In 2012 Chick-fil-A owner Dan Cathy became Public Enemy Number One in the gay community for his out-front stand against same-sex marriage and his company’s donations to anti-equality groups.
In case you’ve forgotten, Cathy announced that Americans were “inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say ‘we know better than you’ as to what constitutes a marriage.” In 2010, Chick-fil-A donated more than $1.9 million to anti-LGBT organizations like the National Organization for Marriage, Exodus International and Focus on the Family.
Despite how the media framed the story, it was about more than marriage—it was about groups that endorse reparative therapy, job discrimination and worse for gays and lesbians.
But Shane Windmeyer, co-founder and director of the LGBT college group Campus Pride, has emerged as something of Cathy’s new BFF: “I’ve gotten to know Dan, he’s gotten to know me,” Windmeyer (left) told ABC News. “He’s shared concerns about young people, about Chick-fil-A being used for certain purposes.”
According to ABC, it turns out Windmeyer has been hanging with Cathy after the fast-food king sought him out for “advice and understanding” over the donation controversy. Cathy even invited Windmeyer to December’s Chick-fil-A Bowl between LSU and Clemson at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Windmeyer says he’s looked over Chick-fil-A’s tax returns and can confirm it has stopped supporting the enemies of equality—sort of.
“In 2011, [According to] the 990s that I saw, they did stop funding the more divisive, anti-gay groups that actively work to harm and hurt LGBT people,” Windmeyer told ABC News.
Windmeyer says he knows he and Cathy disagree about gay marriage but that they’ve reached an understanding of each other as people.
But even as headlines screamed that Chick-Fil-A was backing down, Cathy (right) was funding a motorcycle ride benefiting opponents of same-sex marriage.
Guess all those chicken sandwiches can buy you some pretty fancy tax loopholes.
Even if Cathy is truly out of the hate game, that’s hardly enough to make us want to hang out with the guy—let alone fund his business. Should we run out and support Chick-fil-A just because it’s stopped funding the more divisive anti-gay groups?
That’s setting the bar damn low.
In the ABC News story, Windmeyer indicated that if he and his partner ever get the right to marry in North Carolina, he’s going to invite Dan Cathy to the wedding.
Well, if you and your partner can’t marry in North Carolina, its due in part to the millions of dollars Cathy fed to groups that pushed the state’s odious marriage-equality ban.
It’s enough to make you lose your lunch.