Chick-fil-A Stops Anti-Gay Donations, Adopts Anti-Discrimination Policy

Chick-fil-A, working with Illinois-based advocacy group The Civil Rights Agenda, has reportedly ceased making donations to anti-gay organizations and has circulated an internal memo emphasizing its commitment to fair and equal treatment of all people.

According to The Civil Rights Agenda’s press release:

In a letter addressed to Alderman [Poco Joe] Moreno [from Chicago’s First Ward] and signed by Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate, it states, “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.”  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.

Additionally, they have sent an internal memo to franchisees and stakeholders that stated that, as a company, they will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender,” and that their “intent is not to engage in political or social debates.”  This statement was placed into an official company document called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are.”

This decision follows months of protests, kiss-ins, vandalism and condemnation from important public figures over president Dan Cathy’s stance against marriage equality and the chain’s history of donating millions of dollars to conservative, anti-LGBT groups.

Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda, said that they are “very pleased with the outcome,” however, policy advisor Rick Garcia thinks Chick-fil-A’s new anti-discrimination policy doesn’t go far enough:

“It is one thing for a company to say they respect everyone they serve and employ, it is quite another for them to put that into their policies and demand that all employees adhere to that behavior.  As we have heard from gay employees that work for Chick-fil-A, there is a culture of discrimination within the company and we would like to ensure that employees can speak out and call attention to those practices without fear of reprisal. It takes time to change the culture of any institution and steps like a corporate policy ensure that progress is made.”

Soooooo, does this mean you’ll  start chowing down at Chick-fil-A again?

UPDATE: Chick-fil-A released a statement of their own, neither confirming nor denying the Civil Rights Agenda’s release, but claiming that the chain has never been anti-anyone:

We have no agenda, policy or position against anyone. We have a 65-year history of providing hospitality for all people and, as a dedicated family business, serving and valuing everyone regardless of their beliefs or opinions…The genuine, historical intent of our WinShape Foundation and corporate giving has been to support youth, family and educational programs.

The Chicago Tribune also points out:

Though Moreno said he scored a “big win,” the company made nearly identical pledges in a July 19 Facebook post that went up even before Moreno took issue with Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s opposition to gay marriage.

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  • MikeE

    but… but.. we’re no where NEAR April first!!! I don’t get it.

  • shle896

    They’re just trying to regain our business and we all know how they really think. Frankly, it’s disingenuous and too little, too late for me. I won’t give them any of my money. No way.

  • Indyfuzbear

    I don’t buy it. The Founder/CEO is a Right-Wing Christian Hater and what he does with his “private” millions is worth scrutiny going forward.

  • SteveGrayFTW

    @Indyfuzbear: I’m not sure I necessarily believe that. What he does with his own money really is how business, no matter how misguided he may be. I think the fact that he isn’t using his company as a front for his anti-gay beliefs is a huge step in the right direction.

    Even when you have companies that support gay rights, that doesn’t mean all of their employees do. I’m sure there are employees at companies like Starbucks, Apple, etc… that still believe gay marriage is wrong, and donate money to these terrible groups.

  • SteveGrayFTW

    @SteveGrayFTW: That should say “really is his own business”…damn

  • doug105

    It was more then 10 years after the stockholders reined in the CEO of Cracker Barrel that i let a friend talk me in to eating there,waiting 3-5yrs to see what happens with this can only help my health.

  • doug105

    May be fun to watch Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage whine now that the company says it going to be neutral rather then a meal ticket the way nom said it wanted.

  • Dakotahgeo

    I applaud this corporation’s change of heart and I believe they are sincere. I base this on the fact that society in general is changing their minds and hearts toward a pro-GLBT stance, including SSMarriage. These are all good signs that, indeed, even the most unrepentent anti-gay hearts are changing their tune. It can’t happen soon enough!
    Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  • Dakotahgeo

    @doug105: It also warms my heart that NOM, FoF, et al, are having less and less effect on the general population and are simply preaching to their own choir. Their influence has gone, and is going, down… down… THUD!!

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    Sorry I’m not buying it. I don’t believe for a second that a company that has build their business model around their religious views will or could give them up or change them so easily. I think this is merely a ploy to regain the business they lost and to get us to stop hitting them were it hurts by protesting them opening business in cities, towns and colleges. Anyone can say they won’t do this or do that anymore the proof is in their actions. We should continue to protest them at every chance until we SEE change from them.

  • Bellerophon69

    In this economy, no business can afford to alienate potential customers for any reason, and after the initial rush of anti gay sandwich buyers died down I’m sure the possible loss of future revenue had something to do with this with Chick-fil-A’s bookkeepers and marketing people. The “writing is on the wall’; eventually gay acceptance (at least as far as the numbers go) will be in the majority, and Dan Cathy’s opinion will not be good for the company’s bottom line. The homophobes like Focus on the (white, uptight, and prone to fright) Family will always be there, well funded by their irrational ilk in private, but this way the bean counters will be placated.

  • jzoole

    During the fever-pitch of the epic Chic-fil-A showdown (especially on Facebook,) I explained repeatedly (to those who didn’t understand) that the boycott of Chic-fil-A was not because of the president’s personal opinion, but because of their donations to anti-gay organizations, and that essentially, supporting the brand meant putting money into the pockets of those who are fighting against or equal treatment under the law.

    To hold true to that, I will resume eating there. I think the boycott was important and justified, and similarly, I think that when the company agrees to no longer fund anti-LGBT groups, we should support that decision by ending our boycott.

    However, the truat is damaged. I will resume eating there, but not until I see a report of who they give their money to next year.

  • greybat

    I’m going to hold off a bit longer. A memo is nice, but how sincere is it?

  • outnproud42

    I have misgivings about a company that only changes their agenda and donations when they realize they’re losing money. Jzoole makes a good point though that the boycott was to get them to stop donations.

    Guess we’ll see in next year’s donation reports whether they held true to the statement quoted in this article. However, I will continue to not eat there until I have seen this report and have proof that they truly are moving away from supporting hate and politically motivated groups.

  • Spike

    Still not going to go there, and I still don’t buy/drink Coors.

  • Rabbit


  • ChiChi Man

    As someone on Huffington Post pointed out, the religious nuts eat at Chick-fil-A while the gays go to SF Fitness gym (the gym broke with the Golds chain because of Prop 8 donations). The gays are obviously have the smarter strategy.

  • continuum

    Does anyone really believe that Chick-fil-a is going to stop funding bigoted right wingers?

    Get a grip.

    Chick will say one thing, and then do another.

    You can’t cure crazy when the operation is owned by one single Xtianist bigot.

  • tidalpool

    I have a fried with 3 Chik-fil-A franchises. Regardless of the comments, Chik-fil-A has not lost money, it is on record as having the highest income per single store in the past 11 years. This year, the 3 stores owned by John, as of the 3rd quarter, made some 6.3 million dollars, up from last years 5.7 million for the entire year. I have no doubt that changes have been made, but not due to the pointless kiss in, nor the ‘ban’ on the part of gay men in gay enclaves. It was more to the effect that the line was now associated with groups that are overtly political, which Chik-fil-A has always avoided. Mr. Cathy’s views have not changed, nor has his list of charities. Those are his business, and not the chains. Human rights were the issue, and they will always win. Gay rights win when they coincide with the majority.

  • the other Greg

    @tidalpool: “I have a fried with 3 Chik-fil-A franchises.”


    Ha ha ha ha ha.


    There is no scientific evidence to prove any of the cross related bogus elements of christianity and other religions. Our early human ancestors; on this earth … go back more than 6 million years … 5,996,000 years before the Greeks, Romans and the Jews. Christianity is basically a 2012 year old fictional cult. In the year 300 AD when Emperor Constantine, who to some was the first pope; went on to fabricate & market Christianity – a fantasy – which turned out to be one of the most hateful & evil concoctions ever perpetrated on the world.


    Being black or left-handed or being gay is just as natural. It is a sometimes rare occurrence to fall in Love and to hold that person in your heart and be loved in return … it is something that should be celebrated! If it’s between two guys or two girls — all the better. It takes even more courage to defend that LOVE!

  • CreoClay

    I’m thinking it’s really all about money and public image, like any business they want to keep the most customers and make the most profit. By extending the olive branch and saying they’ll look closer into who they give money too, they’re getting LGBT customers back but not really losing any of the rest of their custmer base. Right wingers don’t boycott unless they think a company is Pro Gay or Pro same sex marriage. This response from Chick-Fil-A is just a hands off “We’re Neutral! We’re against (blanket term)discrimination and We’re not involved in politics!” and isn’t anything new. The far right thinks they’ve won because they thought the protests were all about Dan Cathy’s views on marriage, and the Left thinks they’ve won because they aren’t donating money to hate groups anymore (we’ll see), but really…Chick-Fil-A won, they get more customers and money and can lose the title of being the “resturant that hates gays and is imbraced by bigots” and go back to making even more money.

    I’m still not going to eat there. Call me a queer scorned, but really I don’t need anymore fried food in my life.

  • jmmartin

    I think we should beware the tendency to look a gift horse in the mouth and just welcome their change of heart, whether for altruistic or economic reasons, who cares? I’ll take the chip off my shoulder and go buy a damned chicken sandwich, gulping it guiltily because it is fried and thus highly caloric, full of cholesterol, and bad for an aging heart. Even though my doctor keeps bugging me about losing weight, I will get the non-burger with the funny fries, the overpriced combo meal. But I will not forget that just a few weeks before my visit, a local news reporter stuck a microphone in the face of a white man (urged on by a Fox TV preacher who thinks Constitutional law should be interpreted by “Christian principles”) and asked him what he thought of the marriage equality controversy. His answer? “I have nothing against gays, but I think marriage is between a man and a woman.”

    Never mind that the “but” makes a lie of all that precedes it, or that these are some of the same people preaching priestly celebacy when recent fragments from Coptic Gnostic gospels show a Prophet-man who was married to a whore. “But” seeks justification and that can only be found with reference to scripture, 5,000-year-old books (and some from the First Century Common Era), as if any of it had any relevance in the 21st century. I wonder if Mr. Fil-A knows that until recently as many as 50% of all heterosexual marriages end in divorce. If there is something so special about marriage, why do so many flee it in horror. Show me ten married couples I’ll show you a bankroll says the marriage “dissolution” lawyer.

    The sexual minorities always end up getting it going and coming. Not too many years ago the same bigots were saying that gay people are “unstable,” that they are “promiscuous,” &c. The same bigots now say, “You can’t marry because you are a same sex couple.” These same bigots once said that a black man could not marry a white woman. Ecclesiastes says: “Time and chance happeneth it to all.”

  • BrokebackBob

    Anyone who believes that Chik-Fil-A has changed is an idiot.
    They might make some “cosmetic” changes and keep their asshole
    management, CEO etc out of the media, but they will still contribute
    money to further the genocide of LGBT people not only in Uganda but
    around the world including the USA. Don’t be a fool.

  • Shannon1981

    They just want out money. We all know how they think. Further, they owe us a huge apology before they even begin to make amends. I also am sure that Dan Cathy and his family of bigots will find another way other than the Winshape Foundation to funnel money into these anti-LGBT hate groups.

    And non discrimination policy? Sure, on paper. Do not be fools, people. They are ridiculously disingenuous. This is about money and nothing more. As far as I am concerned, the damage is done.

  • Shannon1981

    @Dakotahgeo: Do not be a fool. Bigots do not change their minds or hearts. This is about money.

  • nick knoxx

    this whole thing is about money for this company – what i can’t believe is that any gay/dyke/trans would even think of eating – giving money to companies like this – i also find it totally upsetting that i keep meeting gays and dykes from the states that support the whole GOP movement and other extreme white religious movements in attempt to be the “normal”
    your country is forgetting why and how it started off – to get away from religious pulls/fanatics – now there is more right wing religious fanatics than ever before and all anti gay, anti minority. Corp.s do not change their stripes – they simply put out spin doctor statements to make them selves look better – if you believe this shite – your a bit naive – if you think the “kiss in” had any effect i think the same goes – you have a choice and your choice should be Not to Eat at ANY Chik-fil-A and or any Chik-fil-A franchises – for that matter any Establishments that have the same Anit Gay/Dyke/Trans Anti Equal Rights and or caps on Minorities/women (minorities/women can never become managers or move up in the company). take your monies to GAY / Dyke / Trans owned establishment and or Equal Rights Establishments

  • luvdragonx

    I hope we don’t get sucked into the same single-minded dogma that propogates the discrimination – “I’m right and you’re wrong if you don’t think/act just like me”. I never ate at CFA and never will because I don’t like fast food. I do think that addressing the real issue of the boycott, which was how profits were being used to to fund groups with hate agendas, was the right thing to do. The CEO doesn’t need to do a 180 and start preaching “gay love” – THAT would really seem disingenuous. We shouldn’t expect or demand he change his beliefs any more than he should expect or demand we change ours. As long as we all are treated fairly and equally, I’m satisfied.

  • heath0043

    So Chik-fil-A won’t give any more money to anti gay organizations… but there is nothing to stop Dan Cathy from taking the money and putting it in his own account and keep doing what he has been doing. It’s all BS

  • K

    I’m very skeptical. When I read the article I was thinking “OK, they went from funding anti-gay hate groups to being neutral and promising not to fund hate, anti-gay, or political groups.” I didn’t care what his religious views are, he can say whatever he wants based on his First Amendment free speech rights and he can worship whatever way he wants based on his First Amendment rights. What I cared about was him taking my money and then turning around and using my money against gay people via subversive funding through these anti-gay “Pro-family” groups. I thought that this was good and he won’t be taking my money to fund hate and anti-gay efforts.

    But then I read the follow-up and that the company basically came back out and almost disavowed everything the article was saying. What is their definition of “political” groups? They say their intent is to fund “family” education groups, etc. It sounds a lot to me like they are just going to “re-label” to whom they send their money.

    Until they come out with a straight-forward, explicit statement saying basically what the article implies and also give an apology for previously funding these hate groups, then I seriously doubt the validity or sincereness their intentions. I think they are just trying to portray that they aren’t openly anti-gay. This latest press release seems to imply that they still are anti-gay, but just in hiding.

    I also want to see their financial contributions at the end of the year. Unfortunately even if they stop now, they still gave the first 2/3rds of the year, so we won’t know if they’ve stopped giving until the end of 2013. So, until I see these financial/tax filings supporting they’re not putting their money where the mouth is, and until they issue a straight-forward, open, clear statement that they are not going to be discriminatory nor support discrimination in any way, I’m still not going to go to Chick-fil-A.

    Heath is right that there is nothing to stop Dan Cathy from funneling corporate profits to his private/individual account (just take what the “company” would’ve contributed to hate groups and instead give it to himself). He could then take that “private” or “individual” money of his and give it to hate groups. For ordinary employees, I would say they can do whatever they want with their earnings, but for the Chairman/CEO of the company who can give himself a raise, I say BS!

  • paulahare2

    done be fool–done be dupe –done be treat as a fool The Founder/CEO is a Right-Wing Christian Bigots —— NO GOD — YES

  • Diesel69

    Blah-Blah-Blah–Get off my Back—–No Substance in the letter—The wording is all Bogus—
    Demand for them to show ALL They donate to and demand that laws and policies be put in place—–Blah-Blah-Blah—Your busted Chick-a-fils—–Dont believe your rubbish—-

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Diesel69: I do believe Diesel is diseased!

  • Tore

    I typically do not weigh in: This SHOULD be obvious, but this was the best advertising gimmick that these folks could come up with, and it cost them nothing. They filled their restaurants by having preachers direct entire congregations to support them and most of GLBT America refused to buy anything during this time. I guess LGBT America must have been a greater loss than the religious right gains else they would not be changing their bigoted business practices. I do not believe that they are really changing their views or their policies.

    IMHO, I would say that a 10 year boycott of their brand and any subsidiaries that might arise from it would be appropriate. The problem is – if we as a community do not show our disdain at bigoted attitudes and displays of ignorance towards us (or any other group, then other chains who want publicity can and will do the same thing.

    For me it is easy to not eat there again. Their food must only be mediocre because there’s nothing about the food or the atmosphere to make me want to go back again – and that has nothing to do with the outrageous events of this summer.

    I’m glad that some universities are now pushing them off campus. It shows that the students today are being shown that there can be and should be strong repercussions to bigotry in any shape or form, no matter who the target of that bigotry.

    That said, I personally am happy to quietly just not give them any of my money for a decade. I hope that Gay Americans are not blind to this obvious new tactic where they are trying to gain again from their flip-flopping. You always have other options. In area’s where these eateries are found, there’s usually excellent options on either side of them.

  • flexdoc

    They are opening the first store on Long Island in New York here in a few weeks and now I will eat there. Although people might think it doesn’t go far enough, if we punish poor decisions that we disagree with, we must reward changes to that behavior to continue to move it in the right direction. Otherwise we are little more than spoiled children holding our breath and stamping our feet.

  • Roan

    I’m not buying it. The link the Civil Rights Agenda goes to a dead website and there is no verification of this anywhere online. I’ll believe it when I see it posted in Chik-fil-Hate stores and flyers put in the bags with the waffle fries.

  • songoku1985

    Does it really matter what they do I beat there are many more company’s that do the same thing they just do it in ways where no can see it or have diff party do it for them and its that company’s right to what they want to do we leave in a free nation

  • Laura

    It’s not about money. The business is still steadily growing. It is possible to accept someone without sharing the same beliefs. I have worked with several homosexual employees at CFA. It was such a non-issue that no one ever talked about it and I actually forgot that they were homosexual. They were treated no differently than anyone else.

Comments are closed.