COLLEGE PARK, Georgia, January 17, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The fast food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A has come under fire from homosexualist groups, which have criticized its support for a Christian marriage counseling event sponsored by a pro-family organization, and blamed the company’s Christian roots and connections as evidence of its “homophobic” habits.

The dispute surrounded Chick-fil-A’s involvement in conferences next month in South-Central Pennsylvania featuring “The Art of Marriage,” a program designed to help Christian couples support their marriage. The conferences are being sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which homosexualist bloggers faulted for supporting traditional marriage.

“If you’re currently eating a Chick-fil-A, ask yourself if it tastes good enough to justify supporting Pennsylvania’s most prominent anti-equality group,” declared the homosexualist Good As You blog on January 3.

Metro Weekly’s Last Word blog noted the next day that Chick-fil-A’s corporate philosophy is Christian, and links the company’s Christian grounding to its history of supporting events by “gay rights-hating Christianists,” such as the Family Research Council. In 2009, the gay rights corner of Change.org similarly blasted Chick-fil-A as “homophobic” for supporting the leading Christian organization Focus on the Family.

Apparently responding to significant criticism, Chick-fil-A posted on its Twitter account the same day as the Metro Weekly article: “For those seeing reports of a CFA sponsorship w/ the Penn Family Inst, we are looking into the issue and will provide a response ASAP.” The same day, gay rights blogs noted that the web page showing joint sponsorship of the event by PFI and Chick-fil-A had been changed to erase mention of the latter.

In a video posted on the fast food chain’s Facebook account January 11, however, the company’s president defended its involvement in the local group’s work, saying that providing food for the event was “not an endorsement of the mission, political stance, or motives of this or any other organization.”

“Operators simply agreed to provide sandwiches and brownies for the events as many Chick-fil-A franchisees have done over the years for community events, businesses and civic groups,” said Chick-fil-A president and COO Dan Cathy.

In a Christian Post article Thursday, PFI president Michael Geer claimed the controversy was “trumped up” and corrected suggestions that Chick-fil-A’s corporate office was involved in the decision. Instead, he said, local managers decided to join the event.