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Opinion: Chick-fil-a’s apology won’t undo its damage

David Sabbagh

David SabbaghIf you thought Chick-fil-a’s promise to stop donating to anti-gay rights groups was a sincere change of heart, then you are, unfortunately, wrong.

The story about Chick-fil-a promising Chicago alderman Joe Moreno that they would stop their donations to “political” anti-gay groups was published in the Chicago Phoenix and on the restaurant’s website.

However, this was quite clearly a cheap ploy to try to win back boycotting customers.

But I know better. 

Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-a’s COO and the man on the forefront of the company’s campaign against gay rights, is still in charge.

When asked by The Baptist Press in July about the $5 million in donations to anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage, Dan Cathy replied “guilty as charged.”

He obviously hasn’t changed his beliefs. And he’s made absolutely no apology for the harm Chick-fil-a helped fund.

I support Dan Cathy’s – and Chick-fil-a’s – right to free speech.

But this is about much more than an optional apology.

Chick-fil-a is continuing to support anti-gay groups.

Last Tuesday’s WinShape “Ride for the Family,” which took place the day of Cathy’s supposed agreement, asked riders to donate anywhere from $3,500-$15,000 to participate in a motorcycle ride from Charleston, S.C. to Wilmington, N.C.

The money goes directly to a group, founded by the Cathy family, called The Marriage and Family Foundation.

Guess what that organization promotes.

And Chick-fil-a contributed $1 million dollars to it last year.

I wish I could say that Cathy’s statement was a win for equal rights, but multiple factors seem to indicate that Chick-fil-a has not really changed their stance – they’ve merely closed their wallets to any anti-gay groups but their own.

Cathy’s lie that donations to anti-gay groups were ending does not erase the $5 million already gone to promoting bigotry and discrimination.

It certainly will not win back my business.

I encourage anyone else who has been upset by Chick-fil-a’s anti-gay stance to seriously consider whether or not you think the company has really changed their tune.

My vote is no.

Sabbagh, a freshman theatre arts major from Winston-Salem, is an opinion writer.

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