HRC Blog

Tell Chick-fil-A that Words Without Action Have No Meaning

The following comes from HRC Workplace Project Coordinator Liz Cooper:

Recent news that a Pennsylvania Chick-fil-A branch provided food to the anti-gay Pennsylvania Family Institute has placed the fast-food chain in hot water. The privately held and family owned business donated food for a seminar entitled “The Art of Marriage: Getting to the Heart of God’s Design.” With this donation, the chain highlighted its Corporate Purpose “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” Despite that sentiment, there has been an intensely negative response to the company’s association with the Pennsylvania organization. Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy posted a video response on the company’s Facebook page. While in his message Cathy emphasizes that it is their mission to treat every customer with heartfelt hospitality, and provide a welcoming and comfortable environment, a video posted on Facebook is not the right way to communicate corporate policies. Does the company include sexual orientation and gender identity in its non-discrimination policy? Are there policies in place to examine whether to make donations to certain groups? The answer is: we don’t know. Why? Because Chick-fil-a does not participate in the Corporate Equality Index.  HRC has sent a letter to the company encouraging them to participate in the CEI and to ensure that LGBT people are protected, not by words but by actual corporate policies. As consumers, we all have the power to get our own message across with how we spend our dollars. It is with this thought in mind that we publish our Buying for Workplace Equality guide, as we hope to harness that purchasing power by providing you with the most accurate review of a business's workplace policies toward LGBT employees. By supporting businesses that support workplace equality you send a powerful message that LGBT inclusion is good for the bottom line. While the ultimate decision is up to you, you have the resources to decide: Would you rather get your lunch at Burger King, who first joined the CEI just two years ago, committing to transparency in their work towards equality and raised their rating to a 73 in this year’s report? Or at Cracker Barrel, whose work to improve its policies and practices affecting LGBT employees raised its CEI score 40 points in one year?  Or, would you rather go to Chick-fil-A, who perpetuates a message that while you may be welcome to eat at their restaurant, you are not welcome to enjoy equal rights? Tell Chick-fil-A that their message of inclusion doesn't mean much if their corporate policies don't include LGBT people.  Sign our petition now.

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