Introduction: Exploring the Chain of Events That Caused the Outrageous Austin Chik Fil A Movement
The protest was initially dismissed as a single grassroots effort, organized by a coalition called “The Hashtag Coalition,” though it soon became clear that the event was not operating under the control of one person or group of people. As the day went on and protesters swelled in number, it became clear that this was actually a nationwide protest against the company’s anti-gay marriage stance and dark history of donating to anti-LGBT organizations and causes.
From an early stage, The Hashtag Coalition claimed to be working with others who would join them in protesting the morning of May 6th. They tweeted the hashtag #ChickfilAHouston on May 2nd, and updated their Facebook event accordingly:
This seemed unlikely to me. I understand that social media can create a sense of community with very broad and unlimited numbers of people sharing ideas or using similar language or slogans, but it seemed extremely unlikely that all these groups would want a protest against Chik Fil A.
How It All Started: The Interstate Church’s Unfair Banning of Chick Fil A
Of course, some people opposed the protest on religious grounds, claiming that gay marriage was not a religious issue. One of those people was Pastor Steve Sauer, who is the owner of an Illinois church that bans homosexuality and all sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage. He publicly announced that his church would be making a donation to Chick-fil-A in order to “support their biblical views on the sanctity of marriage. . . . We can’t do anything about the world. But we can do something with each other.”
It’s not really a surprise that a pastor who has made a career out of opposing homosexuality would be outraged by a protest against Chick-fil-A. The adults in Sauer’s church may have made up their minds that it was wrong to protest against Chick-fil-A, but Sauer lied when he said, “We cannot control what the world believes. But we can control what we believe.”
Sauer was not acting like a man of faith when he attempted to use his own church to stop the protest. There are many other examples of churches doing things that hurt the LGBT community, but one of the worst things is when churches try to put their political beliefs over the needs of their LGBT parishioners. The pastors who refused to give up anti-gay politics in order to serve their LGBT parishioners were not acting in faith. They were acting out of bigotry and hate.
The How CFA Was Saved Movement and What Happened Next
CFA saw the powerful support of The How CFA Was Saved movement and their large amount of donations. However, it also resulted in all major corporations removing CFA from their business, including the restaurant industry. The same people who supported the movement were outraged that their efforts to eat chicken sandwiches at CFA may result in a great loss for the company itself. In response, several other organizations, including LGBT activist groups, anti-LGBT activist groups and supporters of both, released statements declaring their support for CFA against the nationwide protest. This resulted in nearly every major corporation revoking their ban on CFA and their support for the How CFA Was Saved movement.
The How CFA Was Saved Movement was formed in order to break the nationwide ban on Chick-fil-A. The movement’s goal was to “spread awareness of Chick-fil-A’s history of being anti-gay and anti-lesbian discrimination”, as well as to “increase sales of their chicken sandwiches”.
In reaction to the Biscuit Bottom Boycott, Chick-fil-A announced that they would continue purchasing all of their products from local suppliers thus lowering their costs and maintaining the same quality of products. In conjunction with this announcement, CFA released a statement declaring their continued commitment to family values while simultaneously reaching out to customers regardless of sexual orientation or perspectives.
What to Do When You’re Feeling Like Your Chain Is Being Targeted by Restricted Brands
CAARPR believes that CFA is being targeted because of their Anti-LGBT stance and because the company is owned by a religious man. However, since this is not the case and the movement doesn’t wish to target any religious people or organizations, CAARPR has no reason to support this movement. We encourage everyone to donate to CFA regardless of their stance on LGBT issues.
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How You Can Take Action and Support Brands Who Have Their Own Protests Against Chick Fil A
Instead of supporting the outrage against CFA, consider supporting the brands that are now boycotting CFA. Gay marriage is still not legal in much of the country and marriage equality is still a hot-button issue. At CAARPR, we support all brands who have the courage to stand up for what they believe in and protest those who are trying to oppress them. We think it’s a great idea that an organization that is considered a leader in business and cultural innovation is standing up for what they believe in, despite the opposition. We stand firmly behind them and do not support this movement in any way.
Here are just a few brands that have had the courage to take a stand and boycott Chick Fil A:
Ecco shoes – following the lead of their founder and CEO, Klaus Herzog, who has vowed not to support any companies associated with CFA. Along with how the company maintains their values as an environmentally responsible business and their progressive stance on LGBT rights, it’s their stance on human rights issues that we support them for.
“It goes without saying that Klaus Herzog supports gay marriage and equality for the LGBT community. We support him in his stance. It is in the best interests of Ecco to decline any future requests to partner with Chick-fil-A on projects.” – Ecco Shoes
Pabst Brewing Company– Pabst is one of the biggest companies to come out against CFA. They held a company wide meeting about it and talked about supporting gay rights and marriage equality.
“While we have not been asked as a company to make a statement, we share in the general sentiment of many that our representatives’ political views have no place in the business.” – Pabst Brewing Company