Chick-fil-A will stop donating to (some) anti-LGBTQ+ organizations
Chick-fil-A has been criticized by LGBTQ+ activists for donating to anti-LGBTQ+ causes for years. In 2017, tax documents showed that the fast-food chain continued to donate to these organizations after promising not to. The company has long held a reputation for being anti-LGBTQ+ despite insistence that it has no political agenda. For years, Chick-fil-A has been trying to downplay the company’s anti-LGBTQ+ reputation—and recently announced that they will no longer donate to the anti-LGBTQ+ organizations that they were criticized for donating to in 2017, according to Business Insider.
Chick-fil-A is making a major change to its charitable giving. The company announced that it would “deepen its giving to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger.” A representative for the company confirmed that it will no longer donate to the Salvation Army or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Both organizations have been criticized for being anti-LGBTQ+; the Salvation Army has a long history of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, including referring LGBTQ+ people to conversion therapy and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is a Christian sports ministry that requires strict “sexual purity” and for employees to refrain from “homosexual acts.” Chick-fil-A has said nothing about continuing to donate to the Paul Anderson Youth Home or Focus on the Family, two other organizations it has been criticized for supporting. In 2017, the company donated to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a Georgia-based Christian residential home for boys, teaches that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is “rage against Jesus Christ and His values.” The company also has strong ties to Focus on the Family, a fundamentalist Christian organization that promotes conversion therapy.
In 2017, according to the company’s tax documents, Chick-fil-A donated $1.65 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and $115,000 to the Salvation army.
“Moving forward you will see that the Chick-fil-A Foundation will support the three specific initiatives of homelessness, hunger and education,” a company representative said in a statement to Business Insider. For 2020, the company has committed $9 million each to those initiatives and will be donating $25,000 to a local food bank each time a new Chick-fil-A location opens, as well as expanding partnerships with the education nonprofit Junior Achievement USA and the homeless-youth organization Covenant House International.
GLAAD, an LGBTQ+ rights organization, believes that customers and employees can be cautiously optimistic about Chick-fil-A’s announcement. The company still has room for improvement in terms of equality. “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,” said Drew Anderson, GLAAD’s director of campaigns and rapid response.
Alaina Leary Lavoie
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