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The “Save Chick-fil-A” Bill and the restaurant’s failure to learn from past mistakes

Last updated on August 17, 2019

Texas governor Greg Abbott has officially signed the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill into law this Monday. While he did not hold a public signing ceremony, a tweet posted 3 weeks ago implied his support of the bill.

The bill passed the Texas state legislature last month with overwhelming support on the Republican side. A previous appeal in the state legislature following the company’s lawsuit against the San Antonio City Council was shut down by a Democratic lawmaker.

The city had blocked Chick-fil-A from opening a branch in the city’s airport, with council members reasoning that they were taking a stand against the organization’s discriminatory agenda. Councilman Robert Trevino said that San Antonio “did not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior” in an interview this March.

Abbott, a Republican, has always been adamant in his conservative beliefs. However, the move has not been met without protest. Many have claimed that it discriminates against the LGBTQ+ community. Supporters argue otherwise, stating that the provision merely protects both the religious freedoms and social integrity of the fast-food chain. The new law would prevent the government from intervening against a business or person for their personal contributions to religious organizations.

Chick-fil-A has long been under reprimand for numerous instances of homophobic behavior, with Dan Cathy openly showing his disagreement with gay marriage. The fast-food chain has also been accused of donating to large anti-LGBTQ+ organizations in the past.

Back in 2012, Cathy made nationwide news once he admitted being “guilty as charged” when asked about whether Chick-fil-A was in “support of the traditional family”. Several equality supporters were quick to boycott the restaurant.

In a now-deleted interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cathy had this to say following backlash surrounding his beliefs.

Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth and development and it helps by (recognizing) the mistakes that you make,” Cathy told the AJC. “And you learn from those mistakes. If not, you’re just a fool. I’m thankful that I lived through it and I learned a lot from it.

While the Chick-fil-A corporation continues to insist that they do not hold homophobic views, they have yet to prove this.

I think the time of truths and principles are captured and codified in God’s word and I’m just personally committed to that,” Cathy told the AJC. “I know others feel very different from that and I respect their opinion and I hope that they would be respectful of mine. … I think that’s a political debate that’s going to rage on. And the wiser thing for us to do is to stay focused on customer service.

While it may seem as though Cathy wishes to shift focus away from this controversy, he keeps adding fuel to the fire. He did not hesitate to express his disappointment with the Supreme Court decision to strike the Defense of Marriage Act only a year after the debacle. In a now-deleted tweet, Cathy said the following:

The passing of the law could not have been more ill-timed. If anything, it came off as completely dismissive of ongoing Pride Month activities. For an organization that never ceases to testify to its own tolerance, the whole debacle has “corporate-fueled political agenda” written all over it.

The bill is reported to go into effect September 1 of this year.

Any opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not reflect the stance TheWorker Tribune takes on this issue. TheWorker Tribune seeks to include as many perspectives possible regarding even the most controversial subject matters.

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