Chick-fil-A is as well known for its conservative Christian bona fides as it is for its fried chicken. The fast-food chain is famously closed on Sundays, and rather infamously a historic supporter of various anti-LGBTQ causes. But while it will remain a six-day-a-week operation, it is pulling material support from two Christian charities with less than stellar track records on gay rights.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army received grants of $1.65 million and $115,000, respectively, from the Chick-fil-A Foundation last year, but they do not appear on the list of organizations the foundation plans to support to next year.
In a press release, the foundation said it would “focus its giving toward key organizations that address education, homelessness, and hunger.”
The FCA requires its leaders to agree with a “Statement of Faith” that includes planks against same-sex marriage, premarital sex, and homosexual acts. The Salvation Army has long faced accusations of homophobia and transphobia, and in the past the organization has provided referrals to conversion therapy groups and opposed laws that would preclude it from not hiring gay employees.
“We’re saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education and homelessness organizations,” the Salvation Army said.
The immediate aftermath of the move, which may or may not be related to the runaway success of the Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich, is to make everyone mad.
Many who supported the restaurant chain because it supported anti-LGBTQ causes are upset with the reversal.
In Aug 2012, I coordinated a national @ChickfilA Appreciation Day after they were being bullied by militant hate groups. Millions showed up. Today, @ChickfilA betrayed loyal customers for $$. I regret believing they would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathey. Sad.
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) November 18, 2019
And LGBTQ activists aren’t exactly satisfied either.
“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,” Drew Anderson, GLAAD’s director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement Monday.
So while this is definitely a positive for those of us who want to blissfully chow down on nuggets and waffle fries, Chick-fil-A has a lot of work to do if it truly wants to repair its sullied reputation.