Friday, September 28, 2012

Chick-fil-A Executive Resigns: "It's Become a Safe Place for People to Hate"

As a follow-up to the Chick-fil-A story about which I blogged several times (e.g., here) a number of weeks ago: Prachi Gupta writes at Salon that CBS Atlanta is now carrying a story about a Chick-fil-A executive who has resigned from his corporate position in the food chain because "[i]t’s become a safe place for people to hate and expect to be patted on the back for it."  The executive who has just resigned, Steve Cammett, states that his eyes were opened when, following Chick-fil-A's founder Dan Cathy's announcement that he opposes marriage equality, Cammett saw a customer put his arm around one of his colleagues and say,

[W]e are sure glad your company is taking a stand against those perverts.

Cammett had a sister, now deceased, who was a lesbian.  He wants the following from Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A:

I want Dan Cathy to make a public statement that said that Chick-fil-A, their leadership team and the Cathy family love all of God’s children including gay and divorced children.

Prediction: as Chick-fil-A finds sales waning outside the bible belt, and as more university students raise a ruckus about Chick-fil-A outlets on their campuses, the company will begin to ease off its anti-gay stances with some image-refurbishing statements designed to make it appear more tolerant and accepting.  Money talks for businesses.  Though Chick-fil-A says it had a huge spike in sales on "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," I suspect that spike was a one-time occurrence and that the company is now beginning to run scared as it sees its income start to take a nose-dive outside the bible belt.

But having sold their soul to the religious right, the company is still going to have quite a bit of difficulty refurbishing its image, with watchdogs from that group breathing down its neck to hold the anti-gay line.

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