Chick-fil-A has previously defended its donations as a “higher calling,” but now, in a new press release, the popular fast food chain has announced it will no longer give money to two anti-LGBTQ organizations: the Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
According to Business Insider, the company stated that it would “deepen its giving to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness, and hunger.”
“We made multiyear commitments to both organizations, and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018,” a Chick-fil-A representative said in a statement. “Moving forward you will see that the Chick-fil-A Foundation will support the three specific initiatives of homelessness, hunger, and education.”
But before you celebrate by ordering a chicken sandwich with a side of waffle fries, know that Chick-fil-A chairman and CEO made the same promise back in 2011.
“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,” said Drew Anderson, GLAAD’s Director of Campaigns and Rapid Response, in a new 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,” Anderson continued. “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.”
Cathy famously spoke out against marriage equality in 2012 and admitted that he backed anti-marriage equality initiatives. According to the Christian-owned company’s tax filings, Chick-fil-A gave $1.8 million in 2017 to three groups with anti-LGBTQ records, contradicting previous claims from execs that they would decrease problematic donations.
A number of airports and universities in recent years have fought to ban the eatery because of the company’s anti-LGBTQ donations and values. LGBTQ advocates and allies have also protested Chick-fil-A’s first international locations in Canada and England.
Regarding the donation news, Chick-fil-A President and COO Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow: “There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are. There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
Chick-fil-A is set to become the third-largest fast food chain in the U.S., behind only Starbucks and McDonald’s.