The Vox-owned foodie website seemed understandably surprised that Chick-fil-A’s logo would appear on the sponsors page of “Level Ground,” and that its name would be associated with what is "billed as the world’s first faith-based LGBT film festival."
That would be the biggest turnaround ever since it ceased donations of $5 million to antigay groups, when CEO Dan Cathy publicly stated his corporation would steer clear of social issues last year. That kind of support would be unprecedented, almost too good to be true.
Which it is.
Just hours after the article went live, a spokesperson for the Southern Baptist, family-owned fast food chain swiftly issued a clarification, telling Eater Chick-fil-A itself was never a sponsor of "Level Ground." The actual sponsor is a franchise owner in Nashville. A similar case happened last November when a Hollywood franchise donated 20 percent of its one-day proceeds to the LGBT student group, Campus Pride.
A Chick-fil-A representative told Eater, “The operators make decisions on local sponsorships."
That news came too late, however, to a concerned Christian and Chick-fil-A patron named Steven Policastro, who last week started a petition on change.org, declaring, “CFA Goes Gay, Corporate Needs To Know!” His petition states:
“Per our research and findings, Chick-fil-A is a sponsor of "On Level Ground" (www.OnLevelGround.org) which is "a movement" that "creates space for dialogue about faith, gender, and sexuality through the arts." And upon further inquiry, your sponsorship of this organization supports pro-gay organizations such as:
-The Christian Closet (gay-affirming Christian counseling) -The Center For Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (promoting the gay agenda in Christian ministry)
-Therapists 4 Equality (LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy)
-The Reformation Project (an attempt to bring the gay agenda into the church's theology)
-Believe Outloud (an organization to promote gender equality to Christian clergy) and many other groups that promote an agenda which is contrary to Chick-fil-A's corporate stance on Christian values regarding marriage and stewardship.”
At press time, the petition had more than 330 supporters, and caught the eye of Baptist Global News, which published an article this week that reported on the sponsorship and examined the restaurant’s deeply-held religious roots.