''Some recent events have called into question the principles of Chick-fil-A, and speak directly to the heart of our organization. Last week, one of our local franchise Chick-fil-A operators made the decision to provide food to two upcoming February events billed to strengthen marriages. Marriage has long been a focus of Chick-fil-A, starting with my own mom and dad who are celebrating their 63rd year of marriage.
''In this case, the operators simply agreed to provide sandwiches and brownies for the events, as many Chick-fil-A franchises have done over the years for community events, businesses, and civic groups. Some have used this small donation of food to say otherwise....
''Let me be clear: Chick-fil-A serves all people, and values all people.
''Providing food to these events or any event is not an endorsement of the mission, political stance, or motives of this or any other organization. Any suggestion otherwise is just inaccurate. It's unfortunate that there [has] been confusion over what happened in Pennsylvania.''
Chick-fil-A, Inc. President Dan Cathy who has, apparently, put forth a video to address questions about his restaurants' ties to religious organizations -- organizations that have a history of anti-gay political actions.
Mr. Cathy seems to defend the restaurants' "support" and "sponsorship" of these groups' events, yet he does not directly address or explain what exactly he's defending his company and affiliates against. The Pennsylvania Family Institute and affliliated FamilyLIfe websites both contain derogatory, and strictly anti-gay interpretations of "God's purposes." (see below)
The "Chick-fil-A Corporate Purpose" states in part that the company wants to "glorify God," and the restaurant is closed on Sundays (the traditional Christian sabbath in the USA).
Some of the groups that Chick-fil-A restaurants "sponsor" with food donations have ties to the American Family Association, Family Research Council and Focus on the Family -- all of which are fundamentalist organizations seeking to block gay marriage and other LGBT rights legislation.
The Pennsylvania Family Institute/FamilyLIFE event, "The Art of Marriage," does not list any particular anti-gay agenda; however, the rest of the PFI website does contain inflammatory complaints about "homosexual marriage," "homosexual activism,"homosexual adoptions," "homosexual lifestyle," etc.
This has caused concern among some online bloggers, customers and other observers.
The affiliated FamilyLIFE website says the following about "homosexual marriage" -- taken from just one article, "Gay Marriages... What's the Big Deal?"
- Homosexuals have suggested for years that their practice is an acceptable alternative lifestyle. Many claim that their sexual appetite is something they were born with. Some have even suggested that God made them as homosexuals. Yet God makes it clear in Scripture that homosexuality is not part of His design.
- While it is true that gay couples can raise children, and can adopt needy children, they will not, however, multiply a godly legacy when they are living in rebellion to God.
- Studies show, for example, that even when homosexual men commit themselves to a partner, they still regularly engage in sex with other men several times a year.
- God designed two sexes male and female—He did not create four sexes. Homosexual marriage cannot fulfill God's purposes for marriage.
There are dozens and dozens of similar anti-gay articles on the FamilyLIFE website. FamilyLIFE also promotes ex-gay "therapy" through Exodus International. That organization promises confused believers that they can "pray the gay away."
So, again, according to Mr. Cathy: Donating company product to groups which "strengthen marriage" -- groups that push the notion that same-sex marriage, gay parenting and gay sex are harmful to society and children; and that homosexuality can be stopped through psychologically damaging, religious "conversions" -- that these donations are ''not an endorsement of the mission, political stance, or motives,'' and any suggestion otherwise is "just inaccurate."