ATLANTA, Ga. (ChurchMilitant.com) - In a move that has shocked Chick-Fil-A's customers and lit Twitter afire, the restaurant chain announced Monday it will end charitable donations to Christian organizations that have defended traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
In 2018, the Chick-fil-A foundation donated $1.65 million to the Fellowhip of Christian Athletes (FCA) and $115,000 to the Salvation Army (SA), according to its foundation website, but that will end this year, after LGBT activists complained to the franchise and accused it of supporting "anti-gay" charities.
Bisnow reports that starting next year, Chick-fil-A will stop donating to the FCA, the SA and the Paul Anderson Youth Home, groups that have maintained firm stands against homosexual activity and same-sex "marriage."
The company has decided to reframe its "giving strategies" by focusing on the themes of education, homelessness and hunger and will donate to Junior Achievement USA and Covenant House, as well as to various community food banks.
Chick-fil-A executives see this move as part of a reorientation toward "critical issues in communities where we do business in the U.S."
Many see the move as a betrayal.
Former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee tweeted, "In Aug 2012, I coordinated a national@ChickfilA Appreciation Day after they were being bullied by militant hate groups. Millions showed up. Today, @ChickfilA betrayed loyal customers for $$. I regret believing they would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathey. Sad."
In Aug 2012, I coordinated a national @ChickfilA Appreciation Day after they were being bullied by militant hate groups. Millions showed up. Today, @ChickfilA betrayed loyal customers for $$. I regret believing they would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathey. Sad.— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) November 18, 2019
So now chicken restaurants can't feed the poor, unless Christian missionaries endorse sodomy. But hey, this was all about "tolerance" remember?— John Zmirak (@JZmirak) November 18, 2019
"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos said. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."
Might as well open on Sunday now— Brave Catholic (@BraveCatholic) November 18, 2019
But judging from recent rejections, the move seems motivated by public relations as well. It comes after several U.S. airports rejected the company from concessions deals earlier this year.
Recently, the landlord of the first Chick-fil-A in the United Kingdom announced eight days into its lease that the pop-up, trial venue would not be welcome to extend its lease because of the company's perceived "anti-LGBT" stance.
The company plans to open its first location in Boston, where the late Mayor Thomas Menino pledged to ban the company from opening within city limits after Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy voiced his opposition to gay "marriage" in 2012.
Menino said in a letter to Cathy at the time, "I was angry to learn on the heels of your prejudiced statements about your search for a site to locate in Boston. There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it," adding that the fast food chain "would be an insult" to Boston.