When Dan Cathy spoke out about his belief that marriage is solely between a man and a
woman he was talking as himself and expressing his religious belief. It’s really not shocking he feels this way since his restaurants have made it a practice to close on Sunday’s so his team could spend their time in church.
For years as the head of Chick-Fil-A the company has donated to anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) groups. It’s been known in the LGBT community but hasn’t been widely publicized in the media. Cathy’s opinions during the interview have gone mainstream and been repeated across all media outlets.
Now that everyone knows where Cathy and Chick-Fil-A stands on this hot button topic the company is facing backlash from consumers who don’t want to eat in a restaurant that promotes bigotry. While Cathy was willing to give up profits for Sunday worship he wasn’t prepared to lose sales on the other six days of the week when he shared his opinions.
Many Christians don’t feel its right to boycott a company and to try and ruin a business just because you don’t like Cathy’s views. That might have more weight if it wasn’t for Christian groups who recently tried to boycott J.C. Penny because they hired Ellen DeGeneres who is an openly gay woman. My guess is these same Christians wouldn’t feel boycotts were so unfair Cathy had come out in favor of Planned Parenthood.
Chick-Fil-A is now backpedaling to try and downplay the comments with statements proclaiming they don’t discriminate and serve anyone who comes to their stores.
From a marketing and PR perspective, they can come out with all the statements they want, but those that feel strongly still won’t be visiting the restaurant till they see the corporation has changed its policy on donating to hate and intolerance.
Do you agree it’s fair to boycott a business that has political views different from your own?
Sandy Miller has been helping clients with marketing and advertising projects for over 15 years. In that time I have seen lots of changes but nothing as exciting as the introduction of social media.