Chick-fil-A burst onto the news last week, when they once again affirmed their opposition to same-sex marriage, stating that society supporting same-sex marriage would invite the wrath of God. This caused a huge outburst among a great deal of the public, particularly in the more LGBT-friendly areas of the country.
Comedian and former Green Party presidential candidate Roseanne Barr came out saying, in essence, that the owner of the chicken chain, Dan Cathy, “deserved” the cancer that he would get from eating the chain’s food. This in turn created a backlash against Ms. Barr from people who deemed her statement to be insensitive to those people and families fighting cancer. She later retracted the word “deserved” in her statement, and stated that she should have chosen a different way of stating her opposition to processed foods.
The mayor of Boston, Tom Menino, wrote a letter to Mr. Cathy telling him that Chick-fil-A was not welcome in the City of Boston. Given Boston’s left-wing politics and the widespread acceptance of gays in the area (Massachusetts has legalized gay marriage), Tom Menino may have scored big in his home city. Regardless of where one stands on the issue, it seems like Menino just pushed his approval rating up a notch in Massachusetts’ largest city. Similar bans have now received the support of the mayors of Chicago and San Francisco. For that reason, Tom “Mumbles” Menino is this column’s political winner of the week.
Chick-fil-A is no stranger to controversy, and has taken strong positions against gay marriage in the past. Dan Cathy recently stated in the LA Times that his business supports “the biblical definition of the family unit.” They have also supported efforts against homosexual marriage over the last few years with significant financial contributions. In 2010, Chick-fil-A donated $10 million to the WinShape Foundation, which has supported groups like Focus on the Family and Eagle Forum with contributions of over two million dollars between 2003 and 2009. Chick-fil-A also co-sponsored a marriage conference in 2011, along with the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which worked on repealing Proposition 8 in California.
The chicken company first opened under the name of The Drawf Grill (later, The Drawf House) in 1946, and changed to its current moniker in 1967. They currently sponsor the Chick-fil-A Bowl, a college football game formerly known as The Peach Bowl, held every year in Georgia’s capitol city. Chick-fil-A operates most of its locations in malls and college food courts, which makes taking political stances that are unpopular with students a risky business indeed.
That is why although they are on different sides of the issue of gay marriage, I am declaring both Chick-Fil-A and Roseanne Barr to be dual losers of the week.
Roseanne, of course, is no stranger to controversy, and is known as someone who speaks her mind without worrying about what others may think. However, when Roseanne apologizes for something, you know she made a real mistake.