In a shocking reversal, the leader of Campus Pride has "come out" as a friend and supporter of Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy.
Shane L. Windmeyer made the announcement in an op-ed that's well worth reading in full. "For many this news of friendship might be shocking," he admitted.
After all, I am an out, 40-year-old gay man...I am also the founder and executive director of Campus Pride [which] advanced a national campaign against Chick-fil-A for the millions of dollars it donated to anti-LGBT organizations...I have spent quite some time being angry at and deeply distrustful of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A. If he had his way, my husband of 18 years and I would never be legally married.
So what brought about Windemeyer's "shocking" reversal? Dialogue.
In the heat of the Chick-fil-A controversy of 2012, Dan Cathy called Windmeyer seeking "understanding." They talked on the phone many times, sharing their views.
Eventually Dan Cathy invited Windmeyer to New Year's Eve at the Chick-fil-A Bowl. "This was an event that Campus Pride and others had planned to protest," writes Windmeyer, who salutes Dan Cathy's courage in inviting him and facing "the ire of his conservative base...by being seen or photographed with an LGBT activist."
Last week Dan Cathy shared his 990 tax documents with Windmeyer. To the latter's surprise, Chick-fil-A had stopped funding anti-gay marriage groups way back in 2011 – before the controversy erupted in 2012.
Campus Pride, the group Windmeyer heads, has also now reversed course completely and ended their anti-Chick-fil-A campaign.