Just a week ago the Jim Henson Company decided to part ways with fast food chain Chick-fil-A because of the controversial remarks from their President. Apparently the President of Chick-fil-A staunchly opposes same-sex marriage and he isn’t afraid to let the world know. Speaking to the Baptist Press he said that he was ‘guilty as charged’ when it came to his support for the Biblical definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
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Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay marriage stance did help it in gaining support from conservative lawmakers and people like Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum, but the news was not viewed as something encouraging by long time customers of the food chain.
The recent plummeting of Chick-fil-A’s brand approval rating is a comprehensible manifestation of this. Just before Cathy’s interview was published, Chick-fil-A’s Index Score was 65. After four days it had slumped to 47, while last week, the chain had a score of 39.
According to Aaron McQuade, Director of News and Field Media at GLAAD the results are "reflective of an America that values and respects its LGBT neighbors and rejects rhetoric like Dan Cathy's that seeks to demean and dehumanize the LGBT community."
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Brand Rating Falls But Sales Boost
The slumping brand rating of Chick-fil-A did not turn out to be much of a concern for the fast food chain as its supporters are happy enough to enjoy its meals irrespective of the stance and criticism the company has faced over its same sex marriage stance.
On August 1 the Mike Huckabee–sponsored “National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” The Baptist minister and former governor of Arkansas called on supporters of traditional marriage to rally in support of the restaurant. And what an amazing turnout has it been for Chick-fil-A. Half a million people (which, by the way, did not include people like Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum!) flocked to their local chicken chains.
On the other hand, opponent of Cathy’s stance over same sex marriage have planned "Kiss Mor Chiks" for this Friday. The event intends to call upon all people of the same sex to show up and kiss each other at Chick-fil-A locations.
Chick-fil-A Employees Speak At Last
While Chick-fil-A and its supporters happily enjoyed their meals on the ‘Appreciation Day’ there were others who not only refrained from participating in any of the activities, but also dubbed the day as hater appreciation day.
Among them was Andrew, 24-year-old gay employee of Chick fil-A employee in Northern Alabama. “I call it hater appreciation day," said Andrew. "It's very, very depressing." Not just Andrew but many other employees working at Chick-fil-A are finding it difficult to pursue their work in the increasingly homophobic environment.
Despite the fact that many of them love their work, fact remains that Chick-fil-A restaurants are operated by independent owners, and employee experience can vary depending on the person running the particular chain.