Chick-fil-A is facing backlash after the fast food company reportedly donated more than $1 million to an anti-LGBTQ organization.
According to documents obtained by ThinkProgress, the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated a total of $9.9 million to charity in 2017, of which $1.8 million went to groups with an alleged history of anti-LGBTQ discrimination in 2017, a slight increase over the previous year.
Of the donations, $1,653,416 went to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a cash funded “sports camps and school programs for inner-city youth.” The organization requires a employees to sign a “statement of faith,” which includes a “sexual purity” policy that prohibits “heterosexual sex outside of marriage” and “any homosexual act.” The nine-point contract also states that “marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.”
The privately owned chain, long associated with anti-LGBTQ causes, donated an additional $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a Georgia-based “Christian residential home for troubled youth.” The charity teaches boys that same-sex marriage is a “rage against Jesus Christ and His values,” according to ThinkProgress.
A third donation of $150,000 went to the Salvation Army, a charity that has drawn increased scrutiny for its long history of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and, at the time of the donation, had a written policy of complying with local “relevant employment laws.”
Along with drawing backlash online, the report also resulted in the San Antonio International Airport blocking the chicken chain from its concession lineup, with the San Antonio City Council having voted 6-4 to only approve a seven-year contract with Paradies Lagardère should Chick-fil-A be excluded. The council stated that they “do not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
Addressing the report, the Chick-fil-A Foundation released a statement in which they asserted that they “do not have a political or social agenda.”
“Our intention both at the corporate and restaurant level is to have a positive influence on our communities by donating to programs that benefit youth and education and are welcoming to all,” Rodney Bullard, the Chick-fil-A Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and the Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, said. “We are proud of the impact we’ve been able to make so far, and we have a lot yet to do.”
“We have no policy of discrimination against any group. We do not have a political or social agenda and more than 120,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs represent the Chick-fil-A brand,” the statement concluded.
The released tax filings and the revelation that the company continues to support anti-LGBTQ organizations followed the 2012 comment from company president Dan Cathy, who stated that “we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’”
Following the comments, the privately owned chained vowed not to “have a political or social agenda.”