About a dozen protestors from local gay rights groups staged a "kiss-in" featuring same-sex couples kissing as part of a protest of Chick-Fil-A in the Burlington Mall this Friday evening.
Members of the groups Join the Impact MA and GetEQUAL MA organized and participated in the protest, which came in response to the recent controversy that began after Chick-Fil-A and supports a Biblical definition of marriage.
According to the groups, Cathy's statement was not the trigger of the protest. Instead, they say Chick-Fil-A has donated over $5 million towards anti-gay groups and they wanted to "inform customers where their money is going."
“This protest is about more than just how the CEO of Chick-Fil-A feels about marriage,” said Sasha Kaufmann, a member of GetEQUAL MA and board member of Join the Impact MA, in the release. “Over the past 10 years Chick-Fil-A has donated over $5 million dollars to organizations that fund hate groups like the Family Research Council, which lobbied Congress not to condemn the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda that would put LGBT Ugandans in jeopardy of the death penalty, in addition to groups that try to turn gay people straight through conversion therapy.”
During the protest same-sex partners kissed each other in front of the Chick-Fil-A in the food court of mall. Members also wore “human billboards” with slogans such as "Homophobia Funded Here."
“We are coming out to educate people on how their purchasing power is aiding and abetting hate and violence,” said James Croft of Join the Impact MA. “While each Chick-Fil-A restaurant has independent owners, the company requires every restaurant to give 15% of the restaurant's sales plus 50% of the pre-tax profit to the parent company. Every restaurant and their customers bear some responsibility for discriminatory donations and the harm they cause the LGBTQ community worldwide.”
After the kiss-in, the activists marched through the mall calling for end of homophobia and of Chick-Fil-A.
The group received a good response from customers in the mall, many of whom cheered at the end of the protest. However, the size of the demonstration paled in comparison to the turn-out on Wednesday when ." That action was started by conservative Mike Huckabee and was in support of the restaurant's right to express its views. Many also came out to support the business after Boston Mayor Thomas Menino told the Boston Herald last Thursday that he doesn't want a business in the city "that discriminates against a population."
Check out our video of the protest on the right of this article. Unfortunately, due to technical problems we don't have audio from the protest, but we do have an interview with one of the group members.
The controversy began, as reported on Huffington Post and , when Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy stated the restaurant business holds to traditional values in regards to homosexuality.
"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives," Cathy was quoted as saying. "We give God thanks for that ... we know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."