One gay employee who works at Chick-fil-A headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., and asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing his job, says he is getting it from both sides.
The company has remained mostly silent on the issue.On the company's Facebook page, a post declares, "The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender." (On the page, the company also maintains that it severed ties with the Jim Henson Company, first).But recently, Andrew says the atmosphere at work has grown nearly intolerable.Although plenty of his coworkers have said they don't agree with Cathy's views, on "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," one colleague told him proudly that his friends would be eating the fried chicken sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner.But for K, the hardest part hasn't been the actions of customers and protesters, it's the money the company gives to anti-gay groups.
"At the end of the day part of our profits still go towards Dan Cathy, and subsequently, all the organizations he supports," she said. Many of her coworkers, she said, are looking for new jobs, too.The groups Chick-fil-A gives to include the Family Research Council and Exodus International, according to Equality Matters, an initiative associated with the progressive Watchdog group, Media Matters.The Family Research Council is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, while Exodus International is a Christian Ministry that has long endorsed ex-gay therapy, a controversial practice of "curing" gay people that mainstream mental health organizations have disavowed."I call it hater appreciation day," said Andrew, who asked that his last name be withheld out of fear he'd be fired."It's very, very depressing." Chick-fil-A has long come under fire from activists for giving millions to groups that advocate against gay rights and even support ex-gay therapy, but the fire has ratcheted up in recent weeks, following interviews in which Cathy said he was “guilty as charged” of supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit" and that gay marriage invites "God's judgment on our nation." Now, Chick-fil-A sits at the center of furious debate over same-sex marriage, gay rights and free speech, with politicians, activists, and newspaper editorial boards weighing in from all sides.Elected officials have urged Chick-fil-A to stay out of their cities, the Jim Henson Company has severed ties, and gay rights groups are organizing national protests against the fried chicken chain.