The president of Chick-Fil-A said they have not given in to the demands of gay marriage advocates in exchange for permission to build a new restaurant in Chicago.
“Chick-fil-A made no such concessions and we remain true to who we are and who we have been, said Dan Cathy in a statement to Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee.
Cathy said the company had not capitulated to the demands of supporters of gay marriage – in spite of media reports to the contrary.
“There continues 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,” he said. “That is incorrect.”
The family-owned restaurant chain has been under siege by gay activists for weeks over its charitable giving to organizations that support traditional family values. Officials in a number of cities, including Chicago, vowed to block the company’s expansion efforts.
But last week, Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno announced that Chick-fil-A had agreed to stop funding those organizations. Moreno called it a “big win” – after he initially announced his intention to block their efforts to build a new restaurant in his district.
Those reports sparked immediate outrage among conservative Christians who posted messages on Chick-fil-A’s Facebook page. Hundreds of thousands had turned out over the summer to support the restaurant on a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”
“I’m disgusted that your faith is so weak,” wrote one irate diner. “You sure raked in the bucks on Chick-fil-A Day, huh?”
After several days of silence, the company released a statement saying their corporate giving had been mischaracterized.
“A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us,” the statement read. “Because of this commitment, Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is 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.”
Cathy’s latest statement has already generated fresh backlash.
The website Queerty posted a story with the headline: “Dan Cathy Confirms Chick-fil-A Still in the Business of Hate.
Moreno posted a statement online calling Chick-fil-A’s position “disturbing” and said it “muddied the progress we had made.”
“Perhaps Mr. Cathy felt that he could make these public statements to Mike Huckabee because I had provided a letter of support for his restaurant to the city of Chicago earlier this week,” he said. “I still need to introduce legislation to make the Chick-fil-A in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago a reality. I will wait to see what Mr. Cathy’s next public statement is, and reflect on that statement before moving forward with appropriate legislation.”