The Next Time You Crave Chicken, Remember That Chick-fil-A Is Still Very Much Anti-Gay
In September 2012, after years of publicly opposing same-sex marriage and donating millions to anti-LGBTQ groups, Chick-fil-A — the Christian-founded fast-food chain known for their chicken sandwiches and billboards of half-literate cows encouraging folks to “EAT MOR CHIKIN” — said that it had “ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights.” Yeah, except they haven’t, and Chick-fil-A anti-LGBTQ donations have continued.
Let’s look back at Chick-fil-A anti-LGBTQ donations
According to ThinkProgress, the Chick-fil-A Foundation’s IRS filings from 2015 revealed hundreds of thousands in donations to anti-LGBTQ groups. The company gave $1 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a religious organization with “a strict ‘sexual purity’ policy, prohibiting any homosexual acts.”
Chick-fil-A also donated $200,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a Georgia-based group that runs a “Christian residential home for troubled youth.” The organization believes the “sexual, physical and mental abuse of children” resulted in “the explosion of homosexuality in the last century.”
The fast food chain also gave $130,000 to the Salvation Army, a religious international charity which has long opposed same-sex marriage, allegedly practiced anti-LGBTQ housing discrimination and supports religious exemptions from laws forbidding anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
While these organizations may not be as focused on demonizing anti-LGBTQ people as groups like Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, their dissemination of anti-LGBTQ ideas still harms the community.
Most recently, though, ThinkProgress has uncovered new tax returns indicating that Chick-fil-A anti-LGBTQ donations in 2017 equalled nearly $2 million! Donations to the three organizations mentioned above — Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Paul Anderson Youth Home and Salvation Army — were actually up from the previous year.
Also, Chick-fil-A is one of very few companies in operation today that still refuses to protect LGBTQ employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in its employment non-discrimination policy. The company also received a big fat zero from the Human Rights Campaign in its annual buyers guide.
(For what it’s worth, Chick-fil-A reportedly told ThinkProgress that 2017 was the last year it would be donating to the Paul Anderson Youth Home: “In 2017, a decision was made by the Chick-fil-A Foundation to no longer donate to the group after a blog post from 2010 surfaced that does not meet Chick-fil-A’s commitment to creating a welcoming environment to all,” the company says.)
A history of Chick-fil-A anti-LGBTQ behavior
From 2003 to 2008, Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm (the WinShape Foundation) donated more than $1.1 million to anti-LGBT groups. In 2009 they about doubled that amount to $2 million. During that time, they donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBTQ groups (including ones that want to criminalize and deport gay “pedophiles”).
In 2012, after Chick-fil-A executives promised to stop supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations, the company’s now-deceased founder S. Truett Cathy continued to show his support to anti-LGBTQ groups and later stated that the company had never agreed to end its anti-LGBTQ funding at all.
In 2012, the children’s educational TV show Sesame Street stopped offering their toys in Chick-fil-A’s children’s meals because of the company’s anti-LGBTQ politics. Sesame Street ended up donating all their related profits to the LGBTQ media watchdog group GLAAD.
What do you think of this long history of Chick-fil-A anti-LGBTQ efforts?
This article was originally published on August 11, 2020. It has since been updated.