Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is getting a very public reminding that Chick-fil-A is not an LGBT-supportive company — though he’s far from the only one who has forgotten.
If the crowds at your local Chick-fil-A are any indication, much of the United States, even in progressive cities and on college campuses, has forgotten that management of the restaurant chain is opposed to marriage equality and has kept right on giving money to anti-LGBT causes.
Dorsey forgot that when he posted this tweet:
— jack (@jack) June 10, 2018
The reaction was quick:
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) June 10, 2018
Dorsey issued his regrets:
You’re right. Completely forgot about their background
— jack (@jack) June 10, 2018
Dorsey is far from the first to forget about that background.
None other than BuzzFeed posted a fawning story in October headlined "15 Facts About Chick-fil-A That'll Make You Say, 'Woah, That's Crazy,” and it never mentioned its anti-LGBT history. The piece just talked about how delicious everything tastes. Even Democrats have sometimes forgotten, as evidenced during a sit-in for gun control in 2016, when they ordered out for Chick-fil-A.
Aside from its record of questionable donations via its foundation, Chick-fil-A also scores a zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Although it has some vocal queer defenders, the company has taken no action that would show it welcomes LGBT customers — not a commercial, not a Pride proclamation, nothing.
Last year, ThinkProgress reported on Chick-fil-A’s most recent financial disclosures that showed it was still giving in 2015 to anti-LGBT causes. That’s two years after CEO Dan Cathy swore he would stop.
The mix of donations changed, with money going to less overtly anti-LGBT groups. But the theme remains. ThinkProgress noted $1 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which has a “sexual purity” policy that bans “homosexual acts.” Another $200,000 went to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, which teaches boys that abuse they faced as children “has produced all kinds of evil throughout the culture to include the explosion of homosexuality in the last century.” The Salvation Army got $130,000 — and yes, it’s still openly opposed to marriage equality.
The restaurant chain was recently in the news again because Scott Pruitt, the anti-LGBT head of the Environmental Protection Agency, tried (and failed) to win a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife. He praised the company as a “franchise of faith.”
In other words, the right wing has not forgotten what Chick-fil-A stands for. Just the opposite.
Mike Huckabee once hosted a national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in response to the backlash over its anti-LGBT donations. Now conservatives enjoy ordering Chick-fil-A just to show allegiance. They eat it so often that Sen. Lisa Murkowski once complained it was getting a little tedious to attend meetings.
With this latest incident, the use of Chick-fil-A as symbology for social conservatism continues. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio jumped into the Twitter debate to claim the left has gone too far with its dislike for Chick-fil-A.
This lunacy has gone too far. The CEO of @Twitter bullied into apology for patronizing @ChickfilA because owners support “biblical definition of marriage”. Holding a personal view taught by mainstream Christianity is now boycott worthy. https://t.co/EnChlPBStc via @cbsmoneywatch
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 11, 2018
At least one famous Twitter user gets the sense that Republicans use Chick-fil-A as a political football.
Special needs and sick refugee children are being torn away from their mothers arms at the border. Terrified. This is a crime against humanity. But your more concerned with chicken slinging homophobe.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) June 11, 2018