Is he finally apologizing?
Chick-fil-A CEO Admits Comments About Gay Marriage Were A Mistake
In the summer of 2012, the billionaire family behind fast food chain Chick-fil-A found themselves…well, if not in hot water, then in a piping vat of chicken grease.
Via Forbes reports:
That year, with same-sex marriage on four state ballots, the scions of Forbes rich list stalwart S. Truett Cathy (net worth: $6.2 billion) hit headlines for taking a public stance against equal rights. In July, Truett’s son Dan, Chick-fil-A’s CEO, told the Baptist Press he was “guilty as charged” in his support of what he described as traditional marriage.
“We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles,” Cathy said.
The fast food chain’s in-your-face Christian values weren’t exactly news even then. Forbes ran a story on The Cult of Chick-fil-A in 2007 and its stores close on Sunday to allow workers to attend church.
Rather, it was Dan Cathy’s reaffirmation of his firm’s same-sex marriage stance that set off a wave of protests, with LGBT kiss-ins at Chick-fil-A stores and even some lampooning via music video, with three drag queens skewering Chick-fil-A to the tune of Wilson Phillips’ ‘Hold On.’
Almost two years later, Dan Cathy — a self-described evangelical Christian — says he made a mistake:
“Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth and development and it helps by (recognizing) the mistakes that you make,” Cathy said. “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.
Cathy agreed that the “lingering identity” of Chick-fil-A with “anti-gay groups” that jumped to its defense in 2012 has meant “alienating market segments”:
“Consumers want to do business with brands that they can interface with, that they can relate with,” Cathy said. “And it’s probably very wise from our standpoint to make sure that we present our brand in a compelling way that the consumer can relate to.”
Cathy himself hasn’t changed his own views on same-sex marriage however:
“I think the time of truths and principles are captured and codified in God’s word and I’m just personally committed to that,” he said. “I know others feel very different from that and I respect their opinion and I hope that they would be respectful of mine.”
What is clear is that his family’s fried chicken business, which made $4.6 billion in sales in 2012, will be staying out of the fray when it comes to equality. Dollars don’t know sex, color or creed!