The left’s culture warriors always need new monsters to slay. Among their most improbable targets in recent years is the famously friendly restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, which this week appears to have surrendered.
In 2012 CEO Dan Cathy, a committed evangelical Christian, sinned against the progressive ethos by expressing support for the traditional view of marriage. That prompted a political campaign against Chick-fil-A. Earlier this year at least three U.S. airports denied the company concessions contracts. Last month, shortly after the company announced it would open the first Chick-fil-A in Britain, local activists pressured the site’s landlord into backing out.
In each case, the fast-food chain’s critics accused it of promoting “anti-LGBT” causes and failing to be sufficiently “inclusive.” The restaurant has always seemed inclusive to us, but what its adversaries mean is that Chick-fil-A has donated to organizations allegedly “hostile to LGBT rights.”
What kind of vicious, reactionary organizations? Charities like the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which hold views on marriage that predate the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision declaring same-sex marriage to be a constitutional right.
COO Tim Tassopoulos on Monday told the commercial real estate website Bisnow that the company will no longer give money to the offending organizations. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A,” Mr. Tassopoulos says, “and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
It’s hard to blame Chick-fil-A. The company exists to serve chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, not to wage political battles over sexual morality, and its corporate decision-makers are free to give whatever they want to whomever they please. Still, it’s disappointing to see the left’s cultural imperialists succeed in strong-arming a company that has committed no offense—and to see Chick-fil-A implicitly conceding that the charitable organizations to which it has donated are guilty of the sins their unreasoning critics attribute to them.
We suspect Chick-fil-A’s despisers will be emboldened rather than satisfied, and don’t be surprised to hear demands that the company must now support causes the left holds dear. All in the name of tolerance and diversity.