Same-sex Marriage Controversy
In January 2011, the media reported that Chick-fil-A was co-sponsoring a marriage conference with the Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI), an organization that has opposed same-sex marriage legislation. Chick-fil-A clarified that "one of our independent Restaurant Operators in Pennsylvania was asked to provide sandwiches to two Art of Marriage video seminars." The WinShape Foundation, a charitable organization founded by Truett and his wife, also stated it would not allow same-sex couples to participate in its marriage retreats.
Chick-fil-A has made over $5 million of donations via WinShape to groups that oppose same-sex marriage. Of this, more than $3 million was donated primarily to Christian organizations whose agendas included positions that some consider to be anti-gay, with the money donated between 2003 and 2009. A total of $1.9 million was donated in 2010 to groups such as the Marriage & Family Foundation, Exodus International and the Family Research Council (FRC). That year, the FRC, which received $1,000 was listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. WinShape has also contributed to Christian groups including Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Exodus International, the latter noted for supporting ex-gay conversion therapy. In response, students at several colleges and universities worked to ban or remove the company's restaurants from their campuses.
In June and July 2012, Chick-fil-A Chief operating officer Dan T. Cathy made several public statements supporting the traditional family, saying about same-sex marriage that those who "have the audacity to define what marriage is about" were "inviting God's judgment on our nation". Several prominent politicians expressed disapproval. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and Chicago Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno said they hoped to block franchise expansion into their areas. The proposed bans drew criticism from liberal pundits, legal experts, and the American Civil Liberties Union. The Jim Henson Company, which had a Pajanimals kids' meal toy licensing arrangement with Chick-fil-A, said it would cease its business relationship, and donate the payment to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Chick-fil-A stopped distributing the toys, citing unrelated safety concerns that had arisen prior to the controversy. Chick-fil-A released a statement on July 31, 2012 saying, "We are a restaurant company focused on food, service and hospitality; our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."
Other articles related to "marriage, marriages":
... on September 20, 2012 does not mention any organizations opposed to same-sex marriage as being part of Chick-fil-A's donation base ... WinShape Marriage will continue to be supported financially, with a stated focus on couple retreats to strengthen marriages ... to groups that support the biblical definition of marriage in exchange for being allowed to open a franchise in Chicago." Mike Huckabee stated that he “talked earlier today personally with ...
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