Anti-Gay Fast Food Chain Controversy Ignores Crucial Taste Issue

Southern fast food chain Chick-fil-A has caused an uproar with its support of anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family. People are boycotting it and circulating petitions! But why is no one mentioning that Chick-fil-A isn't that great?

The controversy was touched off by revelations that a Chick-fil-A franchise planned to donate food to a pro-marriage event hosted by the anti-gay Pennsylvania Family Institute. In fact, Chick-fil-A has a long history of being not very welcoming of non-Christian, non-straight people. From the Times:

The company's Christian culture and its strict hiring practices, which require potential operators to discuss their marital status and civic and church involvement, have attracted controversy before, including a 2002 lawsuit brought by a Muslim restaurant owner in Houston who said he was fired because he did not pray to Jesus with other employees at a training session. The suit was settled.



The sandwiches that will feed people who attend a February seminar, called "The Art of Marriage: Getting to the Heart of God's Design," in Harrisburg, Pa., are but a tiny donation. Over the years, the company's operators, its WinShape Foundation and the Cathy family have given millions of dollars to a variety of causes and programs, including scholarships that require a pledge to follow Christian values, a string of Christian-based foster homes and groups working to defeat same-sex marriage initiatives.

The Times article basically boils it down to an issue of separation of church and taste: Can tolerant Chick-fil-A fans ignore their favorite restaurant's religious-based bigotry enough to enjoy their food?

Some are threatening a boycott. About time! I've been boycotting Chick-fil-A for years. Because their sandwiches are not very good. A soggy chicken breast wedged between a brutally symmetrical bun with a limp pickle hiding in the thing? This is a sandwich for people who are terrified of vegetables. Like California's inexplicable obsession with the burgers at In-N-Out, the Chick-fil-A phenomenon is a function of rabid regionalism, not quality food.

Take a stand for gay rights and good taste: Eat a Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich.

[Image of chick-fil-a sandwich via Adam Kuban]