Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna has some practical advice for those looking to ditch Chick-fil-A in light of presumed anti-gay public comments made by the fast food company’s president Dan Cathy: Eat Mor Red Bank.
Menna took to his Facebook page recently, a place typically reserved for good tidings and updates about his schedule, to denounce the chicken chain and its efforts to block gay marriage. He also took the opportunity to promote the borough’s eateries, of which none have publicly warned of God’s judgment should homosexuals be allowed to wed. Yet.
“(D)on’t eat in their Monmouth Mall location and come to Red Bank,” Menna advised those feeling conflicted about Chick-fil-A’s stance in a recent post. “We have over 100 restaurants that welcome all people and support equal rights for all individuals.”
Public outcry over Cathy’s comments came following a July interview with a religious publication in which he said the fried chicken eatery supports the biblical definition of marriage, meaning, Cathy implied, marriage between a man and a woman. Cathy’s comments gained national attention, as did subsequent calls to boycott Chick-fil-A restaurants from gay and human rights activists.
Chick-fil-A, a privately owned company with more than 1,600 fast food locations throughout the country, closes each Sunday and includes as part of its corporate purpose the goal “To glorify God.” The company also has donated millions to organizations with anti-gay agendas. It’s that point that seems to have rankled Menna the most.
“In an age when we should teach tolerance, it is outrageous for this corporation to have donated lots of money to the Family Research Council lobbying group that spent $25,000 in lobbying trying to convince Congress not to blast Uganda for a law that stated it was fine to kill its gay citizens,” he wrote. “Why would we want to give these whacko corporations a penny of our business?”
Menna’s comments stem from a public 2010 lobbying report in which the Family Research Council objected to House resolution 1069, a resolution that condemned Uganda’s “Anti-Homosexual Bill, 2009,” a bill that would allow for long term imprisonment and or death for “certain acts.”
According to a report from CBS, Family Research Council did admit to lobbying against the bill, but on the grounds that homosexuality is not an internationally recognized human right, rather than because it supported Uganda’s decision to prosecute and kill people based solely on their sexual orientation.
Cathy’s comments became part of a game of political football as some leaders called for Chick-fil-A restaurants to be banned while others, including the American Civil Liberties Union, objected to the proposed banning of the fast fooderies on the grounds that Cathy’s comments – and the company – were protected by the First Amendment and the right to free speech.
White Knighting for Chick-fil-A gained considerable steam when former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee declared Aug. 1 as Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day and encouraged those who support the company to purchase sandwiches on that day. By CFAAD, more than 670,000 Facebook users had agreed to attend their local Chick-fil-A at the behest of Huckabee.