Chick-Fil-A Already Breaks Promise To Stay Out Of Gay-Marriage Debate

We were sure it was some kind of prank or mistake when news broke yesterday that Chick-fil-A was promising to stop funding anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family.

But today, the fast-food chain claims its charitable work has been “mischaracterized” and that its been trying for months to extricate itself from politics.

A statement on its website reads:

For many months now, Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized. And while our sincere intent has been to remain out of this political and social debate, events from Chicago this week have once again resulted in questions around our giving.

For that reason, we want to provide some context and clarity around who we are, what we believe and our priorities in relation to corporate giving.

A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Because of this commitment, Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.

As we have stated, the Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators.

For better understanding of our corporate giving, please click here to download the PDF document titled “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are.”

Okay, sounds good. But then why did Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy just tweet a message this week indicating the chain is still in the business of funding hate:

“WinShape Ride for the Family bikers locked and loaded for 200 mile ride to Wilmington out of Charleston.” Cathy tweeted on Tuesday, attaching a photo of motorcyclists on the charity race.

The Ride for the Family benefits the Marriage and Family Foundation, which has, among other things, actively worked against marriage equality since being founded by a member of the Cathy Family in 2007.

As the Advocate points out, Chick-fil-A appears to be exploiting a technicality: “Registration forms for the event ask that checks be sent, not to the WinShape Foundation that Chick-fil-A operates, but directly to the Marriage and Family Foundation at 5200 Buffington Road in Atlanta, GA.” Still, the Chick-fil-A and WinShape logos are all over the entry forms and the Buffington Road address is shared by Chick-fil-A’s headquarters.

It’s interesting to note that the  Ride for the Family page on the WinShape Foundation wesbite has been taken down.

Advocacy groups are raising the stink-eye: “Chick-fil-A can’t claim to be turning over a new leaf while simultaneously funneling thousands of dollars towards a group that does not acknowledge the dignity and respect of LGBT people,” said HRC spokesman Fred Sainz.

Well. we can’t say we’re surprised—and it really doesn’t contradict the statement Chick-fil-A just released on it’s website:

To someone who thinks marriage equality is a “threat” to traditional unions, then fighting it how you “enrich marriages.”

To someone who thinks homosexuality can be “cured,” reparative therapy is how you “educate youth.”

And to someone who thinks gays and lesbians are promiscuous pedophiles, depriving us of the right to adopt children is how you “strengthen families.”

Of course it’s possible the Marriage and Family Foundation is now only providing counseling services and workshops to strengthen hetero unions. Assuming that’s the case (and that’s a pretty colossal pill to swallow) working with Alderman Moreno and The Civil Rights Agenda is a good start.

But we’re not naive enough to think Chick-fil-A did a turnabout because of some spiritual epiphany. It was business, pure and simple—mayors and councilmen were bristling at their brand of hate and putting up roadblocks to new franchises.

Presumably, Dan Cathy is still “guilty as charged” when it comes fighting marriage equality and supporting ex-gay therapy. We hope watchdog groups continue to keep a close eye on where Chick-fil-A and the WinShape Foundation spend their money. We know we will.

Meanwhile, if the company ‘s announcements were an attempt to improve it’s image with progressives, it might’ve gone too far: Conservative commenters on the Chick-fil-A Facebook page are attacking the chain for having “caved” to pressure from pro-gay groups.

A post of the press release above has received 20,000 Likes and nearly 3,000 comments on both sides of the debate. But there’s definitely some nasty vitriol from diehard Christian chicken fans:

“Now that you are no longer supporting Focus on the Family I will not support you. Mr Cathy, you have stabbed me and my family in the back. We have supported your restaurant for years because it was family friendly. When you consider homosexuals are about 1% of the population, and us pro-family people are far greater numbers, you have chosen who you want to support. Very bad business decision. VERY BAD!”

“…I was shocked to hear that Chick-fil-A gave in and pulled their continued donations from Focus on The Family! Really? I feel you gave into the pressure of the world and for what, money? (meaning, now you may build stores in Chicago). God has already blessed this organization for it’s faithfulness, which is difficult to uphold in today’s world. Don’t you believe He would have brought you through this storm and rewarded you 1ten-fold? So what they didn’t want you to build in Chicago? Was it that important, so you sell out to the Devil’s wishes? …I don’t know that I will eat at your establishments any longer.”

“Your decision to cave on your biblical principles that has made your business such a success leaves me speechless! I will no longer be patronizing your business any longer! Homosexuality is wrong—period! Too bad you are too weak to see it!”

Okay, here’s what we think is going on: Dan Cathy is a loose cannon.

Chick-fil-A corporate is just trying to run a business and steer away from a controversy that could threaten its profit margin and ability to open new locations. But Cathy has gone Sarah Palin rogue on their asses, throwing money at whatever homophobic groups will take his checks.

We really pity their public relations department.

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  • Red Meat

    All they had to say was “We don’t support your lifestyle, but we will gladly take your money” because that’s exactly what they are saying.

  • FStratford

    It’s a step in the right direction, I suppose.

    But they are not getting one red cent from me until it’s clear that they have changed their hateful ways

  • JOHN 1957

    It’s very simple, if you don’t believe in gay marriage, then don’t get one stupid! and move on, but don’t talk ill about those who are in love and do believe in it. Gay Marriage Is A Human Right, Not A Heterosexual Privilege. Let’s get down to brass tacks! Adams first mate was Lilith In Jewish folklore, from the 8th–10th centuries Alphabet of Ben Sira onwards, Lilith becomes Adam’s first wife, who was created at the same time and from the same earth as Adam. This contrasts with Eve, who was created from one of Adam’s ribs. The legend was greatly developed during the Middle Ages, in the tradition of Aggadic midrashim, the Zohar and Jewish mysticism.[3] In the 13th Century writings of Rabbi Isaac ben Jacob ha-Cohen, for example, Lilith left Adam after she refused to become subservient to him and then would not return to the Garden of Eden after she mated with archangel Samael. So Adams first wife was Lilith (who married them?) who then walked out on him and then came Eve who was also said to be the first wife of Adam and mother of Cain and Abel? which brings up the question, but isn’t this adultery? He was already married and took on a second wife and who married them? Here’s another one to explode the brain. If Adam and Eve had two male children Cain and Abel and they were the first man and woman to be created that means that Eve had intercourse with her sons to propagate mankind, but that’s incest isn’t it? Which brings also to mind which came first Adam or the Caveman? the caveman can be proved but this religious fabrication they want us to eat, swallow and live our lives by is just too big to swallow. Bottom line Adam was a WUSS! who couldn’t work out his first relationship and F__Ked-up his second one when he gave in and let himself be convinced to eat the forbidden fruit (doesn’t state apple). And you expect educated people who look for the truth and spirit in life to accept your folklore and uneducated beliefs to just crawl under a rock and die if they don’t live as you say? You probably have a bridge you’d like to sell me as well. Live And Let Live!

  • Cam

    This is EXACTLY what Target tried to do at first. Then they got more unfavorable attention and eventually stopped their donations.

    The issue here is that Chik Fil Et is obviously losing money or the corporate arm wouldn’t be backing down, but you have some of the crazy owners who refuse to change. That ANTI-Gay charity shares office space with their corporate headquarters.

    They are going to either have to remain the poster child for bigotry or find away to break away from the owner.

    For now, they won’t get a dime from me.

  • Spike

    Ahh, Queerty, still beating the Chik-a-fil drum while promoting COORS.

    Bless your hearts.

  • Michael

    I don’t find it all that difficult to pick another restaurant when I eat out(I can count on two fingers how many times I’ve been to that place). I don’t care what they do or don’t do from here on out. I’m done.

  • BJ McFrisky

    @JOHN 1957: Just curious . . . where is it proclaimed that gay marriage is a “right”? Is it in the constitution? The bill of rights? No. So unless it’s specifically deemed a right under law, it’s not a right, it’s simply a demand. Remember the ERA? Women screamed for equal “rights” until they realized the reality of what that would mean, and then they shut up.

  • Tom

    Im gaining the impression that a journo was mistakenly overly optimistic that Chick-fil-A ever changed their policy?

  • Rock Star

    I like chicken but not the kind Chick fil A sells. I’ll stick to the fresh stuff.

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