Activists in Pittsburgh, PA, have launched an online petition to push the Pittsburgh Kids Marathon to lose Chick-fil-A as a corporate partner.
Earlier this week, the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon (P3R) team celebrated its partnership with the controversial fast-food joint for the Kids Marathon and Kids of STEEL Pittsburgh, a regional wellness program for youth.
But local LGBTQ advocates immediately took issue with the choice of sponsor. The petition, addressed directly to P3R CEO Patrice Matamoros, cites Chick-fil-A's history as an "openly homophobic and transphobic business" as the reasoning:
The Pittsburgh Marathon is an important community asset that brings people from all over the world to our region. It reflects the commitment to health and strength and connection. And it has historically been supportive of the LGBTQ community. The Pittsburgh Marathon has the discretion to NOT partner with such businesses, especially on projects working with Pittsburgh's youth. We must reject attempts to normalize homophobia and transphobia for our children.
So far, the petition has amassed some 268 signatures of the required 400.
In response to the controversy surrounding the marathon's choice to partner with Chick-fil-A, P3R rep Allison Corbett told the Pittsburgh City Paper that the organization "strives to be inclusive of any and all members of the Pittsburgh community": "P3R is deeply passionate about and committed to promoting a love of running, health, and fitness in the Pittsburgh region. Our intent with this partnership, along with all of our partnerships, is to further expand all of our events and programming... This partnership with Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh will help us ensure even more children in southwestern Pennsylvania can learn and share in our love of running."