Maybe you’re like me: You read the headlines about some Pittsburgh city officials opposing Chick-fil-A as a sponsor for an upcoming kids’ marathon, and you assume it’s because Spicy Chicken Deluxe Combos aren’t exactly health food. But that’s not the reason Pittsburgh City Council and Pittsburgh Public Schools board have taken a stance against the fast-food chain.
Instead, it’s because of the company founder’s controversial views on homosexuality and the company’s donations to groups that oppose same-sex marriage. According to the Tribune-Review, The Pittsburgh City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing Chick-fil-A’s sponsorship of next year’s Pittsburgh Kids Marathon and Kids Of Steel health program. In a statement, the council wrote: “Its sponsorship sends the wrong message to LGBTQIA+ children and families who face psychological abuse and experience the effects of bullying at disproportionate rates.”
Pittsburgh Public School’s board of directors took its opposition even further, issuing a statement rebuking Chick-fil-A’s sponsorship and prohibiting any school district employee from officially participating in or promoting the event.
But the Kids Marathon organizers say it’s local Chick-fil-A franchisees, not the corporate headquarters, that are funding the race; the marathon CEO tells KDKA those franchisees have all signed non-discrimination agreements. The race’s organizers, P3R, stated: “As an organization, P3R strives to be inclusive of any and all members of the Pittsburgh community, and we have and will continue to be accepting of any individual or family who wants to participate in our events.”
Still, resistance to the sponsorship continues, with a petition circulating online that’s garnered more than 1,200 signers.