Chick-fil-A Backs Straight-Only Retreat – Again

The fast food chain defines marriage as one man and one woman

After a branch of Chick-fil-A donated lunch to an anti-gay marriage retreat in Central Pennsylvania sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute earlier this month (read about it on G Philly), red flags went up for gay rights activists. It wasn’t the first time the restaurant chain has been criticized for funding anti-gay initiatives. They were also called out in 2009 for supporting Focus on Family, an organization that believes in gay-to-straight therapy.

Despite statements that suggested the latest incident was an isolated one – Chick-fil-A’s name was eventually dropped from banner ads for the event –  the owners of Chick-fil-A have recently been caught funding a new retreat in Georgia that’s being called very gay unfriendly.

According to the Advocate, WinShape Foundation, a philanthropic group founded by Chick-fil-A owners Truett and Jeannette Cathy to fund summer camp programs for kids, is inviting couples to a retreat on how to live in a successful Christian marriage. The catch: No same-sex couples are allowed.

Blog Good As You uncovered communications by WinShape officials saying that gay couples are not welcome to the latest Chick-fil-A-sponsored retreat. One of the emails said, “WinShape Retreat defines marriage from the Biblical standard as being between one man and one woman. Groups/individuals are welcome who offer wholesome, educational conferences and programs that are compatible with Biblical values and WinShape’s purposes.”

The email chain went on to conclude: “We do not accept homosexual couples because of the statement in our contract.”

Chick-fil-A has yet to comment any further, but the marriage retreat is at the same center which has welcomed anti-gay activists Maggie Gallagher and Focus on Family’s Jim Daly – both of whom have been vocal about being against gay rights in the U.S.

Chick-fil-A’s President and CEO Dan Cathy made a video statement defending the chain’s interests in marriage and family:

Dan Cathy Statement from Chick-fil-A on Vimeo.