Protest planned for Oswego location
A local resident is asking the community to join a peaceful protest when Chick-fil-A restaurant opens Thursday, Aug. 23, in light of recent remarks the fast food chain's president made against same sex marriage.
Beck Gibson, an Oswego High School graduate, has organized this Facebook page advertising the Oswego protest.
The protest, slated for 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, at the Route 34 store will entail, according to the event page, “peacefully standing across the street and letting everyone that eats there and anyone passing by know by eating there you are funding hate.”
Protest possible in Bolingbrook
A similar protest could also take place outside of Bolingbrook's new Chick-fil-A. The location is set to open Sept. 6.
Lea Anne Stoughton, president of the great Joliet area chapter of PFLAG, said she was in the process of talking with other members of her chapter and "gauging the willingness" to organize a Bolingbrook protest.
The dozen chapters of PFLAG chapters in the Illinois region are planning protests at other Chick-fil-A locations, she said.
People aren't protesting because of Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's beliefs, Stoughton said.
"The guy is welcome to say and believe whatever he wants," Stoughton said. "It's his actions that are what people are protesting."
The company, under his direction, has donated a lot of money to organizations like Exodus International, she said. Exodus International has for decades tried to "help conflicted Christians rid themselves of unwanted homosexual inclinations through counseling and prayer," according to Fox News.
Exodus International recently backed away from that stance to appear less "anti-gay."
The goal of the protest would be to inform Chick-fil-A patrons.
"The goal is to say, 'Here are some things you may want to know before you eat at Chick-fil-A,'" Stoughton said. "Even though it's in the news, there are a lot of people who never really think about it.
"(Cathy) is welcome to believe whatever he believes. As consumers, we have the right to patronize an establishment based on the beliefs of its ownesr."
Last week, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said his business was "guilty as charged" in support of the "biblical definition of the family unit," according to the AP.
Donald Perry, vice president of corporate public relations for Chick-fil-A, said in a statement the restaurant is a “family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates.”
“From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business,” he said. “For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.”
Perry said the restaurant’s culture and service tradition “is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect –regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”
“Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena,” Perry said. “Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”