Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is under fire for a poorly timed tweet about eating a Chick-Fil-A, apparently failing to realize that it’s Pride Month and the fast-food chicken chain has been associated with anti-gay causes in the past.
As Yahoo News reports, Saturday’s tweet was at once innocuous and intended to promote a new Twitter feature. Dorsey tweeted that he had used the social media app’s new “Cash” functionality to pay for his supper without having to use either a credit card or paper money.
Unfortunately, Dorsey’s timing couldn’t have been worse. June is Pride Month, when the LGBTQ community celebrates itself and raises awareness of issues within the community. June was chosen for the month-long event because of the Stonewall Riots, considered by many to be the beginning of the gay rights movement in the United States, which occurred in June 1969.
Chick-Fil-A is owned by a conservative, evangelical Christian family, the Cathy family. In addition to closing the restaurants on Sundays (and Thanksgiving and Christmas), the family has also been steeped in controversy regarding its anti-LGBTQ stance.
For example, as the Christian Post reported in 2012, CEO Dan Cathy made anti-LGBTQ statements to a radio program.
“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”
Similarly, as Forbes reported in that same year, the company has donated millions to various institutions, some of which, such as the WinShape Foundation and the Family Research Council, have sought to advance anti-LGBTQ legislation.
Things came to a head on August 1, 2012, when a nationwide Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day was launched to counter-protest boycotts against the chain. By December, the chain had stopped “donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights,” as Huffington Post reported at the time.
Years on, the company still leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the LGBTQ community, as they were quick to point out to Dorsey.
Dorsey, for his part, seems to have been willing to take his lumps.
As is the case with almost all of these things, the backlash prompted a backlash to the backlash, with some Twitter users coming to the company’s defense, and others debating whether or not a chicken sandwich is the appropriate metaphor for the debate over marriage equality.