Chick-fil-A continues to be in the news, with a Chicago lawmaker saying that it is re-considering the millions of dollars that it gives in donations to anti-gay activities and other groups with allegedly ‘political agendas.’
Only last month its CEO Dan Cathy’s support of traditional marriage and anti-gay stance had seen upwards of 630,000 supporters of the company rallying for the company to counter opposition from LGBT supporters.
Following weeks of negotiations with city Alderman Joe Moreno, the fast food restaurant has consented to investigate the groups its foundation WinShape donates to, a little more thoroughly. The company told Moreno that the foundation is a non-profit created by the Cathy family and received its major share of funds from Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A.
In a letter to Moreno a senior director of the company wrote that they had agreed to take a closer look at the organizations that they helped financially to uphold the company philosophy of not providing support to “organizations with political agendas.”
A look at the groups tax reports reveal that the foundation, in the two years between 2008 and 2010, donated $3.2 million to groups that advocate for conventional marriages.
However, what must have prompted Moreno’s opposition was that of the donated amount, $2000 had been donated to the Family Research Council, which was designated as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2010, and $2,500 to the Alliance Defense Fund, which supported California’s Proposition 8 to outlaw gay marriage.
These donations, further fuelled by Cathy’s comments that he favored the “the biblical definition of the family unit,” raised outrage from gay-marriage activitists and overwhelming support from traditional-marriage conservatives who flocked to the eatery in such huge numbers that the food ran out.
The Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund did not confirm or deny receipt of the donations but chose not to comment.
Following Cathy’s remarks an incensed Moreno declared that he would block construction of a new Chick-fil-A restaurant in his ward. However, following their assurance that they would look into their donations, a mollified Moreno said that the company was making real progress in its efforts to address “the very legitimate concerns of the LGBT community regarding Chick-fil-A.”
Chick-fil-A spokeswoman Tracey Micit issued a statement saying. “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. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
Having seen the hysterical indignation for it anti-gay stance the company has said that not only would they be monitoring their donations but would also amend its corporate policy to include sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination policy.
Signaling a victory of sorts, Moreno said, “The company today has put into writing, for the first time, that its employees are to ‘treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender. .. our intent is not to engage in political or social debates.”
Moreno said that given the company’s change in posture towards the gay community he was no longer opposed to the construction of its new eatery but that he would also recommend its construction to the Chicago City Council.