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Jim Henson company severs Chick-Fil-A ties over anti-LGBT policy

the muppets

Last Friday, the company behind the beloved icons Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, and shows such as “The Muppets” and “Fraggle Rock,” made a public statement against Chick-Fil-A’s gay marriage stance.

The Jim Henson company made the following Facebook announcement that they have decided to sever ties with Chick-Fil-A due to the fast food chain’s CEO’s gay marriage stance:

The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors.  Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.  (http://www.glaad.org/)

Previously, the Jim Henson Company provided “Jim Henson Creature Puppets” in Chick-fil-A’s kids’ meals, reportedMichael Stone at the Examiner.

A swelling of public outrage occurred when the fast food restaurant’s CEO made the announcement.

The mayor of Boston even vowed to block Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in the city after the company’s president spoke out publicly against gay marriage, reported the Associated Press.

The fact that Chick-fil-A is a company that espouses Christian values is no secret. The fact that its 1,600 fast-food chicken restaurants across the country are closed on Sundays has long been testament to that.

But the comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage to Baptist Press last week ignited a social media wildfire.

“Guilty as charged,” Cathy said when asked about his company’s support of the traditional family unit as opposed to gay marriage.

“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,” Cathy is quoted as saying.

In a statement to CNN last Wednesday, the company said it would stick by its principles, but it tried to withdraw from the heated social media debate over them.

“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect –regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena,” said a statement from Don Perry, the company’s vice president of corporate public relations.

The Human Rights Campaign, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group, said Wednesday that Cathy’s comments gave consumers a clear choice.

“It’s strange to say, but it’s good to see Chick-fil-A finally admit to their anti-LGBT policies,” Michael Cole-Schwartz, the organization’s director of communications, told CNN. “Now fair-minded consumers can make up their own minds whether they want to support an openly discriminatory company or take their business elsewhere. As the country moves toward inclusion, Chick-fil-A has staked out a decidedly stuck-in-the-past mentality.”

Polling shows increasing support for gay marriage in the United States. A CNN/ORC Poll conducted in late May found 54% of respondents favoring the legal recognition of gay marriage with 42% opposed. The poll had a sampling error of 3%.

*reporting from CNN contributed to this report.

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