Chick-fil-A will cease donating money to two anti-LGBTQ Christian charities, the fast food chain has announced.
The decision comes after the Chick-fil-A Foundation was revealed to have donated millions to organizations with anti-LGBTQ histories. Chick-fil-A had previously refused to stop donating to anti-LGBTQ groups, calling it part of a “higher calling.”
But the fried chicken purveyor now says it will stop donating money to the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“We made multi-year commitments to both organisations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018,” a spokeswoman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
She added that Chick-fil-A would instead focus donations on “education, homelessness and hunger.”
LGBTQ media organization GLAAD offered a skeptical response to the announcement, noting Chick-fil-A’s ties to anti-LGBTQ organizations beyond the company’s Foundation donations.
“If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families,” Drew Anderson, GLAAD’s director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement. “Chick-Fil-A investors, employees, and customers can greet today’s announcement with cautious optimism, but should remember that similar press statements were previously proven to be empty.”
He added: “In addition to refraining from financially supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations, Chick-Fil-A still lacks policies to ensure safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees and should unequivocally speak out against the anti-LGBTQ reputation that their brand represents.”
Earlier this year Chick-fil-A was found to have donated $2 million to anti-LGBTQ organizations in 2017, including $150,000 to the Salvation Army, which has long been at odds with LGBTQ rights, including saying they don’t discriminate against hiring LGBTQ people while also fighting against laws that would prevent them from discriminating against LGBTQ people.
Chick-fil-A also donated $1.6 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a religious organization that requires its members to adhere to a “sexual purity” policy that outlaws “homosexual acts.”
The fast food chain has gained a reputation for being anti-LGBTQ, particularly given its CEO Dan Cathy’s views on homosexuality — Cathy previously said that Chick-fil-A supports “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
Chick-fil-A has increasingly made headlines due to protests against its corporate donations and support of anti-LGBTQ organizations and actions.
Protests from LGBTQ activists forced the first Chick-fil-A in the United Kingdom to close, while a number of places in the United States have either rejected new Chick-fil-As from being built, or refused offers of free food from the restaurant due to its perceived anti-LGBTQ animus.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!