Chick-fil-A became the center of the argument over gay rights earlier this year after CEO Dan Cathy made inflammatory comments about the LGBT community. In an effort to pull themselves out of the political discussion, the restaurant has decided to stop donating to anti-gay foundations.
According to the Civil Rights Agenda, Illinois’ leading LGBT rights organization, Chik-Fil-A will no longer donate to organizations with a political agenda.
MSNBC reports that the change came about after 10 months of negotiations with Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno. Moreno, along with other politicians like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, threatened to ban the chain from opening new restaurants in their cities. This apparently forced Chik-Fil-A to withdraw funding from anti-gay groups.
Anthony Martinez, executive director of the CRA, said:
“We are very pleased with this outcome and thank Alderman Moreno for his work on this issue… I think the most substantive part of this outcome is that Chick-fil-A has ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights. It has taken months of discussion, both with our organization and with the Alderman, for Chick-fil-A to come forward with these concessions and we feel this is a strong step forward for Chick-fil-A and the LGBT community, although it is only a step.”
MSNBC contacted Chik-Fil-A for a statement. The restaurant did not specifically state that it was pulling funding from anti-gay groups but it did say that it wanted to get the debate over gay marriage out of its kitchen.
The email reads:
“Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
According to the CRT, the WinShape Foundation, the charitable wing of the fast food restaurant, will evaluate organizations more closely before handing out money.
Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate wrote in a letter to Moreno:
“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.”
Chik-Fil-A has also apparently sent out an internal memo stating that the company plans to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender.” The company also stated that their “intent is not to engage in political or social debates.”