Gays plan protest of Chick-fil-A event in Atlanta

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imageSome Atlanta LGBT activists, stuffed full with the homegrown homophobia of Chick-fil-A, are aiming to show the fast-food giant their indigestion with a little grassroots activism on May 6.

The Queer Justice League announced plans Wednesday for a three-hour “equality action” on May 6 during the Chick-fil-A Leadercast Voices of Change conference. The Chick-fil-A event takes place at the Georgia World Congress Center and will be broadcast to hundreds of venues across the U.S.

QJL hopes to urge the Atlanta-based company to adopt workplace equality measures for its employees. The company’s nondiscrimination policy covers sexual orientation but only in states with laws requiring them to do; Georgia has no such workplace protections for LGBT employees. The company also offers domestic partner benefits in places where it’s mandated by law.

“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,” QJL’s Art Izzard writes in publicly-distributed notes about a planning meeting the group held Tuesday.

imageQJL will be joined at the May 6 event by GetEQUAL Georgia, which has chapters planning protests at some locations where the Chick-fil-A event is broadcast.

Izzard says QJL is also considering a letter-writing campaign targeting conference speakers, which include Coca-Cola Chair Muhtar Kent and Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy. Coca-Cola is one of a handful of Atlanta-based companies that routinely notches a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index, a report from the Human Rights Campaign that grades companies on their approach to LGBT employees and customers.

Cathy (photo) and Chick-fil-A have been criticized for months over the company’s $1.1 million in donations to anti-gay groups, opposition to same-sex marriage by its own foundation, and its ties to groups that oppose marriage equality. Cathy has stumbled in the company’s response to the criticism, saying the company has “no agenda against anyone” despite clear evidence that Chick-fil-A rejects same-sex couples.

A similar street-side protest by LGBT activists of Target and Best Buy stores in Little Five Points last September drew just a handful of supporters. The event was organized by Georgia Equality and HRC Atlanta members.


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