We’ve long known that Chick-fil-A is a Christian-based company. That’s joyous and wonderful. And who doesn’t support free speech? I certainly do. But the issue, the one Mr. Huckabee doesn’t want his followers to think about, is the simple fact that Chick-fil-A continues to give a generous amount of its profits (current tab is $5 million) to hate organizations such as Family Research Council and Exodus International that work directly against marriage equality. These organizations are run by people who deliberately try to make sure that my wife and I remain second-class citizens in the United States of America.
But the proposal of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day turned into something awful and misunderstood as thousands of people drove to their local fried chicken restaurant franchise and declared to local TV stations recording them that they were there to support free speech and being a strong Christian. But insiders report that off-camera consumers were excited to be there to take a stand against same-sex marriage.
But this isn’t about free speech, as Mr. Huckabee continued to press upon his faithful listeners. And it’s not about Christianity or personal beliefs either. It’s a civil rights issue. It’s a human issue.
Ott Palladino also responded to Huckabee’s call for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day with her own call to support Starbucks, a corporation that continues to show support for LGBT equality:
I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the LGBTQ community because the members are born different than their heterosexual neighbors, friends, family, coworkers, church and temple members. Until our marriages are legally recognized on a federal level, we are denied 1,138 benefits, rights and protections.
Currently, only six states and the District of Columbia legally recognize same-sex marriage, with Maryland and Washington hopefully realizing this reality in November, when voters will get to vote on our civil rights. Washington received resounding support from Starbucks earlier this year, when Kalen Holmes, Starbucks’ Executive Vice President, announced the Seattle-based coffee company’s support of Gov. Chris Gregoire’s legislation for marriage equality:
“Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples,” Holmes said. “Starbucks strives to create a company culture that puts our partners first, and our company has a lengthy history of leading and supporting policies that promote equality and inclusion. This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners. It is core to who we are and what we value as a company.
“Starbucks not only treats customers and employees with respect and dignity, but for the last 20 years, it also has offered domestic partner benefits in the U.S. to part-time and full-time employees,” Holmes added.
“Let’s affirm a business that operates on moral principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for human dignity and upstanding values, the same that we advocate by simply showing up, drinking and eating at Starbucks on Tuesday, Aug. 7,” Ott Palladino said in a statement.
”Too often, those opposed to equality for all make statements with hate, fear and massive donations to organizations working directly against marriage equality, all masked as support of free speech and freedom of religion. This grassroots effort is quite simply full of love and appreciation for a company that stands up for us, for what is right, for what is just,” she added.