Chick-fil-A, the fast food chain that has been making headlines lately over its stance on same-sex marriage, is once again facing a wave of demonstrations and protesters, as gay rights advocates plan a National Same Sex Kiss Day tomorrow at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country.
In the last few weeks, President Dan Cathy said that his privately owned company is “guilty as charged” in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family unit:
“We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
In the wake of the controversy, Chick-fil-A released a statement, saying it has a history of applying biblically-based principles to its business:
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender…Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
Following suit with the chicken chain is Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, who declared Wednesday “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”
On “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” thousands came out in support of the fast food chain, while opponents picketed and protested outside of the establishment.
Piling on the support for the chicken chain was former Republican Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who also has a history with the chicken joint, as she took a picture with her husband at a local Chick-fil-A in Longview, TX.
Chick-fil-A’s stance on same-sex marriage is what got them into this controversy, but taking a step back and examining the whole picture, it’s clear their views don’t end there.
In past years, the company has supported certified hate groups, donating millions to foundations and organizations whose main objective is to rid the country of all gays.
Chick-fil-A will surely feel the wrath of the LGBT community, but in the meantime, here are a few things YOU need to know about the Atlanta-based chicken joint.
Are the waffle fries really worth it?
Chick-fil-A has spent $5 million between 2003 and 2010 on anti-gay organizations and hate groups, including $2 million in 2010 alone.
Some of the other anti-gay organizations and hate groups Chick-fil-A’s money has supported include Marriage & Family Foundation, Fellowship Of Christian Athletes, and the Georgia Family Council.
The Family Research Council (FRC) is a certified anti-gay hate group, according to equalitymatters.org.
Chick-fil-A also supports organizations that have claimed they can change gay people into straight people.
The privately held Atlanta company is valued at $4.5 billion.
With the consistent cash stream, Chick-fil-A owners Truett Cathy, Dan Cathy, and Don “Bubba” Cathy are each worth an average of $1.5 billion apiece.
If Chick-fil-A were open on Sundays, the company would make an additional $190 million, which would bring the company an additional $42.5 million in revenue.
Chick-fil-A added 69 new restaurants from 2010 to 2011.
Chick-fil-A is at the top of the hill when it comes to fast food joints. It brings in $2.89 million for each unit per year. McDonald’s is second with $2.5 million per store, followed by Panera Bread’s $2.3 million.
In January of 2011, Chick-fil-A co-sponsored a marriage conference along with the Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI), an organization that seeks to “strengthen families by restoring to public life the traditional, foundational principles and values essential for the well-being of society.”
PFI had filed a brief against the trial ruling, striking down Proposition 8 in California; they also lobbied against a state effort to ban discrimination in Pennsylvania on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Sarah Palin is also a supporter of PFI; she was the lead speaker at their annual event back in 2010.
The company often invests in a Christian growth and ministry foundation known as WinShape. It was created by Chick-fil-A founder and chairman S. Truett Cathy in 1984. WinShape has received a substantial amount of funding from Chick-fil-A: in 2010 alone, WinShape received $8,067,161 from Chick-fil-A Inc.