Chick-Fil-A has pledged to stop donating to two Christian groups following pressure from LGBTQ organizations, CNBC reports. The company will instead donate its charitable money to secular groups aimed at “education, homelessness, and hunger.”
The company had been donating to both The Salvation Army and to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, through its charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation. However, according to a statement issued Monday, the fast-food chain said that those donations are no more.
“We made multi-year commitments to both organizations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018,” the company said in a statement. Further, the company said that, moving forward, it would only donate to non-sectarian groups. It remains unclear, as of this writing, what those groups will be.
Back in 2012, Chick-Fil-A became the center of a national conversation, as well as something of a culture war, after it was revealed that the company, through its charitable foundation, was donating to groups that were vocally advocating against same-sex marriage, such as the Family Research Council, and at least one group that advocated for anti-gay “conversion therapy,” Exodus International.
COO Dan Cathy said at the time that allowing same-sex marriage was “inviting God’s judgment.”
“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,'” Cathy said at the time.
The news of the donations led to competing efforts aimed at the business, both a boycott by LGBTQ groups, and a “buycott” by Christian groups who wanted to support the company and its advocacy.
Eventually the controversy died down and the company promised to stop donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations. However, years later, as reported in March by The Inquisitr, an analysis of the company’s charitable spending revealed that the company was still donating to at least three groups that were hostile to LGBTQ individuals — The Salvation Army, The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and a Georgia group home for troubled youth.
The company’s history of donating to anti-LGBTQ groups has led to protests and, in some cases, steps being taken legally to keep them out of certain areas. For example, the San Antonio city council wrote language into its airport’s contract with a concession that prevents the provider from leasing space to Chick-Fil-A. Not long after San Antonio’s decision, Buffalo, New York also prevented Chick-Fil-A from opening up in that city’s airport.