Letter to the Editor: CHICK-FIL-A CONTROVERSY
The unconscious and sub-conscious hate of many heterosexual Americans towards LGBT Americans surfaced to an incredible extent in recent days through their demonstrable support of Chic-Fil-A. It made me more sad than angry to witness this display of intolerance.
As a committed member of PFLAG Boulder County and a leader in the national organization, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays—the largest grassroots-based non-profit for families, friends, and allies of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people—I feel it is imperative that I respond to the Chick-fil-a controversy.
While we find his beliefs and actions to be deeply damaging, PFLAG supports Chick-fil-a President Dan Cathy’s right to freely express those beliefs, religious or otherwise. And no matter how destructive the action, or how much we disagree with it, we support his right to funnel profits from his company into that company’s charitable arm (WinShape) which subsequently donates over five million dollars to groups that openly work to deny basic rights to LGBT loved ones. However, it is also the right of LGBT people and their families, friends, and allies to use this same right to free speech to protest that position, and to educate the public as to just where the revenue from Mr. Cathy’s business is going.
Dan Cathy may say that his company has never discriminated against an LGBT person, but WinShape’s massive financial contributions have funded numerous organizations that oppose efforts to protect LGBT youth from bullying in schools, support “ex-gay” groups, and bankroll efforts to allow international laws enabling the execution of LGBT people to stand. Educating people as to this reality isn’t about crushing freedom of religion— it is about exercising the right to free speech…just as Mr. Cathy has done.
As this issue continues to be discussed, PFLAG members will continue to exercise their right to free speech, sharing the truth about this situation: Chicken, speech, religion…these are simply a distraction from the real issue: a well-funded campaign against equality for all people.
From Jean Hodges, printed in the Daily Camera on Aug. 6, also sent to the Longmont Times-Call but not printed