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|Local gay activists plan protest of Chick-fil-A|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|April 29, 2011 00:00|
Atlanta LGBT activists plan to cook up an old-fashioned protest at Chick-fil-A’s Leadercast Conference coming to the Georgia World Congress Center on May 6. Protesters plan to urge the Christian-based company to implement a workplace equality policy for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.
Chick-fil-A has come under attack for its stance against gay marriage and donations to anti-gay institutions like Focus on the Family.
GetEQUAL GA and Atlanta’s Queer Justice League are joining forces to organize the protest at the World Congress Center. It will include protesters dressed in chicken costumes and sandwich boards — mocking the iconic chicken restaurant’s mascots — as well as passing out flyers to attendees noting that workplace equality is important for all major corporations.
Coca-Cola CEO and board chair Muhtar Kent is slated to be one of the Leadercast’s “Voices of Service” speakers. Paul Schappaugh of GetEQUAL GA said he plans to write Kent a letter informing him that Coca-Cola’s stance on equality for all employees clashes with Chick-fil-A’s philosophy.
“Coca-Cola has gotten a 100 percent rating [from the HRC Corporate Equality Index] and is very friendly to our community. When their CEO chooses to speak and headline with a company that is against us, it is tarnishing Coca-Cola’s reputation,” Schappaugh said.
Delta Air Lines, also a gay-friendly company that ranks high with HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, is a sponsor of the Leadercast event and Schappaugh said a letter will be sent to company officials pointing out the disparities between Delta and Chick-fil-A over equality for LGBT employees.
Currently Chick-fil-A writes non-discrimination clauses into the franchisee agreements in states where they are required by law. Where it isn’t required, they don’t, said Art Izzard of the Queer Justice League.
“We feel if Chick-fil-A really wants to ‘talk the talk’ for leadership and change they should ‘walk the walk’ and adopt a corporate policy that protects all their employees from discrimination regardless of the legal requirements of a specific jurisdiction,” Izzard said.
GetEQUAL, a national direct-action group, is also planning national protests of Chick-fil-A on May 6, including supporting student organizations trying to get the fast-food chain kicked off campuses for its anti-gay support, Schappaugh said.
“Through action we can create change,” he said.
Top photo: GetEqual GA and the Atlanta Queer Justice League plan to protest at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast Conference on May 6, including having protesters dressed in cow costumes to mock the fast-food chain’s iconic mascots. (via Facebook)
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