In the fall of 2012, it was announced that Chick-fil-A would stop donating to discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ organizations. This happened a few months after the company announced it would “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage,” following uproar over CEO Dan Cathy’s comments about same-sex marriage. In the years since, the company has done more to expand its reach out of its traditional southeastern stronghold and become the third-fastest-growing chain in this country. But at least as of 2017, Chick-fil-A was still donating to some of these organizations.
According to tax filings first reported on by ThinkProgress, the chicken sandwich chain donated $1,632,416 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which requires its employees to sign a policy that bars them from “homosexual acts.” Chick-fil-A also donated $150,000 to the Salvation Army, which has a record of opposing LGBTQ causes, and $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a Georgia home for troubled youth that has blamed “sexual, physical, and mental abuse of children” for creating an “explosion of homosexuality.” Back in 2016, Chick-fil-A announced that going forward, it would not donate to groups with an anti-LGBTQ stance, with the except of the Salvation Army.
The money was donated through the Chick-fil-A Foundation, and the company tells ThinkProgress it has “never donated with the purpose of supporting a social or political agenda.” In response to questions from Grub, a rep shared a statement attributed to Chick-fil-A about the Foundation’s donations:
In 2017, the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave $9.9 million in donations to communities across America. In addition, the Chick-fil-A organization contributed $8.8 million to scholarships to support the college education of more than 3,000 team members. The sole focus of our donations was to support causes focused on youth and education. We are proud of the positive impact we are making in communities across America and have been transparent about our giving on our web site. To suggest our giving was done to support a political or non-inclusive agenda is inaccurate and misleading. To view Chick-fil-A’s full stewardship report, please click here.