Transcript by Newsy.com
BY JENNIFER MECKLES
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A popular fast food restaurant is at the center of a chicken controversy. Chick-Fil-A, the southern, conservative, Christian-based chain is coming under fire for its recent ties with an anti-gay marriage group.
The privately-owned chain donated food to a Pennsylvania-based group that opposes gay marriage. Cue the backlash -- students and civil rights groups blasted family-owned chain and took to the restaurant’s Facebook page in protest.
Chick-Fil-A’s president insists his company didn’t mean to offend. He used Youtube to respond to -- and hopefully calm - the coup.
Dan Cathy, President & COO Chick-Fil-A: “Chick Fil A serves all people, and values all people. Providing food to these events, or ANY event - is not an endorsement of the mission, the political stance, or motives of this or any other organization. Any suggestion otherwise is just inaccurate.”
But openly gay blogger Perez Hilton wasn’t letting him off so easy...
“Um, while donating food may not be a DIRECT endorsement of anti-gay sentiments, it’s the WRONG thing to do! Next time make a statement by refusing to serve them food! Don’t support bigotry in any way!”
And LBGT blog “Good As You” -- or G.A.Y. -- agrees:
“Bottom line: If you're binding your cash with this fast food restaurant's fowl, you're in some way giving resources to those who hope to foul... gays' marriage plans. Plan your fried carnivorousness accordingly.”
The controversy was loud enough to suspend a Chick-Fil-A on a South Bend, Indiana college campus. The local CBS affiliate reports mixed reaction from students.
Student 1: “Providing food is equal to donating money. You must believe in the cause to donate food.”
Student 2: “I just think people are overreacting with what Chick Fil A stands for. And I think they just need to kind of settle down, … and accept that everybody doesn’t have to have the same belief.”
But the primary argument in FAVOR of Chick-Fil-A: Its a private, family-owned company. Fox News interviews the Executive Director of the gay Republican group Log Cabin Republicans who defends the restaurant.
R. Clark Cooper, Exec Dir, Log Cabin Republicans: “We’re talking about at a time when the economy -- we need more jobs, we need more economic growth -- to be attacking a private business. Again, this is a private business, this is not a government entity or an advocacy group - for making their own decisions is ridiculous.”
And in the New York Times -- a college religion teacher wonders if Chick-Fil-A - with its near-national reach and Christian core -- is a trailblazer of sorts:
“They’re going in a direction we haven’t seen in faith-based businesses before, and that is to a much broader marketing of themselves and their products... This is possibly the next phase of evangelical Christianity’s muscle flexing.”
Finally -- Jay Leno takes a stab at the poultry giant during a recent monologue, making light the issue, per usual.
Jay Leno: “In fact, to show their open mindedness, today they introduced a new sandwich, the chick-on-chick-fil-a sandwich. [laughter and applause] I understand it's supposed to be quite good.”
So what do you think? Is Chick-Fil-A snapping its own neck? Or -- will the chicken fix keep customers clucking for more?
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