Ask the Grumpies: How bad is Chick Fil A really?

Debbie M asks:

I would like to know more about the Chick-Fil-A controversy. Here is where my knowledge has been over the years.
* First – Wow, they are so dedicated to their religious morals that they are closed on Sundays. That’s got to be costing them money. So I respect that. Also, the secret to their lemonaid deliciousness is that it is made with lemon juice, water, and sugar. No garbage.
* Later – Yikes–they’re funding de-gayification torture. Okay screw that. I mean it’s one thing to have different beliefs from me (I’m an atheist-leaning agnostic), but quite another to torture people, even in a misguided attempt to help them get to heaven. Not something I want to help fund.
* Recently – they’ve decided to stop funding anti-gay charities, but one of them was the Salvation Army. Is there something I don’t know about the Salvation Army? (Of course they are claiming they actually help more gay folks than most other charities, if for no other reason than that they’re gigantic.) Neither of these seem like the de-gayification place. Then I heard they stopped funding that one already, years ago.
* Then a bunch of Christians decided to boycott them for stopping this funding.
* Now they’re backtracking.

So how bad are these charities? Do the anti-gay beliefs of these charities infiltrate their work? Also, is Chick-Fil-A a bad place for gay people to work? (I mean worse than for other people? Though at least they pay more than minimum wage.)

People in our town like Chick Fil A because they don’t tend to screw up catering orders and they have playgrounds.  I have not eaten there in over 10 years because they taste like Hate and are also just super salty and greasy and once when one of our kids was still in diapers someone (I think my in-laws, see above re: playgrounds) fed hir chick fil a and I have never smelled a more disgusting poo.  We don’t eat at any national fast food chains (except occasionally Subway or similar regional chains), so our boycott really means nothing.

teresa says:

Chik fil a has been/still is openly opposed to marriage equality. As far as the organizations they are not contracting with anymore [ed:  actually, their “not contracting” lasted a day– they backtracked]:

The fellowship of christian athletes requires members to pledge that they will not “engage in homosexual activity.” Which is pretty openly discriminatory.

Salvation Army is openly a fairly conservative evangelical christian organization. They hold the position that it’s not sinful to *be* lqbtq+ but it is unacceptable to *act* on it (or have anything but heterosexual married sex) and also opposed marriage equality. Telling a group that they don’t deserve a full human life and basic civil rights is maybe not the same kind of overt torture as conversion therapy but it’s still not okay.
It seems like in recent years they took down the formal position page on their website that explicitly states this but have not made any statement about changing their beliefs. Their more recent statements are along the lines of “wellllll we love all sinners so we also provide charity to people even though they’re lgbtq+” and formal statements that they “don’t lobby to roll back marriage equality because we don’t employ lobbyists” and extend benefits to employees’ same sex spouses “because the law says we have to right now.” People have also still reported being turned away or discriminated against at Salvation Army facilities for being trans (apparently with the excuse that it makes other clients uncomfortable to have a trans person around).
It’s not the issue under discussion but they’re also still openly anti choice.
There’s probably more nuance I don’t know.

delagar adds:

They have also donate to Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and Exodus International, all of which are anti-LGBTQ groups. They’ve promised before to stop donating to anti-LGBTQ groups, and then backtracked and resumed donating.

Vox has a pretty good article, here: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/5/29/18644354/chick-fil-a-anti-gay-donations-homophobia-dan-cathy

And an older one here: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/3/21/18275850/chick-fil-a-anti-lgbtq-donations

Here’s what a recent (and well-worth reading) Forbes article says about being an LGBT patron at Chick Fil A (the article also has more detail about the organizations they fund):

I will admit I was once a patron of Chick-fil-A. And I have had earnest conversations with local franchisees about the company’s funding of anti-LGBTQ groups. Those conversations were a lot like the one I had with my local Roman Catholic church pastor, who assured me I was welcome, and that they would always welcome me, no matter what was said by the corporation (or in the church’s case, the bishop or pope).

She is now eating elsewhere and is no longer Catholic.

Back in 2012, Chick Fil A said they would stop donating to political causes… and they did, sort of.  They donated to organizations who had hate as only one of a few objectives, or that specifically excluded LGBTQ beneficiaries, rather than organizations whose only objective is to promote hate.  Of course, there’s some discussion in the twitterverse about whether or not the owners who are getting rich from Chick Fil A profits still donate to the hate-only causes with their own wealth.  I don’t know, but I would not be surprised.  I’d rather not have intolerant people getting rich and having all the political power that comes with wealth.

Even if they made the best chicken sandwich under the sun, I do not want money I’m giving a company to go towards funding anti-LGBTQ groups.  There is zero benefit to funding hate and so much harm.  So, no, don’t eat at Chick Fil A, and let people know why you don’t.

These white Christian people seem so nice.  So genuinely likeable.  And yet… they thinkingly or unthinkingly do these things that encourage hate on a large scale.  In person and individually they’re so nice.  But eating at an organization that sponsors hate is not a politically neutral act.