Grassroots advocates plan 'Same-Sex Kiss-In,' Chick-fil-A equality events across the country; Thousands donate to LGBT organizations after 'Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day'
New York, NY, August 2, 2012 – GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today joined a Change.org petition started this morning by Atlanta-based mom Marci Alt, her wife of 8 years and the couple’s two children.
The petition calls on Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy to meet with the family and discuss the hardships many gay families face because they are denied the chance to marry. The family also asked to speak about the fast food chain’s multi-million dollar donations to anti-LGBT organizations and the growing majority of Christians who support gay and lesbian people.
Supporters can add their name to the petition here: http://glaad.org/meetfordinner
“I hope Mr. Cathy will join my family for dinner, where we can share a respectful dialogue about our faith, work and families here in Georgia,” said Alt. “It’s important that Mr. Cathy meet the people his company is donating millions to stand against. I'll even make chicken.”
On Friday, the family will be organizing a protest at their local Chick-fil-A in Decatur, Georgia.
Grassroots advocates have created dozens of events in protest of the company’s anti-LGBT donations. Advocate Carly McGehee organized ‘National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A,’ which to date has over 11,000 participants on Facebook planning to kiss at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country on Friday. McGehee will be in Dallas on Friday, joined by dozens of supporters.
"I hope that visibility of the kiss-in helps LGBT youth who feel isolated and are victims of bullying," said Carly McGeHee. "I want LGBT youth who are growing up in places like Texas, where I was raised, to know that it's okay to be who you are, because it seems that Mr. Cathy disagrees with that."
For a complete list of events, visit http://www.glaad.org/chick-fil-a
Since 2003, Chick-fil-A has given more than $5 million to anti-LGBT organizations, including The Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center deems a “hate group.” Additionally, Chick-fil-A has donated to groups that promote so-called “ex-gay therapy,” a practice both debunked and deemed as harmful by nearly every major medical and mental health authority in the country.
“Without question, Dan Cathy has every right to voice his opinions and beliefs,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “But he should meet and get to know the people that he’s speaking out against – the people who are harmed by his company’s multi-million dollar donations to anti-gay hate groups working to hurt everyday LGBT Americans and break apart loving families.”
On Wednesday, thousands of Americans skipped their Chick-fil-A sandwiches, instead choosing to donate the cost to local and national LGBT organizations.
In light of Cathy’s statements attributing his anti-LGBT views to his faith, GLAAD also highlighted the growing majority of Americans who support marriage equality, including millions of Christians.
For instance, a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted between February 8 and 13, 2012 shows that over two-thirds of Catholics believe that gay and lesbian couples deserve some sort of relationship recognition.
GLAAD also directed community members and allies to several LGBT-affirming religious groups, working to achieve equality for all people of faith. Just last month, the Episcopal Church voted to allow priests to conduct blessing ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples, which may be part of a wedding ceremony depending on state law. While the Presbyterian (PCUSA), Methodist (UMC), and Lutheran (ELCA) churches in the United States do not yet officially support marriage equality, Presbyterians and Lutherans welcome LGBT pastors to ordination and LGBT individuals and families are welcomed into their churches.
For more information, visit http://www.glaad.org/chick-fil-a
GLAAD released a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document for media covering the story here:http://www.glaad.org/releases/glaad-releases-facts-and-resources-media-covering-chick-fil-a