Published On: Thu, Nov 1st, 2018

Pittsburgh City Council moves to block Chick-fil-a as sponsor of kids’ marathon

The Pittsburgh City Council is taking aim at Chick-fil-A over the Christian view of family values, marriage and gay marriage; seeking to get them banished as a sponsor from the Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh Kids Marathon.

The marathon is a one-mile run slated for May 2019.

The event is for children and their families participating in the annual DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. It’s affiliated with the Kids of STEEL physical activity and nutrition program.

All nine members of the Pittsburgh City Council have a problem with Chick-fil-A’s sponsorship of the event, signing a letter to pressure marathon organizers to drop the company.

“The leadership of Chick-Fil-A has openly and passionately promulgated hateful beliefs against the LGBTQIA+ community,” the letter reads. “Additionally, the company has financed organizations staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage and non-discrimination laws and other groups that equate ‘homosexual behavior and lifestyle’ with lawlessness and in opposition to the ‘the [sic] foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society.”

Chick-Fil-A cow toy photo/Phroziac via wikimedia commons

The letter claims the company’s “sponsorship of an event designed to encourage healthy living represents a significant setback” for Pittsburgh’s efforts to be a “more progressive and welcoming city,” and that it “sends the wrong message” to LGBT children or families who have experienced bullying.

The city’s school board also plans to vote on a resolution that would forbid formal district participation in the race if Chick-fil-A remains affiliated with it.

Chick-fil-A has “several beliefs […] that are quite discriminatory and are quite inconsistent with the district’s policies regarding discrimination on the basis of gender, race, etc.,” school solicitor Ira Weiss claimed. School board member Terry Kennedy says she opposes the company’s involvement because children “need to feel welcomed” and “inclusive.”

School board member Kevin Carter dissented, however, saying he wanted to see “how this is worded in regards to our participation with corporations that share different political ideologies than we do” because singling out Chick-fil-A could set the district on a slippery slope.

A petition to Pittsburgh Marathon CEO Patrice Matamoros, posted at the left-wing Action Network’s website, calls Chick-fil-A “an openly homophobic and transphobic business,” characterizes its sponsorship as an attempt “to normalize homophobia and transphobia for our children,” and demands the “immediate” retraction of its “unacceptable, damaging, and offensive” partnership with the marathon.

Chick-fil-A is famously operated on the Christian principles of its national leadership, including closing on Sundays, listing “to glorify God” as part of its corporate purpose, and its active charitable arm.

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