Two UMD favorites, Jim Henson and Chick-fil-A, duke it out over gay rights

Just outside the Stamp Student Union, students can often be seen eating a Chick-fil-A sandwich and milling around the famous Jim Henson statue.

But while these two Stamp institutions co-exist harmoniously on the campus, a battle is brewing between the national companies.

In a statement released on Facebook last Friday, The Jim Henson Company — created by University of Maryland graduate and puppeteer Jim Henson — announced it does not wish to partner with Chick-fil-A on any future endeavors.

This is in response to comments made by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy in an interview with the Biblical Reporter which was released July 16th.

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy stated in the interview with the Biblical Recorder.

The Jim Henson Company said current CEO Lisa Henson “is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage.” The company has now donated all payments from Chick-fil-A to GLAAD, The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

According to Business Insider, Chick-fil-A was giving Muppet toys with kid’s meals until a recent “voluntary recall,” which came after the Jim Henson Company posted its statement on Facebook. The fast food chain says the decision was made for safety reasons because children were getting their fingers stuck in the small toys.

In response to the recent media attention, Chick-fil-A has also released its own statement on Facebook, saying the company does not wish to take a political stance on same-sex marriage.

“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,” the chain says.

According to Kermit on the Muppet Wikipedia chicken page, “You have to treat the chickens pretty well because they’ve got a very tough union.”

— Teddy Amenabar is a staff writer for The Diamondback


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