After a nightmare summer when it came to public relations, the fast food restaurant Chick-Fil-A has announced that it will no longer get involved in the politics of gay equality and marriage. This comes after nearly a decade of the sandwich shop supporting pro-Christian and anti-gay causes. Although the two are not exclusively a couple, it does seem that most anti-gay groups are Christian based, and that most Christian groups do not support gay marriage.
The company released a statement on Wednesday, saying "Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena." ABC News reports that in 2010 the company gave $2 million to organizations such as Focus on the Family, which oppose same-sex marriage.
This news came after a Chicago alderman launched a campaign to stop the fast food chain's building permit issuance in the north side of the Windy City over some of the statements that the restaurant's CEO made this summer. Joe Moreno said that with this news he will no longer attempt to block the restaurant from building in Chicago. While the alderman's efforts may have played a part in the decision, it is also likely that the restaurant knew that customers in areas like Chicago's north side would be much fewer with the causes they currently supported.
The summer was a hotbed of controversy for the company, losing associations with The Henson Group (Muppets, Jim Henson) and sparking demonstrations about the restaurant's politics. Conservatives rallied around the restaurant, supporting their decision, saying it was free speech. Although it is certainly allowed for the restaurant to voice there opinion, there does not seem to be a conflict with situations like Moreno's campaign, as it could be argued that his efforts were also within the free speech umbrella.
However, Chick-Fil-A apparently found some reason to change their policy on supporting same sex marriages, and other conservative causes. This may be because the company plans to expand outside of the south, where most restaurants currently are. While the Atlanta-based company's Christian beliefs have kept them in good with the public in the South, where many share their views, their efforts to expand to much more liberal areas like California have raised difficulties.
They will still remain closed on Sundays in honor of the Sabbath, however.
Photo credit: JJandames on Flickr.com
Gabriel Legend covers a wide range of breaking news for Gather. He writes fiction as well, with his first novel coming out in 2013. You can follow on Twitter at @GabrielLegend1 or contact him directly here.