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Chick-fil-A or New Hampshire Gay Pride? A local partnership raises hackles

Posted by Jim Lopata  August 10, 2012 12:15 PM

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New Hampshire Pride organizers reached an agreement to have a Nashua Chick-fil-A franchise sponsor its festival this Saturday, August 11. Now, local chapters of LGBT activist groups Join the Impact and GetEQUAL say they are pulling out of participating in the event.

When a local Chick-fil-A supports a Gay Pride festival, what is a gay rights supporter to do?

Eat at the restaurant?

Boycott the Pride?

Anthony Piccola, manager of the Pheasant Lane Mall Chick-fil-A in Nashua, NH, decided to cut through the national noise surrounding his company's president's opposition to marriage equality for same-sex couples. His Chick-fil-A agreed to sponsor the New Hampshire Pride festival, which is to be held this Saturday, August 11 at Veterans Memorial Park Manchester.

Good for Piccola and his Chick-fil-A!

The whole, heart-warming story can be read here at the Nashua Patch, including how organizers for New Hampshire Pride ended up having lunch with the store manager and his "gay marketing director." They apparently all hit it off, and a deal was struck.

Good for New Hampshire Pride!

Then, yesterday, we received a press release from GetEQUAL Massachusetts and Join the Impact Massachusetts, two prominent LGBT and queer activist groups, who declared that they would sit out New Hampshire Pride this year because of the local Chick-fil-A's participation. Their reasoning? The following comes from their press release:

Despite the Nashua franchisee’s declaration of being welcoming to the gay community, his restaurant -- like all Chick-fil-A restaurants -- gives 15% gross + 50% net profits back to the Atlanta-based parent company, from which Chick-fil-A is free to donate to whomever they want. The $50 booth fee for NH Pride is a paltry price for the local Chick-fil-A to pay in order to market a product, in the hopes of gaining new fans who will produce more profits -- profits which will end up supporting anti-gay groups working against the interests of the very people and their loved ones NH Pride is celebrating. The Chick-fil-A story for the LGBTQ community has always been one about a company specifically supporting efforts that harm our community, not about a private citizen’s personal opinions.

Not to be outdone, New Hampshire Pride released a video statement entitled "New Hampshire Pride Will Not Be Bullied," which can be seen here, standing by their decision to include the Nashua Chick-fil-A franchise in the festival.

So the 50 dollar question is, where do you stand?

Would you go to New Hampshire Pride and support Manager Piccola and his Chick-fil-A's attempt to cut through the controversy or boycott the whole event?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author: Boston Spirit Magazine’s daily blog brings you all of the information you need on New England’s LGBT community. In addition to highlighting local and national LGBT news, we will also highlight local leaders from the worlds of business, politics, fashion and entertainment and keep you up-to-date on all the latest events and parties, hot spots for travel, shopping, dining, and more!
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