Has Chick Fil-A Stopped Funding Anti-Gay Marriage Groups?

If you can remember all the way back to early August, then you’ll recall that the head of fast food chain Chick fil-A had stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy by publicly stating his stance against same-sex marriage. The eatery came under further scrutiny by some because a non-profit funded by Chick fil-A has reportedly donated a significant amount of money to groups opposed to same-sex marriage. But an LGBT rights group out of Chicago now claims that these donations will cease.

According to this release from The Civil Rights Agenda, Chick fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate wrote a letter to a Chicago alderman who had been hoping to block the chain from opening a store in his neighborhood.

In the letter, the Chick fil-A exec attempts to allay the alderman’s fears about the Chick fil-A-funded WinShape Foundations.

“The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas,” reads an excerpt from the letter.

TCRA claims that Chick fil-A execs have chosen to stop using WinShape money to donate to groups like Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage.

“We are very pleased with this outcome and thank Alderman Moreno for his work on this issue,” said Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda. “I think the most substantive part of this outcome is that Chick-fil-A has ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights. It has taken months of discussion, both with our organization and with the Alderman, for Chick-fil-A to come forward with these concessions and we feel this is a strong step forward for Chick-fil-A and the LGBT community, although it is only a step.”

The group claims that an internal memo has been sent to franchisees to remind them that company will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender.”

We’ve reached out to Chick fil-A for an official comment on this story and will update if they respond.

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  1. dush says:

    But don’t Chick-fil-A and NOM go together?

  2. Marlin says:

    Now they will just make their dontaion history private or do it through another group. The owners have shown what they stand for and they are still the owners.

    “Fool me once…”

    • STXJK says:

      That’s what I was thinking too.

    • Velifer says:

      Yeah, because Chick Fil-A is itself an anti-gay marriage group. Sometimes I prefer corporations to be profit-focused sociopaths, because then they’re not as dangerous as society-focused sociopaths.

  3. benminer says:

    I actually respect them even less less for doing this. If this is something they believe in then why back down because of public opinion? It’s like they got caught and now are saying “sorry mommy I won’t do that anymore”. Regardless of how you stand on the issue does anybody believe they changed their mind about anything?

    • ReverendLoki says:

      It takes a lot for me to respect a company. For me this would just mean that, with a relatively safe expectation that my money is no longer going to murder gay men in Uganda, I can every now and then stop by Chik-fil-a again. It was never about respect or lack of it, just a matter of fact decision about what I want to say and support with my money.

      Keep in mind, the corporation hasn’t changed it’s mind – the corporation doesn’t have a mind to change. It has no consciousness, it has no soul, it has no opinion on religious or political matters. The people running the company, given the benefit of the doubt, do. They are welcome to their opinions, and if they want to take a portion of their pay and donate it, fine, I respect the rights of the individual to do what they want with their money.

      I don’t believe they would try and simply hide where their charitable donations go, either due to legal issues, but also because any attempt to do so will be jumped upon by the public, which will assume that the money is still going to the hate groups at the center of the hub-bub.

      • Kuri says:

        Plus making donations to some charities is just good PR.

      • NotEd says:

        But corporations are people!
        And now you tell me they have no souls.
        So corporations are people with no souls.
        Monsters have no souls.

        Ergo all corporations are monsters.

        or Don “No Soul” Simmons, I’m not sure.
        (Look it up. I’m sure we can wait for you.)

    • Applekid says:

      For anyone to take a stand against gay rights causes me to lose respect for them, but changing one’s mind due to outside pressure instead of seeing the light makes me lose even more respect.

      • ReverendLoki says:

        You do realize that sort of opinion will just encourage such organizations to not change practices due to outside pressure at all, right? Per my other comment, a corporation doesn’t have an opinion, soul or whatever, it just has policies. It can’t change it’s mind, it can only change policies and practices.

    • Worthy says:

      Maybe they learned the error of their ways. I doubt morally though. When I ate their before the controversy the place was always packed. The very few times I’ve gone since then it has been much slower. I have a feeling they realized their view was unpopular and were losing money.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It still believes firmly against gay marriage, but many of the organizations it donated to weren’t just against gay marriage, they sought to completely ban it in a political arena and were hostile to gay people. IMO, CFA is a private company and its leaders can believe what they want and have their opinions. People are free to speak with their money and not buy their products. But when the organizations CFA donated to bordered on hostility and hatred, CFA was no longer supporting a belief against gay marriage, it was supporting the outright hatred of gay people. I think someone paid attention to the distinction. It’s okay to have a differing opinion; it’s not okay to hate people and wish them harm because of it.

    • JReedNet says:

      In some senses they didn’t change their mind, they initially claimed they stayed away from groups with agendas or political goals that were decidedly “anti-gay” such as supporting or encouraging legislation. I think it just came to the forefront that it wasn’t the case, and they’re now correcting it.

      That was one of the reasons I supported them, because they did what they believed in without harming anyone’s attempt to do the opposite. Since I found out it wasn’t the case, I had been less supportive, but still ate there.

  4. TuxthePenguin says:

    Can we get a perma-post that lists all the various political positions (pro-gay-marriage, anti-gun-control, etc) and a list of organizations that donate to organizations for each? I mean, if CFA and this is a viable post, should we do it for all organizations and political persuasions?

    I mean, the only logical argument is that this is a Consumerist post so we consumers can know what the organizations support… so we can vote with our feet.

    • Abradax says:

      In that same list, can we get a list of organizations deemed ok to support?
      I’d hate to give to United Way only to get someone pissed at me because United Way supports something they might be against.

      • TuxthePenguin says:

        For example, United Way does not give to the Boy Scouts of America anymore. I’m an Eagle Scout and that’s important to me. So I don’t give to United Way anymore. I supported them through my firm (I matched employee donations, even thought I know not all of it goes to places I’d like) but when they dropped Boy Scouts, I dropped them. I vote with my feet and wallet. Instead I have a Boy Scout Scholarship program – if any of my employees want to get their sons involved in Boy Scouts, I buy them a gift card to REI to get gear.

        • Marlin says:

          You mean the boy scouts that don’t like gays, covered up for pedophiles, etc… THOSE boy scouts?

          • TuxthePenguin says:

            Yeah, the same Boy Scouts that will accept Scouts who are those Muslim people who have some members will murder gays, excuse murder and allow for the killing of women who are raped. I mean, its their fault, after all, right?

            Look – you disagree with Scouting. I get that. But do you HONESTLY think that nearly any organization actively encourages pedophilia? I mean, except for NAMBLA?

        • Chuft-Captain says:

          And do you offer something similar for children of employees joining other worthwhile youth groups or learning experiences which are not the BSA? If not, that is incredibly unfair to employees who may have issues with the BSA and would give their children some other growth opportunity instead. What about Girl Scout parents?

          • TuxthePenguin says:

            I probably spend more money on Girl Scouts than I do on Boy Scouts. I don’t have the “scholarship” per say, but the one lady I employ with a daughter in Girl Scouts always sells the most in her troop (?) each year. I make sure she does. I love me some Thin Mints.

            But outside of that? Nope. Boy Scouts and that alone (well, also American Heart Association, etc). I’ve decided that if someone wants to support a group that I support, I’ll help them with my own pocketbook. Heck, one of my employees always complains about the “No Gays in Scouting” and I’ve told him – if he wants to start a Scouting for All, I’ll donate to start it. Its my money. I can do with as I please.

          • Marlin says:

            So sending your kids to a group that PROTECTED and COVERED up for pedophiles is a good group to you?

        • TheMansfieldMauler says:

          You are an employer and have employees. Therefore you are an evil person and a 1%er and nothing you say matters here.

          /do I really need to add the s tag? might as well.

      • ReverendLoki says:

        Are you structuring your charitable donations based upon which organizations do good acts that you believe in, or based upon whether or not peoples are likely to be angered by your support of those acts?

        If you feel they are a worthwhile enough organization, then it shouldn’t matter what someone else believes, if you are doing so for what are commonly called “the right reasons”.

        I’m not trying to condemn charitable donations that aren’t “for the right reasons” – making a donation to impress someone is at worst morally neutral in my eyes, and probably morally positive, if less so than a truly altruistic gift. That’s why donation drives offer incentives like tote bags and coffee mugs, and why they through charity golf tournaments and other events, as a little extra incentive for some to give, or perhaps just give more deeply. The money still goes to the same place, regardless of the sentiment it was given under.

        Aaaand I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent, haven’t I?

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I think he meant if he was giving a donation on behalf of someone. During the holidays, I donate to organizations on behalf of other people, and I always choose organizations that are neutral, politically, because I know people would get offended, particularly if my beliefs don’t align with theirs. So I stick to groups that help the homeless and sick kids, because it’s harder for people to get annoyed about feeding the needy.

          • osiris73 says:

            Well, feeding the homeless and helping sick kids is against the current GOP platform. We give gifts of donations to groups that we agree with. Specifically to relatives who disagree with our position. It adds some jolly to our holiday season.

      • Coffee says:

        Seriously…I made a donation to the Humane Society once and a friend gave me shit about it because evidently they’re a horrible group and I should feel bad.

    • fsnuffer says:

      Good Idea. Lets add Pro-Second-Ammendment, Pro-Life, Libertarian, Pro-Planned Parenthood, Pro-Boy Scouts, Anti-Government Regulation, Pro-Illegal Immigration. Will you still consider it to be a logical argument when the Pro/Anti group is one you disagree with? Just sayin

  5. bnceo says:

    It doesn’t matter. The owners who make profits off the restaurant will donate to whoever they want. And that is ok. I bet nobody who is CHIK FIL A IS THE DEVIL won’t bother doing their homework and seeing what organizations are given money by the businesses they use. Or the executives of those businesses.

    • SirWired says:

      Well, actually it’s different. If the owners use the profits to pay for political organizations, the corporation has to pay taxes on that money first. If the corporation pays the money directly, the money is tax free.

      I have no problem with the shareholders donating their share of the profits to whomever they choose. But I do have a problem with corporations supporting causes I oppose directly.

      • bnceo says:

        It is not different. Your $$ still goes to whatever org they want, regardless of the tax filter. I go here cause it’s good food. Simple as that.

      • Abradax says:

        Supporting what you dislike is ok, as lon as the government gets their cut?

        • Kuri says:

          No, what he’s saying is that it’s ok so long as they’re not using the money from the company account, and are using their personal finances

  6. AzCatz07 says:

    If they have, it’s too late anyway. I know I’ll never eat at another one, although I started my boycott long before the issue went viral.

    • bnceo says:

      I suggest you do research on where the $$ you pay for your car goes to. Or where the gas you buy, or that supermarket you visit. Go investigate all their execs and see where that $$ is going to. Do it. Try it. Or too much work for ya?

      • ReverendLoki says:

        It doesn’t matter where the execs donate their money. It’s their money. I respect their rights as individuals to that point. I know several CFA franchise owners, especially in response of recent events, have donated time and money to pro-equality causes.

        Thing is, the execs are just people employed to do a job, and getting paid for it. Consider that somewhere in the CFA hierarchy is a gay male who used his CFA paycheck to travel to a state with a pro-equality stance. I don’t care, it didn’t effect my decision on where to by a chicken sandwich from. Same with the CEO’s money.

      • Azagthoth says:

        Brain… hurt… logic… fail…

      • trencherman says:

        That is a little too much work for me, thanks for asking.

        In some cases where I’ve found out about an evil CEO, I’m bummed out because I like their product. Ignorance is bliss. However, once I find out, I have to make a choice.

        For instance, there’s a man in San Antonio (Dr. James Leininger) who is the major shareholder of a lot of awesome businesses, but he himself is repugnant. I can live without Promised Land Dairy products (although their chocolate milk and egg nog are the best in the word). However, I can’t do my job without KCI’s star product, the VAC.

        I can certainly live without a mediocre chicken sandwich.

  7. BigDragon says:

    It’s terrible that they are abandoning their principles. I’m going eat there less often now.

  8. El_Fez says:

    Congratulations Chick a Fil – you have gone from bigoted pieces of shit to bigoted pieces of shit without the balls to stand by your convictions when public opinion turn against you. Good going.

  9. bsgk says:

    I’ve been boycotting Chick-fil-A ever since they took the lemon pie off the menu.

    I loved that lemon pie.

  10. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    …a Chicago alderman who had been hoping to block the chain from opening a store in his neighborhood…

    Forget jobs and letting people decide for themselves whether to patronize a business, this is MUCH more important to the City of Chicago.