After working at Chick-fil-A for nine years, a now former employee says he resigned in protest in August because of the company's anti-gay stance.
"I feel right now that Chick-fil-A is a safe place for people to go in and hate, and they expect to get patted on the back for it, and I don't want to work in that kind of environment," Steve Cammett, 60, of Dunwoody, Ga., told CBS Atlanta on Tuesday. "Chick-fil-A allowed a mindset to continue, especially amongst their customers that seemed to think that Chick-fil-A didn't like homosexuals."
Chick-fil-A donated nearly $2 million to anti-gay organizations in both 2009 and 2010. The company came under fire in July, when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press that the company was "guilty as charged" of supporting anti-gay groups. "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," he said at the time.
The statements led to a boycott and other actions against the fast food restaurant -- and then a backlash against the backlash from conservatives, who sponsored a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in August.
Cammett told CBS Atlanta that on that day, one Chick-fil-A customer approached an employee and was "putting their arms around the person and saying, 'We sure are glad that your company is taking a stand against those perverts.' And this person was gay, and they didn't know it."
The issue is personal for Cammett, who is married to his third wife and whose late sister, Carol, was a lesbian. "I wanted [Chick-fil-A president] Dan Cathy to make a public statement that said that Chick-fil-A, their leadership team, being their leadership and the Cathy family, love all of God's children, including gay and divorced people," Cammett said.
Chick-fil-A did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post. Although a Chicago-based gay rights group claimed in September that Chick-fil-A recently agreed to stop funding anti-gay groups, Cathy said in a statement last week that "Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been."