Report: Chick-Fil-A To Stop Funding Anti-Gay Groups
Chick-Fil-A is apparently abandoning its practice of donating to organizations that oppose same-sex marriage:
Chick-fil-A’s sandwiches are no longer homophoburgers or free-speech-you-can-eat or whatever the fast food meant during this summer’s culture wars. Fried chicken just went back to being delicious as the chain promised to stop “supporting organizations with political agendas,” which includes anti-gay groups–a move that’s gotten them back into a Chicago’s good graces. We learned the news by way of Chicago’s The Civil Right Agenda (TCRA) an LGBT-rights advocacy group, who report that Chick-fil-A has penned a letter saying, “The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.” That letter was addressed to Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno, who along with Boston mayor Thomas Menino, said they would block the chain for its anti-gay views. WinShape is the chain’s not-for-profit charitable arm that had previously donated to groups opposing gay marriage. TCRA adds, “In meetings the company executives clarified that they will no longer give to anti-gay organizations, such as Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage.”
Chick-Fil-A itself, or its charitable arm The Winshape Foundaton, has not confirmed this yet, but it seems to be for real:
Since this story broke, Chick-fil-A hasn’t yet responded to any comments or inquiries or officially stated that they will give up their anti-gay donations. Believe us, we don’t like relying on one side of the story either. But Gawker’s Cord Jefferson did talk to TCRA director Anthony Martinez, and was told that Chick-fil-A showed Alderman Moreno a spreadsheet of the company’s givings as proof of the company’s promise to end anti-gay giving. We went ahead and e-mailed Alderman Moreno’s office about the spreadsheet and the company’s promise to end anti-gay giving and came up with this response from spokesman Matthew Bailey:
Yes, I can confirm that he was shown proof by company executives.
So, just to be clear: Chick-fil-A hasn’t spoken (yet), but now we have confirmation from both the TCRA and Alderman Moreno’s office that Moreno was promised by company executives that the anti-gay giving would be halted. In his official statement on the subject of Chick-fil-A, Moreno even states:
In my last meeting with company executives, I corroborated what they told me back in January: that donations to anti-gay groups, which most concerned the LGBT community, have ceased. In a letter signed by Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate, it states, “The WinShape Foundations [sic] is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.”
I’m already hearing rumblings from some conservatives on Twitter complaining that Chick-Fil-A has given in to blackmail but, there are a few caveats there. First of all, as noted above, it appears that the company had already said as long ago as January that it would stop donating to organizations with political agendas, so this may be less of a change in policy than some are making it out to be. Second, whatever the reason for the change in contribution policies might be, it’s worth remembering that Chick-Fil-A exists for one reason only, to sell chicken sandwiches and various other products and make a profit. Part of that includes expanding the company’s franchise locations outside of its traditional area of dominance, areas such as Chicago. In general, corporations don’t like to take controversial stands on issues of public concern, because they end up pissing off half their potential customer base. In that sense, Chick-Fil-A’s decision can be seen as a wise business decision.
In any event, now that this controversy is apparently over, can we stop politicizing food already?