Chick-fil-A Rethinks Anti-Gay Ads
When banner ads starting showing up from the conservative Pennsylvania Family Institute featuring Chick-fil-A, gay activists called “foul.” The fast food chain, with locations throughout the Philadelphia region, is long known for its ties to Christian organizations and is now the focus of criticism after anti-gay ads were spotted online for a marriage event next month in Central Pennsylvania.
Earlier this week, Chick-fil-A was officially listed as a sponsor of “The Art of Marriage,” retreats scheduled in Camp Hill and Reading, Pa., in February. The retreat, described on the Institute’s website as “a new video-guided event where couples have the opportunity to look at their relationship in a whole new way” using Bible teachings, says participants will enjoy Sunday lunch donated by Chick-fil-A.
The chain – with headquarters in Georgia – tweeted about the uproar and the eatery’s name has since been removed from all online advertising materials. Chick-fil-A is, however, still listed as a food provider on the Pennsylvania Family Institute’s website.
To the controversy, President of the Pennsylvania Family Institute Michael Greer attacked critics, saying that a few local restaurants were giving food to the event and that the local branches were simply trying to be “good neighbors.” He went on to say, “People should applaud institutions that want to strengthen marriage,” explaining he was disappointed with gay blogs and publications that criticized the involvement.
The Institute is a vocal proponent of Pennsylvania for Marriage in support of “One Man, One Woman” on its website.
Chick-fil-A, which has not issued any further statements, was also tied to anti-gay controversy last year, according to The Advocate, when it supported Focus on the Family, an organization that has been vocally opposed to gay rights, going so far as to support reparative therapy programs to turn gays “straight.”
Chick-fil-A, which has a history of being closed on Sundays, has reportedly donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the organization founded by the Reverend James Dobson who wrote in his Complete Marriage and Home Reference Guide: “[The homosexual] agenda includes teaching pro-homosexual [sic] concepts in the public schools, redefining the family to represent any circle of people who love each other, approval of homosexual adoption, legitimizing same-sex marriage, and securing special rights for those who identify themselves as gay. Those ideas must be opposed, even though to do so is to expose oneself to the charge of being homophobic.”