By Tina Rulewicz
The United States unfortunately possesses a long history of discrimination; much of which we have overcome. Still, we do not learn. Now, our newest persecution prospects encompass members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. Sadly, powerful corporations and their owners, specifically, Chick-Fil-A and Dan Cathy, lead the inequality charge.
Constitutionally, Chick-Fil-A and its COO Dan Cathy can believe what they choose. Chick-Fil-A can close on Sundays. Chick-Fil-A can donate millions of dollars to whomever they choose.
And Chick-Fil-A does donate millions of dollars; one such beneficiary is Exodus International. Despite proclamations otherwise on its website, Exodus International attempts to eradicate homosexuality from individuals through cruel means such as “conversion therapy.” This therapy, also known as “reparative therapy,” utilizes some of the following treatments: electric shock to the hands and genitals; administering of nausea-inducing drugs while the individual regards homoerotic stimulus; masturbating reconditioning; and, spiritual interventions. Reparative therapy simply does not work, produces negative side effects, and has even lead to suicide from former patients.
Ironically, Chick-Fil-A maintains on its company website that it “is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in employment decisions based on any factor protected by federal, state, and local law.” Yet, according to www.thinkprogress.com, Chick-Fil-A has fired individuals it deems to have participated in ‘sinful behavior.’ The Human Rights Campaign gave Chick-Fil-A a 0 rating in every single category it uses to distinguish proper treatment of employees and overall work atmosphere.
Additionally, according to Privco.com, articulated under the Detailed Business Description: Chick-Fil-A, INC, it interestingly denotes that, “[T]he company looks for married workers who intend to work for the company for long term and may reject interviewees on perceived moral lapses.” And finally, Mr. Cathy in the end of his public relations faux pas stated that “we are married to our first wives.”
Since I got no comment or response from Chick-Fil-A, I pose the following questions:
– Does Chick-Fil-A hire LGBT employees?
– If Chick-Fil-A hires LGBT employees, how many are there?
– Does Chick-Fil-A fire LGBT or LGBT-friendly employees if their sexual orientation evidences?
– Of all the 600 plus corporate Chick-Fil-A employees, are they all married?
– Are any of the 600 plus corporate Chick-Fil-A employees divorced?
– If any of the 600 plus corporate Chick-Fil-A employees have marital problems that result in divorce while a Chick-Fil-A employee, do they get fired?
– Mr. Cathy bragged that “we are married to our first wives:” Do only the married men count in this sentence or was it just a slip of the tongue that comes across as exceedingly sexist.
– How can Chick-Fil-A decipher during the interview process whether or not a person possesses a lapse in morals?
– Finally, was this whole public declaration by Mr. Cathy simply a publicity stunt to generate business in a dwindling economy?
Over the years, perhaps Chick-Fil-A has received many service and excellence awards. Now, the only award they obtain is the award to incite the ignorance of an already incessantly ignorant Christian Right. LGBT individuals should not have to sit on the back of the bus any longer. Chick-Fil-A’s inclination toward bigotry certainly leaves a bitter taste.