Waffle Fries With A Side Of Hate: Chick-Fil-A Eyes West Michigan

By Crystal A. Proxmire

GRAND RAPIDS - The notoriously hateful Chick-fil-A chain of fast food restaurants is looking to move into West Michigan as early as 2015 according to published reports by the Grand Rapids Press. The move has some people salivating at the thought of southern fatty fast foods, but others are foaming at the mouth.

"I know they have some damn good waffle fries, but nobody wants waffle fries with a side of hate," said Brad Gorman who organized a petition on http://www.change.org called "Chick-fil-A No Way, Stay the Cluck Away from West Michigan."

The petition explains Gorman's position:

"Residents of West Michigan value diversity and care about the inclusion of our gay and lesbian residents. We welcome businesses to our communities that have a good reputation and solid values.

"But anti-gay businesses like Chick-fil-A have NO PLACE in West Michigan - no matter how delicious their waffle fries may be. Chick-fil-A has donated millions of dollars to organizations that undermine equality for gays and lesbians right here in our community. This type of discrimination has no place in our towns.

"The cities of Boston and Chicago, as well as college towns across the U.S. have asked Chick-fil-A to STAY AWAY and West Michigan needs to do the same.

"Tell the economic development organizations and elected officials: If you value diversity West Michigan, stand up for equality and sign this petition to say NO WAY to Chick-fil-A." The petition also includes a sample note to the Chamber of Commerce and to Grand Rapids Mayor George Hartwell. Hartwell was on vacation and unavailable for comment at time of printing.

City Attorney Catherine Mish responded to inquiries, stating, "To the best of my knowledge, the City has not been contacted by Chik-Fil-A regarding the possibility that the company might wish to open a location within the City of Grand Rapids. Although we have read about this possibility in the media, we have no official indication from Chik-Fil-A that this is actually in the company's plans. Likewise, the city has not received any official complaints regarding the possibility of Chik-Fil-A opening a location within the City.

"The City of Grand Rapids is a business-friendly community and welcomes new businesses that strengthen the local tax base, through the payment of real and personal property taxes and through providing jobs to local residents who in turn pay local income taxes. That being said, the City of Grand Rapids is also strongly committed to the values of equal treatment under the law for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation. The city will of course ensure that local ordinance provisions are enforced."

Chick-fil-A made headlines last year after the company President Dan Cathy spoke against gay marriage based on "Biblical principles," sparking a boycott of the chain. In April a senior manager for the company, Mark Conklin, spoke at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, telling students "Biblical principles just make great business principles," according to MLive. The chain is known for closing on Sundays so that employees can attend church.

Gorman, 32, started the petition, "because people in West Michigan value diversity and care about the inclusion of our gay and lesbian residents," he said. He complains of the positive news coverage the move is generating. "Grand Rapids news outlets have missed the mark on this. They are celebrating a new business that works to fund discrimination against residents of our communities. This shows that our region - and our media outlets - have a long way to go."

Gorman has been active in the fight for LGBT equality by creating G2H2 gay socials in West Michigan, supporting the OutCenter in Benton Harbor, serving as Whirlpool PRIDE Lead, and helping with the first PRIDE float in the Blossomtime Parade.

At press time, the petition had 286 signatures. Find the petition online at http://www.change.org/petitions/chick-fil-a-no-way-stay-the-cluck-away-from-west-michigan#.

MI Marriage Trial

Michigan Same Sex Couples Demand Respect And Equal Treatment

Michigan Leaders React To Feds Recognition Of Marriages

MI Marriage: Schuette Asks For Full Appeals Court Review

The Stay Delayed Allows 315 Couples To Wed In State

Gay Marriage Defines Schuette's Reelection Campaign

Snyder Says Schuette Going Against Trend

Sixth Circuit Continues Stay

Michigan Marriage Ban Struck Down

Michigan Makes History With First Marriages

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Aappeal

Pictures from Ingham County - Getting Married

Pictures from Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 1

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's office - Part 2

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 3

Pictures from Washtenaw County

White Nationalist Group Files Brief Supporting AG's Appeal In Marriage Ruling

Discredited Witness Part Of Right-Wing Cabal

Schauer Celebrates Overturn Of Michigan Marriage Ban

Equality Michigan Circulating Petition to Drop Appeal

Why Are Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette Wasting Michigan Taxpayer Dollars On A Costly Appeal?

Michigan Marriage Ban Co-Author Goes 'Moral'

BTL's Wedding Expo: Like Pride in April

Snyder Says Marriages Invalid

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Appeal

Request To Remove Stay Based On Process And Substance

Schuette Lies To Satisfy Political Base

DOCUMENTS: The decision, the stay, and more

BREAKING: Holder Asked To Recognize Michigan Marriages

Michigan Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

BREAKING: Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals Issues Temporary Stay On Michigan Case

BREAKING: Same-Sex Couples Across Michigan Get Hitched

BREAKING: Judge Friedman Declares Michigan's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Judge Could Rule Late Today In Mich. Marriage Ban

Michigan Marriage Trial: And Now We Wait

Editor's Viewpoint: Our Long Journey To Justice

Federal Marriage Case Decisions Outside Michigan In Circuit Court of Appeals

Peers Distance Themselves As Regnerus Takes The Stand

Marriage Supporters, Protestors Brave Cold At Courthouse

Highlights From Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Hearing

Brown Says Schuette Instructed Clerks To Defy Court

Michigan Marriage Equality Trial Begins Second Week

Marriage Equality Trial Opens : Science v. Fear

Michigan Marriage Center Prepares State For The Possibility!

Michigan Marriage Case Begins

A Trial Full of Experts: Incredible and Not So Credible, In Hazel Park Case

like us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on google+