Queer Voices

Chick-Fil-A President's Anti-Gay Comments Continue To Inspire Movements Across The Country

Mayors, college students and corporations have blasted Chick-fil-A over the comments that Dan Cathy, the restaurant chain's president, made last week, saying that his company supports "the biblical definition of the family unit" and that he prays "God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about."

Among the latest movements is a call to donate the cost of a Chick-fil-A meal on Aug. 1 to an organization that supports marriage equality.

Brian Real, a 30-year-old PhD student at the University of Maryland who created the event, told The Huffington Post he got the idea when he saw former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee call for a National Chik-Fil-A appreciation day next week, encouraging supporters to "affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse."

"It's in reaction to people trying to double-down and be as loud as possible to give money to support a company that is funding lobbying to further promote discrimination and inequality for a large portion of our population," Real told HuffPost on Thursday.

The Facebook page for the event "Donate (the cost of) a Chicken Dinner for Marriage Equality Day" lists more than two dozen LGBT advocacy organizations, like The Trevor Project, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign and the Matthew Shepard Foundation, to which people can donate on Aug. 1.

"This is about tying to do some good to counteract the bad that's being done on the same day," Real said.

So far, the Facebook event has about 4,100 confirmed guests, a fraction of the nearly 300,000 people Huckabee's group has attracted. Still, it's many more people than Real thought the group would draw when he started it.

Real's plan is only one of many responses to Cathy's comments.

At least seven petitions have been launched on Change.org, a social activism site, demanding that universities across the country remove existing restaurants or prevent new ones from opening.

Mayors in Boston and San Francisco have weighed in, telling the restaurant chain that they're not welcome in their cities, and the Jim Henson company, which had provided toys for Chick-fil-A kids' meals, announced that it would end its relationship with the company.

Protesters have demonstrated outside Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country, and supporters from the Human Rights Campaign picketed a Chick-fil-A food truck in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Taking the movement inside the restaurant, a "National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick Fil A" is planned for Aug. 3.

"I just can't agree with any sort of movement that's trying to say that these people who are close to me are somehow unequal to the rest of the American citizenry," said Real, referring to gay friends, family members and co-workers. "I don't buy it one bit. Anything I can do to help with that I'm going to try."