By: Emily Papleux
Chick-fil-a is one of the most successful fast-food chains in the U.S. and the largest competitor for McDonalds. S. Truett Cathy, a religious Baptist, opened the first Chick-fil-a in Atlanta, in 1967. The chain has been in his family’s hands ever since. At first glance, Chick-fil-a seems like a good quality restaurant that most indulge in, but digging deeper, there is no doubt that they have been the center of many controversial articles and debates.
Not open on Sundays, Chick-fil-a is very religious. But being religious doesn’t necessarily mean they’re homophobic. However, what you may not know is that this company donates millions of dollars to political organizations that are anti-gay, and who support conversion camps. Rodney Bullard, vice president of corporate social responsibility argued that since these companies support youths and their education, it doesn’t matter whether they discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. In 2009, they donated almost $2 million to anti-gay groups such as “Marriage and family legacy fund”. (http://www.huffpost.com) In 2017, the Atlanta-based chains foundation donated $1.8 million to other companies that LGBTQ+ activists say are hostile.
CEO Dan Cathy then publicly announced his opposition to same-sex marriage. After a massive wave of backlash, Cathy then admitted in an interview he regretted getting involved in this debate. In 2002, a former Chick-fil-a employee in Houston sued the chain for discrimination. Being Muslim, he was fired because he refused to pray to Jesus with his employees. LGBTQ+ activists stood their ground when the first Chick-fil-a in Britain opened. After many protests, the Chick-fil-a was forced to shut down.
In your day to day life, you may not know where exactly your money is going when you buy that delicious chicken sandwich. But when you do even just a little bit of digging, you begin to understand why and how your money is affecting society.