On July 2, 2012,
Equality Matters published a report in which it gave details of donations given
by Chick-fil-A to such "anti-gay" organizations as Marriage & Family Foundation
and the Family Research Council. Just two weeks later, on July 16,
published an interview with Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy in which, on being asked
about opposition to his company's "support of the traditional family" (with no
specific mention of gay marriage) he replied: "Well, guilty as charged." Cathy
continued, "We are very much supportive of the family -- the Biblical definition
of the family unit." This was followed by Cathy's appearance on The Ken
Coleman Show, in which he stated: "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'. I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such
a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what
marriage is about."
In the wake of these
interviews, Thomas Menino, the Mayor of Boston, stated that the City would not
allow the company to open franchises in the city. Menino subsequently wrote a
letter to Dan Cathy, citing Cathy's statement on the Ken Coleman Show and
responding: "We are indeed full of pride for our support of same sex marriage
and our work to expand freedom for all people." The Jim Henson Company, who had
begun a kids meal licensing arrangement in 2011 with
said that it would cease its business relationship with the chain, and donate
payment for the brand to Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
On July 25th, 2012, a
political leader in Chicago announced that he would do all he could to keep a
new Chick-fil-A store from opening in his district. But, (Ref. AP) a Christian
leader called 1st Ward Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno’s decision hypocritical.
Constitutional scholars said it might not survive a First Amendment legal
challenge. And some of Moreno’s City Council colleagues said they would welcome
a Chick-fil-A restaurant — and its jobs — with open arms.
A day earlier, Moreno said he would exercise his aldermanic privilege to block
the company’s efforts to open a restaurant because of comments made last week by
Dan Cathy, president and son of the founder of the family-owned fast-food chain.
Cathy was quoted July 16 in the Baptist Press as saying he was “guilty as
charged” for supporting “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.”