Should Gays Spend Money at Chick-Fil-A?

All day long there has been countless Facebook posts on Chick-Fil-A and comments that we should not spend our hard earned money there anymore. While you do vote with what you eat and spend your money not going to Chick-fil-A because they don’t approve of gay marriage just seems a bit extreme. They have stated they do not hate gays and it is their “biblical” belief that they believe marriage is between a man and a woman. The president Dan Cathy said they were not Anti-Anybody.

While I do take into account how a company treats gay employees when I vote using my money at restaurants and retail stores their stance on gay marriage really seems to ask for too much. We would go hungry trying to find a restaurant that had all of our beliefs. I think what we have to take into account is which we are most concerned about. If gay marriage is more important to you when deciding on where to eat chicken at lunch time and you want to drive across town to a vegan restaurant that is part of the progressive movement then I am glad you have that much time. If you decide that you will shop at somewhere like Whole Foods or a local health food store and eat healthy and be part of a progressive movement without spending more gas and having to give money to a grocery store chain that fights against gay equality that’s another story.

Chick-Fil A is not the perfect representative of gay equality but they are not exactly the only fast food joint donating to causes against gay marriage. Why are we not focused on all of them such as the owner of Carl’s Jr, Yum Brands that owns KFC, and the folks over at In and Out. Doesn’t In N Out put bible verses on their wrapping I doubt they would be for gay marriage. I see gays posting about how excited they are for an In N Out burger with the new store openings but probably do not give that much thought. I am not a religious person grouped with the fact I like wheat bread on my hamburgers so really don’t care to eat In N Out. Chick-Fil-A on the other hand does have wheat bread and offers healthy sides such as fruits and oatmeal breakfast that I love. I’m not going to hurt my health and drive across the street to McDonald’s and eat food that could have enough preservatives in it and the bleached white bread to last decades because of their biblical beliefs of the corporation.

There are gays and lesbians working for Chick-Fil-A but where is the HRC rating for this? The HRC has nothing listed on their buyers guide for the controversial chicken house. They do have Brinker who owns Chili’s, Carlson who owns Friday’s, and McDonald’s listed. All unhealthy places of shame. The rating on these restaurants are all above 80, including Darden restaurants who owns the cheap pasta and iceberg lettuce at Olive Garden. Yum! Brands is rated at 65, they own KFC the other chicken joint but at least you can get grilled chicken that is mighty finger lickin’ good and much better than fried. The ever-popular Taco Bell, Wingstreet, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silver’s are also part of Yum!

What about Pizza? I see no listing for Papa Murphy’s or California Pizza Kitchen where I normally get my grub. I do see Domino’s pizza at a 60 HRC ranking. If you like Qdoba thou must drive down to Del Taco because they only get a 15 since they are owned by Jack in the Box.

The worst ratings go to OSI Restaurants who own Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Outback Steakhouse. They score a zero in the HRC rankings.  El Pollo Loco was accused of their top executives of donating money to Proposition 8, but after reading some Yelp posts I see that soem executives are coming out saying there are some of them who voted against it.

This leaves us with the top rated restaurants according to the HRC are some of the most unhealthiest besides Starbucks which has a 100. I am so glad to see Starbucks ranking high! We should all be thinking about this and kind of make our own ranking system no matter what type of business we are supporting. I spend most of my money in gay clubs and bars so I am certainly supporting the LGBT giving tips to bartenders, drag queens, etc. When I want to sit down to a healthy meal and make up for some of that alcohol intake I can’t really judge an eating establishment on “gay marriage” alone.

I think we need to look at the whole company and not what a few executives have done.  Look at how they treat their gay employees, what benefits those workers get, how they treat the gay customers when we dine-in or drive-thru, see if they attend community events such as Gay Pride, if they give to gay charities, or even give us discounts such as American Airlines does.   In the case of Chick-Fil-A, they have donated to a few bad apples such as Focus on the Family $12,500; Family Research Council $1,000; Marriage & Family Legacy Fund $994,199.  Those numbers are disturbing and make the case more then them showing up with food at some event which is what the HRC and others were up in arms about and got the most media attention.  Although their other donations to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the National Christian Foundation really should not be a concern they are a company with their strong beliefs.  This is a company that is closed on Sunday if that tells you anything, but they do not try to convert you when you drink their sweet tea either.

Here are some of the things I look at when dining out:

  • The quality of the food
  • Healthy ingredients such as romaine lettuce and whole wheat instead of bleached white bread
  • Is it gay-friendly?
  • Are the animals abused or pumped with steroids or salt?
  • Hours they are open
  • Location
  • Drive-Thru

I love Chick-Fil-A  but plan to eat it less even though its on my street.  They just opened up a Chick-Fil-A in Hollywood and they may have to learn that you have to be a bit more open minded when stepping into our gayborhood or they will not last long.  If you are going to eat more Chicken or Kale as some artists call it then you best check out some more local gay-friendly establishments if you have the time.  If you do eat at Chick-Fil A my advice to you is to download the Foursquare APP or Yelp.  Check into the fast food restaurant daily or whenever you drive by and make sure you have a gay pride flag in your Foursquare.  Then you can leave tips but just do not say anything vulgar or hateful.  Become a mayor of your local chicken house and then you can really get some attention on Foursquare.  If enough gay pride signs are on Foursquare’s across the US and tips left for Chick-Fil-A then we might get our word in.

Quote today from Facebook

I’d like a #1, hold the political agenda. Thanks.” Seriously, why can’t they just serve a sandwich? Why does it have to be anything more than that?  I don’t care what you think. Feed me and STFU right now. If I pull into an auto shop, I don’t ask they guy rotating my tire his views on life and politics. I ask him about deals on radials. When I go to breakfast I don’t ask the waitress her opinions on the Stock Exchange and Income Disparity when she brings my coffee, I ask her what the special is. These guys should realize they are here to serve chicken, nothing more, nothing less, and no one cares what they think. Everybody Serves Somebody, and it would be a good idea to keep in mind when you are serving and when you are being served. When one of our customers calls my job next time, I’m not likely to explain my religious and political views; I serve them. These guys serve me, and should keep their place. Back in the day, the help would get the shit smacked out of them if they spoke out of turn to the people they served. I’m fucking sick of people thinking they’re special little snowflakes and their agendas matter. If you serve chicken, you’re not in a position to have your views examined and validated like you matter. Outside of the workplace, when two individual people speak as equals, then opinions can be debated on all manner of topics and this progresses society, philosophy, and the human race can grow and prosper. Inside the workplace, STFU and serve, or be served, and know which is which. This pisses me off, not because I give a shit what they think, but because I should not know what they think, because it’s not their place to ever, ever tell me what they think. And, because, honestly, I like the chicken. I don’t want to know what they like and don’t, I just want to eat there without feeling…anything besides full when I leave.

Another post that is a really good idea to take away from some of our guilt from giving money to anti-gay businesses:

Well, not everyone is okay with a civil union and Chick fil A stands out among other businesses because of their public statements and company policies. It was easy to boycott when they weren’t in LA but now that they are down the street I keep a tally of my visits and donate $5 to Trevor Project each visit to counter my guilt of adding to the oppression they support.

I just have to add one more FB quote:
Okay, I’m gonna join in on the Chick Fil-A craze just cuz… They could really stand to profit from this publicity! Now, I think they should revamp their menu and introduce some evangelical-themed items; items such as:

-righteous rings;
-judgment juice;
-holy rolls;
-baptist biscuits;
-speaking-in-tongues spicy sandwiches;
-conservative cole slaw;
-coldhearted tea (instead of ‘iced’);
-grilled gay sandwiches;
-naïve nuggets; and
-sinless salads

What do you think?  Should we ban Chick-Fil-A or are their fast food or other restaurants that could be worse when it comes to gay equality?

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  1. I don’t want to eat at Chick-Fil-A anymore. Even if they treat gay employees with respect and claim “biblical reasons”, they certainly could do more to help the gay community BY doing less against it.

    I like that you mention whether we should also not eat at plenty of other restaurants that are equally unsupportive (or maybe more so). Personally, I would choose to not spend my money in those places either. But like you said, you could end up with very few options if you start “boycotting” everywhere that didn’t share your same beliefs. Just like they have to pick and choose causes to support, so should we pick and choose organizations to call out on.

    As for Chick-Fil-A, when I have the choice, I might as well go elsewhere.

  2. @Adam I agree I don’t really want to eat there anymore either but my options here are slim. I am not that great of a cook. They do have the best breakfast and the only breakfast and I love their sweet tea which is hard to find anywhere else. I would not step into a McDonalds if you paid me. Actually Subway has a pretty good breakfast now that I think about it but the HRC did not bother to examine them. The HRC could probably find someone worse to target. Hopefully someday I can be a part of opening up a healthier organic / natural fast food joint that gives back to the gays and contributes to science for a better world.

  3. “They have stated they do not hate gays and it is their “biblical” belief that they believe marriage is between a man and a woman. The president Dan Cathy said they were not Anti-Anybody.”

    What they’ve said was, we don’t discriminate against anybody coming into our restaurants and buying our products. Of course they wouldn’t. But where our money then goes is into anti-gay causes, and that’s one of the key differences here – they are *actively* donating to anti-gay causes around the country (and not just to “protect marriage” organizations, but also to groups that support “ex-gay” therapies). So do I want to spend my money only to have it turned around and funneled into organizations that actively work against me? No way.

    Also, since they’re a private company, they can discriminate all they want, and they do – former employees have talked about Christian indoctrination, and discrimination against women, people of color, and openly gay and lesbian people. For those of us who are abandoning CFA, it’s not about their religious beliefs, it’s about the concrete actions they’re taking company-wide.

  4. I don’t mind if ANYONE has different political views than my own.

    But this isn’t a “political” issue, it’s a human rights issue. Sure, Cathy has “said” that they (Chick-fil-A) don’t discriminate. Yet, in the past couple of years they have spent MILLIONS in gifts to organizations that actively promote discrimination against LGBTs.

    The old axiom says “put your money where your mouth is.” In this case, Chick-fil-A’s money & mouth aren’t even in the same area code.

  5. I agree with alot of the comments. Not wanting to eat there and spend money there has nothing to do with their religious beliefs. It is about supporting(well maybe not so much supporting) but funding and donating so much money to groups that actively promote descrimination against the LGBT community. This is a major human rights issue. If you as a person, someone wants to donate money and support groups like that then that is totally fine. But when the money comes out of company profits, then we as people have a right to boycott that company and not spend money there, because i do not want any portion of my money that i spent at that company to go towards something that descriminates against me or the people i love.