It looks like Chick-fil-A is once again in the spotlight, for the same exact reason they were in 2017. The privately owned chain is being boycotted around the United States, for their continued contribution of millions of dollars to organizations with anti-LGBTQ agendas, after it originally promised not to a few years back. This according to newly released tax filing obtained by ThinkProgress.
The chain, which is long associated with anti-LGBTQ causes, publicly pledged not to have any part of a political or social agenda after billionaire CEO, Dan Cathy, sparked outrage and a boycott in 2012 after publicly decrying gay marriage. In 2017, according to their most recent tax filing available, the company donated $9.9 million to charity, of which $1.8 went to three groups that are known to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
Reports showed Chick-fil-A gave nearly $1.65 million to an organization called the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Per their website, the cash donated funded “sports camp and school programs for inner-city youth.” How is this an organization against the LGBTQ community? Well, the group requires camp leaders to sign a “statement of faith” prior to being admitted. The nine-point contract included a “sexual purity statement” prohibiting heterosexual sex outside marriage, and any homosexual act overall. A second requirement on the contract stated that “marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.” So yeah, triple yikes.
Chick-fil-A’s defense, when the tax statements were released, was that the camp participants, unlike camp leaders, were not required to sign the pledge. But, let’s be real, that’s hardly an argument for giving a whopping $1.65 MILLION to the group, which preaches and harbors anti-gay sentiment.
The company has also donated $150,000 to the Salvation Army, a charity that had draw attention for its long history of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. In 2012, the Salvation Army Media Relation Director told a group of “queer journalists” that gay people deserved death. If that doesn’t immediately want you to back away from the organization, I honestly don’t’ know what will. Luckily, The New York City Commission of Human Rights immediately charged the Salvation Army with discrimination again transgender patients at four of its substance abuse centers, because duh.
The third charity with LGBTQ policies that received funds from the chain, which has since been cut off, reportedly received a $6,000 donation in 2017 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home. The Youth Home, a Georgia based “Christian residential home for troubled youth”, teaches boys that same-sex marriage is a “rage against Jesus Christ and his values.”Chick-fil-A responded to the comments of anti-LGBTQ rights, saying they pulled back their donations after the youth home did not “meet Chick-fil-A’s commitment” to create a welcoming environment to everyone.
So why is this a big deal, and why are people boycotting the restaurant known for their delicious chicken? Well, in 2012, after the Civil Rights Agents claimed Chick-fil-A had said it would not give any more money to anti-gay causes, the company declined to confirm whether or not it was true. So, the problem here isn’t whether they donated or not. Sure, it’s bad, really really bad, but what’s worse is that they continue to do so despite them saying they would stop.
So, in response to their, shall we call them confusing statements(?), several cities have now opted to stop selling Chick-fil-A in certain areas. A day after the announcement of their donations, City Council members from San Antonio, Texas, banned the chain from opening up a store in the air hub at the San Antonio International Airport due to their “bad behavior”. The city stated they were a place of compassion and did not have room in their public facilities for “business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior”.
Despite the criticism, Chick-fil-A reps said they do have a fundamental code of conduct at each store, which is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The company released as treatment saying, “The 140,000 people who serve customers in our restaurants on a daily basis represent and embrace all people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity,” they continued. “Our intent is to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
As a Chick-fil-A fan, this is really traumatic and devastating to hear. Especially since the company is very well known around the United States. Ultimately, what they are doing is wrong, especially if they stated they would stop funding organizations that steal human rights from people. It’s shameful. LGBTQ organizations have fought so hard for their rights for so long, for a big company to take them back to step one and use their name for useless, hurtful power.
I’m just going to let the internet handle this one, and hope for the best. But know I’m on your side, interwebs.