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Gay 'Campus Pride' Leader Befriends Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, Says Funding of Anti-LGBT Groups Ceased

Campus Pride executive director Shane Windmeyer writes about his months-long dialogue with Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy which led to an invitation to hang out with Cathy at the Chick-fil-A bowl, and the suspension of Campus Pride's boycott and protest of the chicken chain.

WindmeyerWindmeyer says Cathy called him out of the blue and began an extensive dialogue of trust-filled exchanges:

Chick-fil-A also provided access to internal documents related to the funding of anti-LGBT groups and asked questions about our concerns related to this funding. An internal document, titled "Who We Are," expressed Chick-fil-A's values, which included their commitment "to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect," including LGBT people. Dan and his family members had personally drafted, refined and approved the document.

Through all this, Dan and I shared respectful, enduring communication and built trust. His demeanor has always been one of kindness and openness. Even when I continued to directly question his public actions and the funding decisions, Dan embraced the opportunity to have dialogue and hear my perspective. He and I were committed to a better understanding of one another. Our mutual hope was to find common ground if possible, and to build respect no matter what. We learned about each other as people with opposing views, not as opposing people.

Windmeyer says Chick-fil-A has kept its promises to stop funding anti-LGBT groups and explains that's why they suspended their boycott back in September:

This past week Chick-fil-A shared with me the 2011 IRS Form 990, filed in November for the WinShape Foundation, along with 2012 financials. The IRS has not released the 990 to the public yet, but the financials affirm Chick-fil-A's values a year prior to the controversy this past July. The nearly $6 million in outside grant funding focuses on youth, education, marriage enrichment and local communities. The funding reflects Chick-fil-A's promised commitment not to engage in "political or social debates," and the most divisive, anti-LGBT groups are no longer listed.

Even as Campus Pride and so many in the community protested Chick-fil-A and its funding of groups like Family Research Council, Eagle Forum and Exodus International, the funding of these groups had already stopped. Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A could have noted this publicly earlier. Instead, they chose to be patient, to engage in private dialogue, to reach understanding,and to share proof with me when it was official. There was no "caving"; there were no "concessions." There was, in my view, conscience.

Read Windmeyer's full piece here.

What do you think? Should LGBT folks stop their protests against Chick-fil-A?

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  1. Does this count as public disclosure? It seems more like back room dealing.

    Posted by: Polyboy | Jan 28, 2013 1:42:30 PM

  2. Anti-marriage equality is still anti-gay in my book. Sorry, Dan Cathy, but this stomach will remain empty of Chik-Fil-A and therefore will stay leaner as a result.

    Posted by: brian | Jan 28, 2013 1:44:58 PM

  3. Never ate at Chick-fil-Hate and never will, so either way has no impact to me.

    Posted by: Dean | Jan 28, 2013 1:46:46 PM

  4. First the BSA, now Chick-Fil-A. Is it early April Fool's Day?

    Posted by: KT | Jan 28, 2013 1:48:19 PM

  5. I don't believe for a sec they stopped donating to anti-lgbt hate groups.

    Posted by: clouding | Jan 28, 2013 1:51:07 PM

  6. i dunno.

    let's say a company no longer "donated" to racist causes yet still harboured, and thus condoned and promoted (even non-financially) racial bigotry does that mean they're off the hook?

    the folks we saw going out in record numbers for those "chick-fil-a appreciation day" binges made it pretty clear to me: let 'em gobble it down and get type 2 diabetes.

    great. they're no longer donating to anti-gay causes. but that doesn't mean they're good people. it means they're almost decent. and decency should be done for decency's sake - not to be rewarded. so my tastebuds will remain chick-fil-a free.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 28, 2013 1:51:26 PM

  7. It is one thing to fund organizations trying to diminish heterosexual divorce, it is another to fund anti-gay organizations trying to 'save' marriage. Maybe they needed to have the difference pointed out to them.

    Now, when will there be a gay couple with a franchise?

    Posted by: Gus | Jan 28, 2013 1:55:21 PM

  8. *ahem*

    to be more specific, what work is this company going to do to UNDO the harm and prejudice caused by their donations to anti-gay hate groups?

    the opposite of war is not peace, but creation.

    "no longer donating to anti-gay causes" frankly doesn't cut it with me. sure, it's nice that they've stopped, or will stop, but that doesn't actually address the harm that they've already perpetrated and promoted.

    will they take an actively pro-Equality stance, through donations or public personae, or in their minds is simply no longer actively raising funds for bigotry enough?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 28, 2013 1:55:25 PM

  9. Shane Windmeyer is an obvious sell-out, a glory-seeking queen who wants to run to the world and tell them he has cured Dan Cathy of his homophobic policies.

    Not buying it. Disgusted by Windmeyer. Campus Pride should remove him as Executive Director. Will continue to boycott Chic-Fil-A.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Jan 28, 2013 1:59:00 PM

  10. Until Mr. Cathy offers a full apology to the LGBT community, I'm not really interested.

    Posted by: Geoff | Jan 28, 2013 2:00:13 PM

  11. According to the full article, Cathy still does not believe in SSM. Windmeyer takes a "Let's agree to disagree attitude", similar to the one gay Republicans take in order to sleep at night. No thanks.

    Posted by: KT | Jan 28, 2013 2:00:51 PM

  12. Windmeyer can't count this as a victory till Cathy and his company donate to pro-Equality causes and make a public statement in support of Equality.

    a bully who runs around the school beating and insulting gay kids doesn't become a hero simply when he stops. he becomes a hero when he actively works hard to undo all the crap he's done.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 28, 2013 2:02:23 PM

  13. Yeah, Kiwi is right on this one. It's not enough to just stop, they need to fix some of the harm they caused.

    And it isn't even hard. They already have a huge base of ignorant bastards, start promoting tolerance and reason to your horrible customers. They will get less pathetic in time, or die from all that fast food.

    Posted by: Fensox | Jan 28, 2013 2:03:51 PM

  14. NO, they're still foes of equality for LGBT people, no matter how they sugarcoat it.

    "to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect"... denying LGBT people the right to marry the person they love is not treating them with dignity and respect, period.
    Little Kiwi absouletely nails it with his comment, what work is this company going to do to UNDO the harm and prejudice caused by their donations and the actions of Cathy?

    Posted by: Peter M. | Jan 28, 2013 2:07:40 PM

  15. campuspride should remove him as executive director---besides when is the last time he was on a campus-- when golden girls was still on tv........

    Posted by: steve | Jan 28, 2013 2:10:19 PM

  16. Looks like Mr Cathy has taken a hard look at his end of the year spreadsheet and realized that he needed to make nice with the LGBT community so this is a ploy to try to bring his profit margin back up. It is all about money not about doing what is right. He will never see a dime from me. I don't trust him.

    Like people have said before actions speak louder than words, let him put his money where his mouth is and donate to some LGBT causes.

    Posted by: ormedic | Jan 28, 2013 2:10:29 PM

  17. Dan Cathy's company still makes lousy food and Dan Cathy is still an enemy of LGBT people. Either you are for us or against us and that includes marriage equality.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 28, 2013 2:10:54 PM

  18. Not good enough. I respect his effort to find some common ground, but the COO is paid from CFA's profits. Where in this investigation does Mr. Windmeyer say Mr. Cathy has agreed to personally stop funding these anti-gay groups? I didn't see that anywhere in this article. I'm still not spending a dime at CFA, sorry.

    Posted by: Tom | Jan 28, 2013 2:17:34 PM

  19. OK, here's what I'm going to assume this means in reality, until told otherwise. Chik-fil-A will stop funding groups that are primarily anti-gay, created for the purpose of opposing gay rights initiatives and marriage equality.

    However, they will continue to fund religious groups who at least *claim* their purpose isn't primarily anti-gay, but to support "traditional values," such as the AFA, FOTF, etc. and those groups will continue to oppose gay rights with Dan Cathy's financial support.

    IF that is indeed the case this alleged change is meaningless.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jan 28, 2013 2:18:58 PM

  20. I feel the need to bring some balance here. Regardless of why Cathy ceased donating to anti-LGBT hate groups, the bottom line is this: he did. So regardless of anyone's personal opinion of Windmeyer, it seems that his friendly approach worked in this case. And for that, I commend him. This doesn't mean that I will eat at Chick-fil-A again (I haven't decided), but I would like to take this moment to thank the chain for ending its support of anti-LGBT hate groups. To quote King, "the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Today was a small bend in that direction.

    Posted by: Daniel | Jan 28, 2013 2:21:00 PM

  21. "After months of respectful discussion, Windmeyer convinced the Priest to stop molesting the children in his parish. The Priest, however, feels that no longer f***ing children is enough. He doesn't need to apologize to and for the children he f***ed, and will not actively work against any future kid-f***ing that may be perpetrated by others inspired by his past donations and promotions of child rape."


    see? congrats! you're not raping anymore! you're almost a decent human being!

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 28, 2013 2:26:30 PM

  22. So, what. I don't believe in scorched earth tactics. If you don't want to eat or associate with Chick-Fil-A, don't. It's your choice. But don't try to blackmail people who are not anti Chick-Fil-A into making the same choice you have. Show some tolerance to people's personal and consumer choices.

    Posted by: Jake | Jan 28, 2013 2:29:33 PM

  23. Who eats that Red State factory produced food, anyway?

    Posted by: Mike in nyc | Jan 28, 2013 2:30:20 PM

  24. a LOUD & EXTENDED 180 might help, a bit.

    Posted by: normadesmond | Jan 28, 2013 2:31:53 PM

  25. who is specifically "blackmailing" you, 'Jake'? And how are they specifically doing so?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 28, 2013 2:35:47 PM

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