If you’re like me, when you hear Chick-fil-A, you think bigotry. The chain was in the news in 2012 when President Dan Cathy announced that the company was “guilty as charged” when it came to having an official position against marriage equality. Cathy’s family also donated money to anti-gay hate groups, which meant those waffle fries you love were being used to block LGBT rights.
It led to months of controversy, in which politicians said they would block the chain from entering their cities and people staged same-sex kiss-ins as a form of protest. The stigma still lives on today, even though the company’s anti-gay connections are tenuous at best.
After Sunday morning’s massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, you may have seen the long lines of people at OneBlood, waiting to make a donation.
Also in that line on Sunday were workers from local Chick-fil-A restaurants. It didn’t even matter that it was their traditional day off.
The Atlanta-based chain known for being closed on Sundays said they weren’t sure of how many, but did confirm that several Orlando area stores prepared meals following the attack at a popular nightclub, providing food and any additional assistance to those in need.
Chick-fil-A employees were seen distributing sandwiches and ice tea to those who waited several hours in line to donate blood in addition to the hundreds of law enforcement officials who responded to the shooting scene.
Vianna Vaughan of DC Gazette added:
On top of that, the franchise’s location on Wells Road in Orange Park is even offering coupons for a free frosted lemonade to anyone who donates blood when the One Blood mobile unit is at their store on June 14.
That’s wonderful. If you’re cynical, you can say they were just capitalizing on all the media attention, soaking up some free publicity. But I’ll take it for the sincere gesture it was.
On a day when people were mourning the loss of dozens of LGBT victims, and when allies were donating blood to help strangers included those who were wounded in the attack, it’s good to know that some people — even those working for a company with an awful reputation in the gay community — were willing to contribute any way they could.