Faith

Chick-fil-A Helps Kids by Partnering with This Marathon; LGBT Activists Don’t Like That

Aggressive blogger says chain 'works to eradicate our identities' even as eatery focuses on good works

Restaurant chain Chick-fil-A is facing some pushback for its partnership with the Pittsburgh Marathon. (Runners are shown above on right.)

And unfortunately,  so is the marathon itself.

Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon Inc. (P3R) was thrilled to announce its new three-year partnership with Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh late last month and “celebrated with a family-oriented event” on October 2,” as Fox News reported.

Children posed for photos with Chick-fil-A’s cow mascot dressed in running clothes, and had an all-around good time.

“We’re grateful to Chick-fil-A for their support and are thrilled they share our commitment to inspiring the next generation of runners throughout the Pittsburgh region,” Troy Schooley, P3R senior vice president, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh is now the title partner of the Pittsburgh kids’ marathon and serves as a presenting partner for Kids of STEEL, a health and activities program for children in southwestern Pennsylvania, noted Fox News.

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“Last night we celebrated our expanded partnership w/ @ChickfilA Pittsburgh!” posted the marathon’s Twitter account.

“The cow came dressed in running gear and kids enjoyed free giveaways! Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh will serve as the new title partner of the Kids Marathon, as well as the presenting partner of @KidsofSteelPGH.”

Chick-fil-A is known for founder Truett Cathy’s strong Christian beliefs, and store operators are encouraged by the company to have “a positive impact in the local community,” according to Fox News.

But there’s a problem: The partnership was not welcome news to LGBT activists.

“Oh, no no, [Pittsburgh Marathon] has brought [Chick-fil-A] on as a sponsor of their youth races,” Sue Kerr, founder and editor of the Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents blog, said on Twitter.

“[LGBTQ] youth & youth from non-Christian faiths deserve better. This is a divisive, hurtful choice.”

“Let’s start with the most obvious reason that partnership is both hurtful and harmful,” Kerr wrote on her blog.

“Chick-fil-A is actively and aggressively anti-LGBTQ. After being called out on these ‘family values,’ they pretended to stay out of issues like marriage equality as a corporation. But that was a sham.”

She added, “You can’t create an event that is safe and affirming of us, especially our young people, if you take money from a company that works to eradicate our identities and our peace of mind. Children cannot run under the banner of a company that believes their sexual orientation and gender identity is something that can be cured or healed.”

She also said, “And then, of course, we have the warped views of human sexuality … which play a significant role in perpetuating rape culture. We don’t need our marathon to be a breeding ground for young people to absorb these horrible lessons about their own sexuality and their respect for others.”

Related: Kindness from a Chick-fil-A Clerk Will Never Be Forgotten

Kerr and others have started a petition demanding that P3R end its partnership with Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh.

Nearly 500 signatories have been collected for the online petition, said Fox News.

In response, P3R said in a tweet that it “strives to be inclusive of any and all members of the Pittsburgh community” and promised to continue to be accepting “of any individual or family who wants to participate in our events.”

The group added, “Our intent with this partnership, along with all of our partnerships, is to further expand all of our events and programming … This partnership with Chick-fil-A will help us ensure even more children in southwestern Pennsylvania can learn and share in our love of running.”

See a nice move by Chick-fil-A in the video below.

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