Last week, the president of Chick-Fil-A publicly came out with an ant-gay stance saying that his company stood behind the "biblical definition" of the family unit.
And just to show that this was not a random sound bite taken out of context, the company's president, Dan Cathy, then reiterated his stance during an appearance on a popular radio show.
In an effort to mitigate the damage from Cathy's large foot in his mouth, Chick-Fil-A issued a statement via Facebook saying that it would leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government, reports the Huffington Post. If you were Chick-Fil-A's general counsel, is this the action you would have advised to address the inevitable fallout?
Unlike most companies, Chick-Fil-A is one that openly flaunts its religious origins. The company says it is built on biblical principles and adheres to it with seemingly business-killing decisions like closing on Sundays.
So as general counsel for the company, you have to be careful with your response to Dan Cathy's statements. For example, you cannot completely denounce him given his religious reasoning and yet you don't want to irritate a large swath of customers.
In their statement on Facebook, the company straddled the middle fairly effectively. They reiterated that they were "family-led" and "biblically-based." Yet, the company also said it treats every customer with honor and respect regardless of sexual orientation.
As general counsel, one probably wishes they could hit the rewind button every so often. However, Chick-Fil-A's president came out with the anti-gay remarks and there was no taking it back. A Facebook response was made, and we'll just have to wait and see how effective a response it was
- Chick-Fil-A goes public with opposition to gay marriage (The Associated Press)
- Developments in Same-Sex Marriage Law (FindLaw)
- Black Man Settles with Steakhouse Over N-Word Slur on Receipt (FindLaw's In House Answers)