PITTSBURGH, October 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – America’s most successful Christian food chain may be driven out of a children’s community event in Pittsburgh over the owners’ Christian-based view of marriage and homosexuality, if the Pittsburgh City Council has its way.
The Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh Kids Marathon is a one-mile run slated for May 2019. The event is for children and their families participating in the annual DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. It’s affiliated with the Kids of STEEL physical activity and nutrition program.
All nine members of the Pittsburgh City Council have a problem with Chick-fil-A’s sponsorship of the event, however, and have signed a letter pressuring marathon organizers to drop the company, The Blaze reports.
“The leadership of Chick-Fil-A has openly and passionately promulgated hateful beliefs against the LGBTQIA+ community,” the letter reads. “Additionally, the company has financed organizations staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage and non-discrimination laws and other groups that equate ‘homosexual behavior and lifestyle’ with lawlessness and in opposition to the ‘the [sic] foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society.”
It claims the company’s “sponsorship of an event designed to encourage healthy living represents a significant setback” for Pittsburgh’s efforts to be a “more progressive and welcoming city,” and that it “sends the wrong message” to LGBT children or families who have experienced bullying.
The city’s school board also plans to vote on a resolution that would forbid formal district participation in the race if Chick-fil-A remains affiliated with it. In 2016, the left-wing board unanimously approved a “Transgender and Gender Expansive Students” policy letting gender-confused students use whichever names, pronouns, or bathrooms that they choose.
Chick-fil-A has “several beliefs […] that are quite discriminatory and are quite inconsistent with the district’s policies regarding discrimination on the basis of gender, race, etc.,” school solicitor Ira Weiss claimed. School board member Terry Kennedy says she opposes the company’s involvement because children “need to feel welcomed” and “inclusive.”
School board member Kevin Carter dissented, however, saying he wanted to see “how this is worded in regards to our participation with corporations that share different political ideologies than we do” because singling out Chick-fil-A could set the district on a slippery slope.
A petition to Pittsburgh Marathon CEO Patrice Matamoros, posted at the left-wing Action Network’s website, calls Chick-fil-A “an openly homophobic and transphobic business,” characterizes its sponsorship as an attempt “to normalize homophobia and transphobia for our children,” and demands the “immediate” retraction of its “unacceptable, damaging, and offensive” partnership with the marathon. The petition has little over 1,200 signatures at the time of this writing.
Chick-fil-A is famously operated on the Christian principles of its national leadership, including closing on Sundays, listing “to glorify God” as part of its corporate purpose, and its active charitable arm. For years, liberals have boycotted the chain due to CEO Dan Cathy’s stated opposition to same-sex “marriage” and the company’s donations to social conservative groups such as Family Research Council and Focus on the Family.
Despite the “homophobia” narrative, however, many homosexual employees and customers have attested to positive, welcoming experiences with Chick-fil-A, and the protests have largely failed to stem the company’s popularity or growth.
For the moment, the Pittsburgh Marathon doesn’t appear to be backing down.
“We have and will continue to be accepting of any individual or family who wants to participate in our events,” the organizers said in a statement responding to the controversy. “This partnership with Chick-fil-A will help us ensure even more children in southwestern Pennsylvania can learn and share in our love of running.”
The Pittsburgh School Board plans to vote on its resolution Wednesday, according to The Blaze.