“The Level Ground Festival is a collaboration between artists and attendees at the intersections of culture, spirituality, academia and community engagement.”
This festival series began in 2013 as a student-run film festival. In the two years since its onset, Level Ground has hosted 25 days of festival programming in six cities around the U.S. It is billed as an educational conference, art exhibit and film festival that has as its foundation, interactive storytelling.
This isn’t the first time Chick-fil-A has shown support for an LGBT event. Earlier in the year, the restaurant chain donated food to a gay pride parade in Iowa.
In 2012, CEO Dan Cathy was quoted as saying he was “guilty as charged” for supporting traditional marriage. Following that announcement, which resulted in a lot of media backlash, Cathy shifted his position, saying he had made a mistake. “Every leader goes through different phases of maturity, growth and development and it helps by (recognizing) the mistakes that you make,” Cathy said. “And you learn from those mistakes. If not, you’re just a fool. I’m thankful that I lived through it and I learned a lot from it.”
But now, following the news of Chick-fil-A’s sponsorship of the film festival, the controversy has been reawakened. Some Christians are demanding an explanation from the restaurant chain. “Shame on you, Dan Cathy,” Christian writer, Geoffrey Grider, wrote in an article. “Christian Americans stood by you and Chick-fil-A every step of the way back in 2012 when you were persecuted for taking a stand for Jesus Christ. But we will not stand with you on this. No sir. One of my favorite places to get lunch is at one of your restaurants, but that can and will change.”
The festival will be held in Pasadena, CA and as the November 12 date approaches, a petition has begun circulating around the Internet. The petition calls for Chick-fil-A to issue a response as to its sponsorship of the festival, charging its sponsorship directly contradicts the chain’s stance (ever changing as it may be) on gay marriage.