WashPost 'Manners' Columnist: Don't Eat at Chick-fil-A

February 3rd, 2015 8:49 AM

The Washington Post's gay "manners" columnist has once again insisted that "anti-LGBT" businesses be blacklisted by all caring liberals -- in Tuesday's case, Chick-fil-A. A liberal woman in her 30s wrote in to say her liberal husband loves the food. "Is there any way he can enjoy this particular establishment without feeling guilty? For example, what if he donated an amount equal to what he spends there to a gay rights organization such as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) every time he patronized this place? Would that be an appropriate offset?"

Steven Petrow says "No." Chick-fil-A is verboten.

If this seems to be picking on Christians, you would be right. Petrow just days ago proclaimed his heart was warmed by Duke allowing a Muslim call to prayer on campus....as if Muslims aren't "anti-LGBT."

It doesn't matter if public pressure caused the chain's executives to stop contributing to the Family Research Council and other conservative Christian groups. As long as the company's executives still hold an "anti-LGBT" opinion and fail to pass inspection with the gay-"protection" scorers, they should be blacklisted. The surrender to every gay-left demand must be met.

Today, as far as contributions to anti-gay groups are concerned, the company appears to have terminated most of its grants to these controversial groups. But even so, I’m not giving your husband a free pass to indulge himself. The more complete Chick-fil-A story on LGBT issues remains complicated at best. Cathy has said that his public anti-LGBT positions were a “mistake” as a business decision, because they made the company “a symbol in the marriage debate.” However, Cathy explained in a 2014 interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his personal views on same-sex marriage hadn’t changed. “We are in the chicken business and will leave politics for others to debate,” the company said last week in an e-mail statement.

The issues extend beyond the company’s past contributions or the chief executive’s personal views. If I were your husband, I’d be concerned that LGBT employees have virtually no protections at the company.

Deena Fidas, HRC’s director of workplace equality, said she hasn’t seen “meaningful changes to protect LGBT employees from discrimination, nor explicit protections for sexual orientation or gender identity.” In fact, Chick-fil-A received the lowest score possible, a zero, in HRC’s 2014 evaluation of the company.

Fidas pointed to other fast-food companies such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Chipotle, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC, all of which scored high in the organization’s rankings. Although someone’s personal beliefs are not my business, his manners — or “social conduct” — are. Companies need to be held accountable for their employee policies, which really are about how they treat their workers.

Alas, when your husband patronizes one of these restaurants, he is supporting the company. Would a donation to an LGBT rights group offset that, the way “carbon-offset programs” allow individuals and companies to pay a fee to make up for their carbon footprint? No. I’m imagining your husband explaining his position to your friends. No matter his diplomatic skills, they’ll understand him to be saying: “To eat Chick-fil-A’s chicken and waffle fries is more important to me than LGBT people having equal rights and protections.”

Earlier: Gay Mr. 'Civilities' supports Dan Savage, Alec Baldwin