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Bert and Ernie appear in a scene from Sesame Street. - Provided courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Muppet's company cancels partnership with Chick-fil-A over same-sex marriage stance

Get more: Celeb Lives
07/24/2012 by Kristina Lopez

The Jim Henson Company, the organization behind The Muppets, announced on its Facebook page recently that it is cutting ties with Chick-fil-A after remarks made by the fast food company's President and Chief Operating Officer about same-sex marriage.

"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," the statement posted on July 20 said. "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."

GLAAD is the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The Jim Henson Company initially partnered with Chick-fil-A to offer a line of toys featuring the likeness of various Creature Shop Muppet characters inside children's meals.

The statement was in response to earlier remarks by the Chick-fil-A Preident and CEO Dan Cathy to the Baptist Press in an article published on July 16.

"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 said. "We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that."

On July 19, the company released a statement about its stance on the issue on the official Facebook page.

"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 statement read. "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."

The company's statement ended with, "Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A."

The statement on the issue got over 72,000 likes and 25,075 responses at press time. The page itself has over 5.2 million likes. Alternatively, the Jim Henson Company's statement received over 11,000 likes and 2,542 responses at press time. The page also has over 34,000 likes.

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