Chick-fil-A Promises to No Longer Donate to Anti-Gay Organizations

Hate_chickfila

Chicago LGBT rights group The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA)  and Alderman Proco 'Joe' Moreno (pictured, below), who in July said he wouldn't allow Chick-Fil-A to open a restaurant in his Northwest Side ward because of the company's anti-gay worldview, issued a press release yesterday that said they had been working with the restaurant chain and that it had agree to no longer donate to anti-gay organizations such as NOM and Focus on the Family.

MorenoTCRA's press release follows:

In a letter addressed to Alderman Moreno 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.”

“We are very pleased with this outcome and thank Alderman Moreno for his work on this issue,” said Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda. “I think the most important part of this outcome is that Chick-fil-A has ceased their donations to anti-gay groups in 2011 and going forward. With some of the groups that they were donating to being classified as hate groups, and others actively trying to halt the movement toward full civil rights for LGBT people, Chick-fil-A has taken a big step forward.  We are encouraged by their willingness to serve all people and ensure their profits are not used to fight against a minority community that is still trying to gain full and equal civil rights.”

“Although we are encouraged by their internal statement, we still would like for the company to adopt an anti-discrimination policy at the corporate level,” said Rick Garcia, policy advisor for The Civil Rights Agenda. “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.”

The Chicago Tribune adds:

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.

The statement of respect also falls short of Moreno's goal of adding language opposing discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to the company's employee handbook.

UPDATE: TCRA is erroneous in its assertion that Chick-fil-A's money went to NOM and Focus. Equality Matters has a helpful guide to where the WinShape Foundation's money did go, and there are plenty of anti-gay groups which received it.

Comments

  1. TampaZeke says

    Didn’t they make a similar promise a couple of years ago?

    And wasn’t it the Family Research Council donations that we were most upset about. FRC is the most offensive group that they were supporting considering its support of the draconian anti-gay Ugandan “kill the gays” bill. I notice that they didn’t name them among the groups they’ll no longer be giving to.

  2. Steve in ORD says

    Who the hell uses the Senior Director of Real Estate to send out notices of policy changes for the company (or rather in this case the “charitable foundation” branch)?

  3. belo says

    I don’t trust Dan Cathy and Chick-Fil-Hate for a second. He’ll take advantage of this “agreement” to open restaurants wherever he wants. Then he’ll go back to bankrolling more hate. Bigots don’t change, they just moderate their tactics.

  4. belo says

    I don’t trust Dan Cathy and Chick-Fil-Hate for a second. He’ll take advantage of this “agreement” to open restaurants wherever he wants. Then he’ll go back to bankrolling more hate. Bigots don’t change, they just moderate their tactics.

  5. Oz in OK says

    Wow. This was unexpected, actually.

    That Joe Moreno continued to work behind the scenes getting Hate-Fil-A to pull its’ funding for the Gay-Hate Inc. groups, while too many of the VERY PEOPLE he stood up for were screaming ‘OMG! You can’t stand up for us! What will the fundies say?!? It’s a disaster! It’s a disaster!!!!’ is beyond impressive.

    Thank you Alderman Moreno!

  6. Pete N SFO says

    I’d like to trust them, but am highly skeptical.

    After all, aren’t we still waiting for NOM’s financial disclosures, even years after Court decisions mandating they provide them???

    I highly doubt you’d ever find this gay person at a Chic-Fil-Hate.

  7. kp05 says

    I appreciate the company itself no longer funding FRC bigotry, but that doesn’t mean Mr. Cathy won’t continue to personally donate to these organizations with his own money (which, as President and COO of a growing company, is only increasing).

    I’m not saying the man shouldn’t be allowed to spend his money how he wants; I’m just saying the same dollar amounts will most likely be sent over to the hate groups, just from a different entity. It’s still in our best interest to not eat there.

  8. endo says

    It makes sense that the Senior Director of Real Estate would send a letter to the alderman since their specific dispute involved real estate.

    But I can see why people are skeptical. Why is there no official notice of policy change from Chic-fil-a’s executive management or from the Winshape Foundation?

    Perhaps the Real Estate Director jumped the gun? Or more likely Chic-fil-a is concerned about not offending all the bigots who lined up on “Chic-fil-a Day” and they’re trying to make the policy change quietly.

  9. AJ says

    I don’t buy it. It’s also a chcken or the egg situation (Heh heh.) Supposedly, the Basilica Block Party here in Minneapolis raises funds only for the historic Basilica Catholic Church, restoration and such of a Mpls landmark. However, because that money comes from other sources, doesn’t that free up their own money to spend on whatever hate organizations the Catholic church wants to fund? I feel the same way here. Just because they are supposedly not going to publicly support gay organizations doesn’t mean they aren’t going to do it privately. I will believe it (maybe) when Dan Cathy tearfully apologizes and angers all those CFA appreciation day bigots.

  10. Jack M says

    I don’t buy it either, and I’m not buying Hate-Fil-A. We can all live healthier without that kind of food anyway. Let the Republicans eat there and get Coronary Artery Disease.

  11. Francis says

    I definitely don’t trust Dan Cathy and the bigwigs at CFA, but I will take them by their word and see what happens. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Doesn’t mean I’ll eat there, but we’ll see what happens. Because what is clear is if they go back on their word on this, there will be HELL to pay.

    CFA saw their brand ratings drop and drop and drop and realized their decision hurt business. That’s the only reason why this decision was made.

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  14. James says

    I guess all those “Christians” who showed up to get their brownie points for pretending to be the best “Christian” by eating chicken aren’t getting people the pats on the back they did on that first day. Typical right-wing “Christian” – it’s all show and as soon as the bragging gets tiresome to others, their commitment to the fight ends.

  15. TonyJazzTon says

    But Fox News said it was all about free speech…. The whole premise of this story is wrong (according to them…).

    I guess Fox News will be issuing a correction today?

    (yeah, right….)

  16. Mike says

    Too late, we already know the owners are anti-gay and took a stand to show the world that they use their money to support anti-gay Christian hate groups. Their failed attempt at public relations is too little too late, the cat is out of the bag, we know who they are and what they are, anti-gay Christians who spend millions of dollars to stop LGBT people and even gave millions to support kill the gays in Africa. We don’t forget and we don’t forgive and we will not give you money for your greasy chicken even if you put on the happy face and lie to us about how you will not attack gays now, you can not be trusted and you have proven that beyond a doubt when you used your money to support killing gays. Now they lie to get their business back to make more millions to support the destruction of LGBT people, what a bunch of evil anti-gay Christian scum they are. They care about the money not the people, that should be plain to see what they put first now and then. I do not buy it and never will support business that use their money to support hate and destruction of any human being.

  17. Bob Latino says

    What happened Chick-fil-A? Weren’t you able to stand the pressure? Did you lose some money in that first quarterly report? Didn’t the board of trustees like those numbers? Are states pressuring the way you handle your donations? Yeah b**** ! It sucks to lose money because of us gays doesn’t it? Shut the f*** up and start treating LGBT like human beings. In your face b****.

  18. Michael Vilain says

    This is purely damage control by a company who’s trying to recover from a CEO who’s private actions have damaged the reputation of that company. They need to FIRE HIS ASS. Publicly and very specifically stating that his personal views, while his own, do not reflect those of the company he founded. Then he can be a evil asshat as a private person and fund whatever he likes without affecting the company.

  19. says

    If companies are people and people vote with dollars then the destination of the restaurant’s donations are open for public debate. It very well should be an issue as to where peoples’ hard-earned money goes after the chicken goes down their gullet. This issue has made our little feathered friend the modern martyr as Chick-fil-A laughs all the way to the bank. Watch the poultry be nailed to the cross and pierced by the spear of destiny at the hands of those devious cows on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/08/holy-rollin-poultry-on-cross-chick-fil.html

  20. Icebloo says

    Do NOT be fooled by this. They are finding it harder to get permits to expand into the northern states so they issue this bs statement – not even through their OWN offices – to say they have changed their policies.

    We need to continue the boycott until the CEO is removed. Nothing has changed until that moron is pushed out of his job.
    The boycott is working. It is hurting their business. Franchise owners are pissed at the CEO and are applying pressure for him to go. We need to continue our boycott so franchise owners keep losing money and continue to push for him to go.

    You don’t think a boycott works ? Take a look at what happened with the Susan G Komen charity – it may have taken a few months but even the woman at the top of the charity, the one who actually CREATED it has been pushed out. Hitting these businesses and charities in their bank balances works. It works every time. CONTINUE the boycott.

  21. Bob says

    OH, GOD, SOME OF YOU SWALLOWED THIS PR CRAP — the chain used the naive Chicago organization to look good. Nothing was said about the OWNERS, who are the big donors and the big mouths.
    DO NOT EAT THERE, THE PROFITS GO TO HATERS

  22. Robert K. says

    I’m just imagining a large group of chickens attacking and seriously damaging a Chick-Fil-A diner a la Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Then a hysterical woman in the diner cries out, “Why are they doing this? They said when you got here the whole thing started. Who are you? What are you? Where did you come from? I think you’re the cause of all of this. I think you’re evil. EVIL!”

    Then she slaps Dan Cathy in the face.

  23. Diogenes Arktos says

    I can’t wait for the Religious Right to lament that even Chick-fil-a has succumbed to the gay agenda. (Not that I believe that Chick-fil-a has actually done so.)

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