Yes, today Chick-fil-A said it will no longer donate to anti-LGBTQ organizations. No, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard the chain say this.
In 2012, Chick-fil-A’s chairman, president, and CEO Dan Cathy touted the supremacy of the “biblical definition of the family unit.” Later that year, the company allegedly promised to “no longer give to anti-gay organizations.” But then in 2014, Cathy apologized, not for his homophobia, but for admitting to it. In 2017, ThinkProgress discovered that despite the claims and promises, Chick-fil-A continued to give money to organizations that, among other things, maintained that same-sex marriage is a “rage against Jesus Christ and His values” and some participants to sign Sexual Purity Statements, with prohibitions on “homosexual acts.” Then last spring, ThinkProgress learned that Chick-fil-A continued to fail to keep its word.
In a detailed new plan made public today, however, Chick-fil-A outlined anew philanthropic structure, one that does not include anti-LGBTQ organizations. Bisnow learned that the Atlanta-basted company’s latest plan will focus on donating to charities dedicated exclusively to education, homelessness, and hunger.
Now we know what your thinking: In the past, Chick-Fil-A has donated to organizations that have brazen homophobia baked into their manifestos, without having explicitly homophobic missions. But this time, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Salvation Army, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home will not be receiving any deep-fried aid. Instead, Chick-fil-A will donate $9 million to the Junior Achievement USA, the Covenant House International), and several local food banks.
This isn’t the first time Chick-fil-A has vowed to stave off anti-queer organizations. But this past year does seem to be the first that its anti-LGBTQ history has come to bite it in the nuggets: Several US airports refused to include Chick-fil-A in their concessions line-ups and in October, the company’s much anticipated UK launch was reverted after protesters in Reading made it clear that its first UK branch would also be its last. So maybe Chick-fil-A means it this time?