Dozens of young people on Thursday
protested the grand opening of a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Laguna
The demonstrators, members of Youth
Empowered to Act (YETA), a project of the Gay and Lesbian Community
Services Center of Orange County, distributed fliers informing
potential customers of Chick-Fil-A's ties to anti-gay rights groups
and offered suggestions for alternatives to the chicken chain.
According to Equality
Matters, Chick-Fil-A donated $3 million to groups opposed to gay
rights, including the Family Research Council (FRC) and Exodus
International, between 2003 and 2009. In 2010, the company gave more
than $1.9 million to such groups, more than any other year for which
public records are available.
Those donations came under increased
scrutiny last year, prompting Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy to
announce that his company would no longer “champion any political
agendas on marriage and family” and claimed that Chick-Fil-A has
“no agenda against anyone.”
Last week in an interview with the
Christian publication the Baptist Press, Cathy answered,
“Well, guilty as charged,” when asked about his company's record
of supporting groups opposed to marriage equality. He went on to
describe gay marriage as “inviting God's judgment on our nation.”
“Family, friends and teachers support
who I am and they don't want to support a company that donates
millions to groups working to make life harder for me as well as
young adults like me,” 20-year-old Justin McCoy said in a
statement released by GLAAD.
“My family and the youth I work with
value love, commitment and family,” said Laura Kanter, director of
Youth Services at the Center Orange County. “Today a majority of
Americans support gay families and companies like Chick-Fil-A are
clearly just out of touch.”
Fox News' Mike Huckabee is organizing a
“Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” to be held on Wednesday, August 1.
On Wednesday, Rick
Santorum tweeted support for the event.