Give a cluck about equal­ity

GA Voice - - A+E -

A few weeks back in this col­umn, I wrote about a cer­tain restau­rant known for its chicken sand­wiches, waf­fle fries, and hate­mon­ger­ing re­li­gious ex­trem­ism.

I re­ceived a mes­sage in re­sponse from a reader, in which he stated: “There is so much mis­in­for­ma­tion and ex­ag­ger­a­tion about CFA’s do­na­tions to ‘hate groups.’ Only $1,000 each was do­nated to FRC and Ex­o­dus, and not mil­lions as has been re­ported here by gay ac­tivists and other left-wing pub­li­ca­tions.”

This dis­tor­tion of the truth has been re­peated so con­sis­tently, but doesn’t stand up to even the most pas­sive scru­tiny. Even sup­port­ers of the Chick-fil-A boy­cott may not be aware of how the cor­po­rate funds were dis­trib­uted. So, here are the ex­act dol­lar amounts of the do­na­tions, who got ‘em, and why it’s a prob­lem.

Mar­riage & Fam­ily Foun­da­tion: $1,188,380

Founded by Dan Cathy’s brother Don­ald, who is a se­nior VP at Chick-fil-A, the foun­da­tion’s mis­sion state­ment clearly out­lines a com­mit­ment to guide Amer­ica’s val­ues back to­wards the tra­di­tional fam­ily model.

Oh, and guess who’s on the list of char­ter mem­bers? Why it’s Alan Cham­bers, Pres­i­dent of Ex­o­dus In­ter­na­tional, the big­oted wack­adoos who send you to sum­mer camp and teach you how to not be gay. Fun fact: Chick-fil-A gave in 2010.

Also a char­ter mem­ber: the pres­i­dent of the Ge­or­gia Fam­ily Coun­cil. You might re­mem­ber them from their suc­cess­ful cam­paign for a state con­sti­tu­tional ban on mar­riage equal­ity. Fun fact: Chick-fil-A gave

in 2010.

Ex­o­dus $1,000

cil $2,500

Ge­or­gia Fam­ily Coun-

Fel­low­ship of Chris­tian Ath­letes: $480,000

Hey kids, come join FCA! What’s that? You’re gay? Oh. Come back af­ter you’ve prayed that away. God con­demns you and so do we. But af­ter you’ve been de­liv­ered from ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, we’ll let you speak at our na­tional con­fer­ence and put you on our web­site.

They’re the largest Chris­tian grant-mak­ing foun­da­tion in the world, and their three largest grant re­cip­i­ents each year are Fo­cus on the Fam­ily, the Dis­cov­ery In­sti­tute, and the Fam­ily Re­search Coun­cil.

We’re talk­ing tens of mil­lions of dol­lars, to fund anti-mar­riage equal­ity ini­tia­tives on the state level and de­fend­ing DOMA on the fed­eral level, plus con­ver­sion ther­apy, and het­eronor­ma­tive ab­sti­nence-only ed­u­ca­tion in pub­lic schools.

New Mex­ico Chris­tian Foun­da­tion: $54,000

An­other sneaky move. The New Mex­ico Chris­tian Foun­da­tion is just a lo­cal­ized off­shoot of the Na­tional Chris­tian Foun­da­tion. See above.

Fam­ily Re­search Coun­cil: $1,000

In ad­di­tion to the grants funded by Chick­fil-A and be­stowed by the NCF and its New Mex­ico branch, there was this bonus pay­out to an or­ga­ni­za­tion which has re­peat­edly com­pared ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity to child mo­lesta­tion and bes­tial­ity. They are clas­si­fied as a hate group by the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter. Th­ese peo­ple are fa­nat­i­cal so­ciopaths, driven by ha­tred.

All of this is, of course, their right. As long as they are open and hon­est about it, peo­ple can make in­formed de­ci­sions. Tak­ing sim­ple statis­tics and pre­sent­ing them as the facts they clearly are is not in­fring­ing on their rights, or be­ing in­tol­er­ant. It’s just re­port­ing truth.

And fi­nally, in re­sponse to the reader call­ing out gay ac­tivists: Yes, I am a gay man. Mar­ried to a gay man. I have the li­cense to prove it. I am also a Chris­tian. My be­liefs are fer­vently held and the foun­da­tion of my life.

I strive to be a cham­pion of love, kind­ness, and char­ity, so my ac­tivism is for fair­ness and equal­ity, be­cause I be­lieve that is Christ’s ex­am­ple. I know there are peo­ple who be­lieve their re­la­tion­ships are more de­serv­ing of recog­ni­tion than oth­ers. What I will never un­der­stand is why they think that.

To­pher Payne is an At­lanta-based play­wright, and the au­thor of the book “Nec­es­sary Lux­u­ries: Notes on a Semi-Fab­u­lous Life.” Find out more at to­pher­payne.com

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