Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is looking to heal the divisions in US society, and he’s starting with Chick-fil-A.
The gay Democratic challenger, who is mayor of South Bend, Indiana, spoke out about the fast food chicken chain in an interview with New York’s Power 105.1 on Tuesday (March 26).
The chain has long funded groups that lobby against LGBT+ rights, with recent accounts revealing it gave $1.8 million to anti-LGBT causes in 2017 alone.
However, Buttigieg wants to work towards a world where gay people can eat chicken guilt-free.
Gay Democratic Pete Buttigieg says he could help heal Chick-fil-A divide
He said: “I do not approve of their politics, but I kind of approve of their chicken.
“Maybe if nothing else, I can build that bridge. Maybe I’ll become in a position to broker that peace deal.”
He added: “We’ve got to find a way to use our identities to reach other people.
“When you’re conscious of your identity, either it turns into all these ways we separate ourselves from each other, and turns into one big ‘you don’t know me,’ or we can say, ‘I’ve got this experience, you’ve got that experience, what can we talk about that brings us together?’
“I have no clue what it’s like to walk in the shoes of so many other people, but I can talk about some of the pieces of what I carry with me, and see if it rhymes with their life experience.
“We’ve got back to that, before this current presidency completely tears us apart.”
Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBT history
In 2012, it emerged that Chick-fil-A had donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups, including the Family Research Council, ‘gay cure’ group Exodus International and Focus on the Family.
CEO Dan Cathy later confirmed the company was opposed to marriage equality and “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.”
Cathy told Baptist Press at the time: “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. We give God thanks for that.”
The company later claimed it would “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena,” however its donations to anti-LGBT causes have persisted.
The company was recently blocked from opening a new location at San Antonio International Airport due to the concerns.