Chick-fil-A store breaks with founder to sponsor LGBT Pride

By David Edwards
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 12:49 EDT
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Chick-fil-A sandwiches (Flickr/Alaina Browne)
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New Hampshire’s only Chick-fil-A restaurant is going against the wishes of chicken chain founder Dan Cathy by pledging to co-sponsor an LGBT Pride Festival in the state.

In a statement on the New Hampshire Pride Festival website, Nashua Chick-fil-A franchise manager Anthony Picolia said he was backing the the event, citing “positive relationships with family, friends, customers and employees in the LGBT community.”

“It would make me sad if someone felt that they were not openly welcomed into my life or restaurant based on their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” Picolia explained. “Chick-fil-A at Pheasant Lane Mall has gay employees and serves gay customers with honor, dignity and respect. We also don’t discriminate in giving back to the Nashua community, donating to a wide variety of causes.”

“I would challenge people to come have a conversation with me before they make assumptions or boycott my restaurant. Come to my restaurant and see for yourself that my team and I only have one mission: To serve exceptional experiences to all.”

Market research firm YouGov recently found that Chick-fil-A’s BrandIndex score had fallen 40 percent nationally since Cathy told the Baptist Press that his company was “guilty as charged” of funding groups that oppose marriage equality.

Last week, Fox News host Mike Huckabee said he was so outraged that “militant homosexuals” were attacking the Christian restaurant chain that he called for a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” on August 1.

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Wednesday told The Daily Caller that critics of the restaurant chain were guilty of “intolerance and bigotry.”

“This is the kind of intolerance you’re seeing and it’s very unfortunate, but it’s the beginning of something that think I you’re going to see a lot more of as this issue — these issues fundamentally changing the basic moral foundation of our country continues to spread there’s going to be an intolerance for any dissent to that change,” Santorum said.

Proponents of LGBT rights and marriage equality are also staging a “National Same Sex Kiss Day” at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the nation on Friday, August 3.

“Head to your local Chick-fil-A and share a kiss with your sweetie,” organizers advised. “Let’s show Chick-fil-A that EVERYONE deserves to be able to fall in love, start a family, and take their children to eat fried chicken after a soccer match. ;)”

Photo: Flickr/Alaina Browne

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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