to the issue at hand, which is not the chicken. If you don’t like Chick-fil-A sandwiches, or don’t eat them, use your imagination and pretend it was a business you do care about. When the situation was going on last month, I kept having to filter it through the question “What if it was Taco Bell?”)
Never mind. He’s found a loophole and continues to fund these groups.