McDonald's is an American fast-food chain specializing in hamburgers. It operates more than 30,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries on 6 continents. Although the first McDonald's was opened in California in 1940 by the McDonald brothers, the first franchise under the corporation as it exists today was opened by Ray Kroc in Illinois in 1955. The company is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois.
McDonald's has often been accused of knowingly selling unhealthy food. McDonald's states that health is not only an issue of food but also of a balanced active lifestyle. McDonald's sponsors many events that promote active physical behavior, such as The Olympic Games.; this is why many McDonald's restaurants have a jungle gym for the children to play in and be active. McDonald's also sells salads and water, two healthy food items, breakfast foods such as oatmeal, and several drinks that are artificially flavored to taste like fruit. The "schlockumentary" Super Size Me aimed at proving that McDonald's had no interest in healthy customers whatsoever.
In 1990, McDonald's sued for libel several members of Greenpeace London (an organisation which at the time of the incident was no longer connected with Greenpeace), who had been writing and distributing leaflets criticizing McDonald's. Of the five defendants, three repented due to lack of money for legal costs. The remaining two, Helen Steel and Dave Morris, decided to take the case to court in 1994 with pro bono legal representation and public donations. This became known as the McLibel Trial.
On day 102 in court - March 13, 1995 - McLibel became the longest ever UK libel trial, beating the previous record of 101 days in the Daily Mail vs The Moonies (1982).
On December 11, 1995, it became the longest civil case (as opposed to criminal) in British history.
On November 1, 1996 (court day 292), McLibel became the longest trial of any kind in English history.
On June 19, 1997, Mr. Justice Bell took two hours to read his summary. He ruled that Steel and Morris had not proved the allegations against McDonald's on rainforest destruction, heart disease and cancer, food poisoning, starvation in the Third World and bad working conditions. But they had proved that McDonald's "exploit children" with their advertising, falsely advertise their food as nutritious, risk the health of their most regular, long-term customers, are "culpably responsible" for cruelty to animals, are "strongly antipathetic" to unions and pay their workers low wages.
("Not proved" does not mean that the allegations against McDonald's are not true, just that the Judge felt that the McLibel Two did not bring sufficient evidence to prove the meanings he had attributed to the leaflet.)
The Judge ruled that Steel and Morris had libeled McDonald's, but as they had proved many of the allegations, they would only owe half of the claimed damages: £60,000.
Support for homosexual agenda
In March of 2008, Richard Ellis, McDonald's vice president of communications, joined the board of directors of a pro gay-rights organization, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Ellis states:
I'm thrilled to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce team and ready to get to work. 
A boycott by the AFA ended on October 9th, 2008 when McDonald's chose to take a neutral position on gay issues. However, in 2010, McDonald's once again demonstrated active support for homosexuality as part of their "Come As You Are" campaign, airing a commercial in France which features a young customer talking on the phone to his lover. At the end of the commercial, the young man is revealed to be gay. 
McDonald's outlets outside of the US often have different menu items, and the formulations of some products may vary. For example, McDonald's sells rice in many Asian countries, and McDonald's Australia sells a wider range of 'healthy' foods, such as wraps with poached chicken, and has smaller portion sizes.
McDonalds is an easy way for many people to become employed. Many people who even have college degrees who have a hard time finding a job get a job at a McDonald's. McDonald's creates opportunities for advancement, and there is even a university called "Hamburger University" for aspiring workers. On April 19, 2011, over 50,000 people are employed at local McDonalds' joints.
- Fast Food Nation
- McDonald's Corporate website
- Super Size Me
- The McLibel Trial
- "National gay chamber adds McDonald’s corporation officer to board." Out and About March 13, 2008.
- Erin Roach. "McDonald's gives support to homosexual activists' agenda." Baptist Press April 3, 2008
- "Wal-Mart launches gay-friendly initiative" August 21, 2006