This is what we mean when we say that anti-gay bigotry is no longer socially acceptable in nice places:
Focus St. Louis and the Clayton Chamber of Commerce said today that they are canceling a planned presentation by Dan Cathy, president and COO of Chick-fil-A, following complaints that Cathy and his company are involved with anti-gay organizations.
Chick-fil-A, which is known for promoting a company vision of Christian values, was enmeshed in a controversy earlier this year involving an independent Chick-fil-A operator in Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which is affiliated with the Family Resource Institute. The latter institute was recently designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of its anti-gay positions.
The decision to cancel Cathy’s March 18 presentation here was made after PROMO, a statewide organization that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, protested his appearance and asked Focus and the Chamber of Commerce to reconsider.
Ellen Gale, the head of the chamber, said today that when the groups agreed to co-sponsor Cathy’s appearance, they had no idea he held controversial views.
Sometimes all you have to do is bring it to their attention. I’m always very cautious when protesting things like this planned speech, because very often, what you have is not a matter of discriminatory beliefs or activities, but rather oversight. In this case, once the Clayton Chamber knew what kind of unsavory activities Cathy and the Chick-Fil-A corporate team have been involved in, they said “No thanks.”
Clayton, which is just outside the city of St. Louis, is one of the loveliest towns in the United States, for the record.