David Blankenhorn writes:
Recently in the New York Times, the reporter Kim Severson writes that Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based fast food company, “has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to national groups fighting same-sex marriage.”
I can’t speak with certainty, but I am fairly sure that this statement is untrue.
Chick-Fil-A has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the National Christian Foundation (NCF), a national group.
NCF, among other activities, gives huge gobs of money to national groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. Although those groups do have other activities, opposing SSM is a major part of their agenda.
So the question is, does Chick-Fil-A’s indirect donation to anti-SSM groups count as having “given hundreds of thousands of dollars to national groups fighting same-sex marriage”?
For the purpose of an article in the Times, I’d say it does not count. Newspapers are supposed to be painstakingly accurate in their language choices. Instead, the phrasing they used could give a false impression that Chick-Fil-A has directly donated money to groups like the Family Research Council.
David ventures two guesses for why the Times writer wrote what she did (she just said it for fun, or she considers all moneys donated not in support of SSM to be anti-SSM). He didn’t mention the most obvious possibility: Maybe she made a good-faith mistake. It’s not impossible for a reporter on a deadline to mix up “donates to a group that donates to anti-SSM groups” and “donates to anti-SSM groups,” especially since Chick-Fil-A was a minor aside in the article, not the main point of the article.
But on the other hand… Maybe the Times article was right after all.
What if the folks running the NCF are consciously anti-SSM, and deliberately include groups fighting SSM among the groups they donate to, as a way of supporting the anti-SSM cause? In that case, the NCF is a national group that’s fighting SSM. And Chick-Fil-A donated over $600,000 to them.
So I’m tentatively in agreement with David — the Times description seems inaccurate. But I might change my mind if I get more information about the NCF.
* * *
Speaking as someone who (very) occasionally buys fast food — I won’t buy from Chick-Fil-A again.
It’s not just the donations — although that alone is enough. (Donating to a group that donates to anti-gay groups isn’t acceptable behavior for any corporation that wants my business. Importantly, this isn’t something that Chick-Fil-A’s owners do with their own personal income; from what I can make out, it’s something Chick-Fil-A does with its corporate income.)
But I’m more bothered by the policies described in an article in Forbes (quoted here):
Loyalty to the company isn’t the only thing that matters to Cathy, who wants married workers, believing they are more industrious and productive. One in three company operators have attended Christian-based relationship-building retreats through WinShape at Berry College in Mount Berry, Ga. The programs include classes on conflict resolution and communication. Family members of prospective operators–children, even–are frequently interviewed so Cathy and his family can learn more about job candidates and their relationships at home.
1) I don’t think discrimination against unmarried workers is acceptable.
2) An employer interviewing the children of job applicants is just plain creepy.
3) This policy almost certainly creates de facto discrimination against job applicants in same-sex relationships.