Chick-fil-A is trying to shed its anti-LGBTIQ reputation


chick fil a chick-fil-a fast food chain charity donations
Photo: Walker Kinsler/Wikimedia Commons

US fast food chain Chick-fil-A has announced a revamp of their charity donation program after years of protests from LGBTIQ activists.

The popular US-based fast-food chain has faced years of criticism for its donations to anti-LGBTIQ organisations. The company’s foundation had previously donated millions to campaigns to stop same-sex marriage in the US.

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Chick-fil-A now says it will “deepen its giving” to a smaller number of organisations “working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger.”

“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 told Bisnow.

“There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”

Chick-fil-A said the move would give “more clarity” around the donations. Both faith-based and non-faith based organisations would be eligible for donations in the future, the company said.

The company is reportedly ending donations to two organisations, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the US Salvation Army.

However the Salvation Army refuted accusations of LGBTIQ discrimination and said its services are available to all.

Chick-fil-A has controversial past on LGBTIQ issues

LGBTIQ advocacy group GLAAD said Chick-fil-A customers and employees should “greet today’s announcement with cautious optimism”.

However the company still has a chequered policy when it comes to LGBTIQ rights, GLAAD said.

“In addition to refraining from financially supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations, Chick-fil-A still lacks policies to ensure safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees,” GLAAD’s Drew Anderson said.

“[Chick-fil-A] should unequivocally speak out against the anti-LGBTQ reputation that their brand represents.”

Chick-fil-A’s charity donations and comments by executives have sparked controversy over the past several years.

CEO Dan Cathy said in 2012 the company supports “the biblical definition of the family unit”.

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In 2015, Cathy also sparked outrage with comments on same-sex marriage.

“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,’” he said.

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