Cosi UpdateWell, as much as I'd like to believe that it was MY email that made the Cosi corporate big wigs reverse their decision regarding the Family Photo Album exhibit, apparently there was quite a rally outside the New Rochelle location yesterday at noon organized by the Empire State Pride Agenda that might have had a little more influence. Today on their website the Pride Agenda is claiming victory saying:
Cosi's Chief Marketing Officer is also quoted as saying that they realize that they "had done the right thing."
We commend Cosi restaurants for re-evaluating its decision and deciding to adhere to the terms of it signed contract to keep the exhibit up for one month. We thank all of you who contacted Cosi corporate to let them know about your unhappiness with their initial decision and we thank our local partner, The LOFT (the LGBT community center of the lower Hudson Valley) for all the work they did turning out local supporters.
However, this sentiment is slightly different from the email I received from Cosi corporate last night in response to my initial complaint on the subject. They cite what amounts to a technicality as the reason they took the display down in the first place. Here' s what they told me:
Recently, one of Così's stores allowed artwork to be displayed without following its established policy and procedure for approval of such displays. Così allowed the artwork to remain on display for its debut showing Monday evening, but advised the display organizer that it would be removed the following day and could be resubmitted through the proper application process. After an expedited review of the application, a decision was made to permit the artwork to be displayed within Così's guidelines.Hmm. Does anyone else see a discrepancy here? According to the Empire State Pride Agenda, it sounds like the correct contract was in place all along. But I guess it doesn't matter how or why the display was taken down and then put back up, just that it was put back up and will remain there in the New Rochelle Cosi till the end of the month. And operating on the theory that there is no such thing as bad publicity, this display will probably reach more people than if no flap had been made about it in the first place.
Just as the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy is being challenged once again and will likely be repealed, people are speculating as to whether it's the result of years of LGBT activism paying off or the military's current dire straits that will bring about the change. In the end does it matter? A generation from now when gay men and women are allowed to proudly serve their country without fear of dishonorable discharge simply for who they are will they know the reasons that brought about the change? Probably not. All they will know is that they can serve and that's all we really want, isn't it?