Students should pass on Chick-fil-A

If Dan Cathy wanted his chicken sandwich serving restaurant to become a household name, he did a great job this year doing so.

He sparked controversy by speaking out against same sex marriage and caught flack for it but was also backed by supporters. The marketing idiom that no publicity is bad publicity seems to hold some truth, Cathy shouldn’t have the satisfaction of having his chicken joint mentioned in one more article. Personally I haven’t given money to Cathy or his poultry products, as delicious as they may be since I learned about the type of causes he gives his money to.

In 2010, WinShape, the non-profit foundation created by Cathy and largely supported by his restaurant donated more than $1 million to the Marriage & Family Foundation and $37,000 to the National Institute of Marriage, both of which promote defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The irony of this situation is a portion of his profits come from the community he decided to publicly speak against. On top of the overt talks of hate coming from the company, rumor has it that they also discriminate against anyone who isn’t heterosexual. The rumor is based on the 12 times the company has been sued for employment discrimination.

While I can understand the message of a music video released by a triad of Drag Queen royalty (Willam Belli, DeTox, and Vicki Vox) earlier this year encouraging members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual community to eat at Cathy’s despite his stance on homosexual relationships, it is the opposite of what we as a community should be doing right now.

There is no reason to put money into a company that is putting that same money into organizations whose missions are to promote heterosexual relationships and perpetuate internalized homophobia. While I appreciate the artistry of gay wit, I will admit that the humorous video which spoofs both The Wilson Phillips classic “Hold on for One More Day” and TLC’s “Waterfalls” is more than likely shade, or sarcasm at the entire situation. There is strength in proclaiming that we as a group of people have the right to eat anywhere we want but we also have the power to hit Cathy where it hurts most: his wallet.

LGBTQ individuals and their allies compose a large community with a tremendous amount of buying power. If every LGBTQIA-identified person, including those who have not disclosed their sexual orientations, were to boycott the chain, I believe that there could be some damage done to Cathy and his donations to anti-gay organizations.

What is most important is the underlying issue at stake. It’s not an issue of freedom of speech which is what many on Cathy’s side will argue. Walking into one of these restaurants to buy a combo meal is not simply saying you support freedom of speech or that you’re hungry. Now that the restaurant’s owner has taken a stance on same sex relationships and the types of organizations he donates to has been made public.

Placing an order at Cathy’s counter or drive-thru is saying you agree that same sex marriage is inviting God’s judgment on our nation. Even if you don’t support same-sex relationships you’re also giving money to a company that is not above firing women so that they can be stay at home moms against their will. That type of thinking may fly in the early 1900s but it’s 2012. As consumers we have power so when we go in to buy lunch let’s make sure we say “hold the hate,” and spend our money elsewhere.

Kelle’ Martin is a social work graduate student and may be reached at [email protected].


  • “On top of the overt talks of hate coming from the company…”

    clearly you need to research what hate is.

    If hate is truely what you are defining it to be, then this article is a hate article against Christians, Muslems and Jews…

    It is ironic that the response to “discrimination” against sexual orientation is discrimination against people with a particular religious affiliation/belief. Since that’s the case, isn’t this article a bigoted article against those with religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman?

    • Wrong. You are generalizing about what all Christians, Muslims, and Jews believe. There are people in each one of those categories who do not interpret their beliefs in the way that you do. Chick-fil-a has donated to groups that actively support discrimination of gay people, including but not limited to trying to push laws against marriage rights and spreading propaganda that gay people are perverse pedophiles.

      Also, someone disagreeing with your beliefs is not discrimination. Did this article deny you any rights? Did it beat you? Did it set your car on fire? Did it bully your kid to death? They’ve been discriminatory in firing and hiring practices with queers and women. It’s unfortunate if this hurts your feelings, but it is about more than what you’re trying to reduce it to.

  • “Placing an order at Cathy’s counter or drive-thru is saying you agree that same sex marriage is inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”…….

    No, when I place an order at Chick-fil-A, I’m not saying I agree with who he donates his money to. It’s saying that I think Chick-fil-A makes a dam* good chicken sandwich and wonderful sweet tea.

    Beyond that, you’re entire argument is so ignorant. You beg for tolerance and the ability to be who YOU are and express YOURSELF the way YOU want. However, you stand up on your soapbox and slap down others because of their views. No one is forcing you to go into a Chick-fil-A and spend your money there. You can choose to ignore it and act like it doesn’t exist. The fact that you have a differing view from his doesn’t make yours right and his wrong. On the flip side of the coin, his stance isn’t right and yours isn’t wrong. They are DIFFERENT! Who are you to sit here and say that a person can’t have their own beliefs and run their own business according to them.

    You’re entitled to your own opinion and so is he. Everyone has their own opinion because they are entitled to it, but when you start messing with that wonderful lunch of mine…there’s an issue there haha! And don’t even get me started on their chicken minis….FABULOUSSSSS! haha!

  • According to some, America is equally divided in its support for or against same-sex marriage. That likely means 50% of the businesses you go to support traditional marriage. Do you boycott 50% of the business in America? This is America a person can voice support or dissent about anything, that doesn’t make it ‘hate’. Hate would be if a same-sex couple went to Chick-fil-a and is refused service. Has that happened? No. Get over yourself. You are free to do what you want, and I am free to eat where I want. Don’t try and push your selfish goals on others. Just keep quiet.

    • No. We won’t keep quiet. If Dan Cathy has the right to run his mouth, people have every right to react to that. Freedom of Speech doesn’t protect you from the consequences of your words. Just from government restriction.

      • My problem is people calling these statements hate. Voicing your opinion about disliking a persons lifestyle is all fine and dandy, but it is not hate. Shooting someone in the face because of their lifestyle, is hate.

  • Typical ignorance in the comments. It’s not just about marriage. The Southern Poverty Law Association has named the groups to which Chick-fil-a has donated official hate groups. They propagate dangerous lies about homosexuals, the kinds that encourage people to beat and kill queers and trans folk while thinking they are doing the right thing. These groups encourage other countries (and sometimes here in the US) to make laws to KILL GAY PEOPLE. The boycott was going on for two years before Cathy opened his mouth, so don’t try to simplify the issue just because it is easy to turn off your brain and heart. This is about human rights, and not just marriage. It is about the right to live without being beaten to death. And some people just can’t live knowing that the dollars they give are going to groups that actively work to hurt human beings.

    Also, I just HAVE to point out that Willam’s video is an anti-endorsement. Cathy would not want drag queens as their spokespersons, and the whole video is a joke. At the end, Vicky Vox even mutters the line “Bible thumping b***hes,” and they’re mocking the food even as they’re talking about how delicious the waffle fries are.

    Critical thinking skills too can be yours, Coogs. We’re better than this.

    • Southern Poverty Law Center??? Really??? Another group that labels those who don’t agree with their point of view as racists, when they themselves are the racists and haters.

    • Well BOOOOY HOWDY, that gosh darn Southern Poverty Law thingy ma bob labeled someone as a hate group…. I think I’ll label some hate groups myself…. DUMB.

  • Also, don’t forget to boycott Urban Outfitters, Wal-mart, The Salvation Army, Cinemark Theaters, Domino’s, Auto Zone, or Waffle House. /sarcasm

    Boycotting a FRANCHISED location of Chic-Fil-A doesn’t hurt Dan Cathy in any way. It hurts the local business owners who, despite popular belief, may actually support gay marriage and are only trying to make a living by selling delicious chicken sandwiches. Dan Cathy gets his paycut regardless of what consumers do because the franchisers pay his salary.

    If you really want to make a difference, find out what the owner of the CFA in your neighborhood believes in, and don’t punish him/her if it isn’t the same as Cathy’s.

    • Whoops – Should have done a bit more research before the trolls burst down my door: I understand that CFA does maintain ownership of the franchises. You are still hurting the operators/managers and the employees that are trying to make a living in our community.

      • You are too intelligent to post on this thread, please stop now before a potential valuable member of society becomes affected by silly bleeding argument ignoramuses who are just as ignorant as the people they criticize.

  • Although the author of this editorial and I probably don’t agree on much in life, I agree with the basic premise here. She has the right to boycott Chick-Fil-A and to urge others to do so. Just like I have the right to enjoy the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever eaten, along the best customer service in the fast-food world, while supporting a company that voluntarily closes one day a week so that its employees can worship God and/or spend extra time with their families…and that gives millions to worthy causes including (but not limited to) to promotion of strong marriages. America’s a great country, where both she and I can coexist and not want to kill each other.

    There is one thing I would disagree with in the article however…when she refers to Chick-Fil-A “firing women so that they can be stay at home moms against their will” does she have any documentation to back up this charge? Is this something that has been alleged in a lawsuit, or has it been actually proven? Her point is well-taken, but don’t ruin it with needless hyperbole and twisting of the facts.

  • Placing an order at Cathy’s counter or drive-thru is saying you are hungry and you like the food. As far as “hold the hate”??? You expect tolerance and give none in return for a different point of view. Now who is the more enlightened one, those who hold the hate or those who hold a different point of view from yours and will defend YOUR right to speak it???

    • You are also too intelligent to become entangled in this web of dim wittedness. Please refrain from further posting for the good of the human race.

  • I have to disagree with your closing statements. If I go order a chicken sandwich, it has nothing to do with what I fundamentally support one way or another. Yes, they donate money to the cause and beliefs of their choice, but with your line of thought then you are also saying that if I buy food from a company who contributes money to a political party, then I also must be in favor of such. Your opinion contains fallacies of a slippery slope argument, (when you assume that this must be true because of the prior and so on.). Secondly, I don’t believe I’ve read anything about any woman who was fired so she could go home to her kids, so one of the following is true: you left the details out of the story, or you became to emotionally affected and moved on the topic that you included something that is partially or completely false in the article. If the first is true, it still appears to be a matter of emotion because of the lack of detail.

  • I love all of the comments acting as if what Chick-fil-A does is no big deal.

    -“It’s just a difference of opinion!”
    -“…you stand up on your soapbox and slap down others because of their views.”
    -“Voicing your opinion about disliking a persons(sic) lifestyle is all fine and dandy, but it is not hate.”

    If Chick-fil-A donated millions of dollars to the Neo-Nazi party, it would be a big deal. If Chick-fil-A donated millions of dollars to the KKK, it would be a big deal. But donating millions of dollars to anti-gay groups? Oh, that’s just a difference of opinion.

    Give me a break.

    We draw the “hate” line at blacks and Jews, but homosexuals are fair game? Any one still using religion as a defense for their dislike of homosexuals is officially in denial. Those same excuses were used decades ago by Hitler during the Holocaust. They were also used during the days of slavery, and the days of Jim Crow. People have been trying to use religion to get away with atrocious acts for centuries, and it’s never worked for more than the amount of time it took people to do gather up and something about it.

  • I support Chick-fil-A. They have a right to support causes they view worthy just like others get to. And by supporting same sex marriage doesn’t mean they hate anyone probably the opposite. The media and culture blow this out of proportion.

  • I support Chick-Fil-A. Just because they view marriage being between a man and a woman doesn’t mean that they are hateful beings. Most Americans hold this view besides what the mayor of Chicago may say. The media actually embodies what they denounce. They hate traditional family values. I also think its shameful that this paper only offers the liberal view point on issues. Finally, I buy products, not politics. If I like a song, I don’t look at the values of the artist. I give people money based on the merits of what they produce. And America should be afraid of a higher power, since we will be wiped off the face of the earth just like all of the nations before us if this moral bankruptcy continues.

  • For another perspective, I know some gay people that do not care much about what the Chick-fil-a’s CEO/corporate people think. If they go to Chick-fil-a, they are not there to support any ideals of hate, but just eat food that they happen to prefer to the nearby competition.

    I highly doubt most of the people that line-up for Chick-fil-a at the UC Satellite are LGBT haters making a stance. If you don’t like going to a restaurant based on the higher-ups’ values, then go to a restaurant that supports it. But stop complaining and whining, and reducing everyone’s options.

    There are much more pressing issues than banning a restaurant based on values that you may or may not agree with.

  • So, you guys don’t respect someones point of view, yet we are supposed to agree with yours?? Hypocrisy. Oh, and it’s just chicken,

  • This is a very disingenuous article. This is merely an attempt by those who disagree with Mr. Cathy’s personal views (and those of the corporate leadership) to practice hate against them. The fact that they support something doesn’t make them anti-anything. The author no doubt supports various liberal causes. I don’t think the author would appreciate being called hateful because they had beliefs that Dan Cathy or others as citizens might disagree with. But by trying to silence Dan Cathy’s and others beliefs, the author is indeed practicing hate. Hatred towards his views, even though they are no doubt passionate, sincere and well-intended. REAL tolerance is recognizing that there is a place for people of many voices and views to coexist. I respect the authors political beliefs as valid, but I also respect Dan Cathy’s.

Leave a Comment