After receiving immense backlash for donating to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations like the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Chick-fil-A has finally reconsidered.
Over the years, Chick-fil-A has come under major fire for making donations towards charities that are explicitly anti-LGBTQ+. For this reason, many a dedicated customer has switched over to competing fast-food chains. Well, it appears that voting with their dollar may have just worked - the home of America's arguably most famous waffle fries officially announced it will no longer be supporting these organizations. In a statement released earlier this week, Chick-fil-A let everyone know which charities they will be supporting in the future. Missing from this list was the Salvation Army as well as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), both large organizations criticized for their anti-LGBTQ+ agenda. Despite this move, Chick-fil-A is yet to rectify its checkered policy when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, CNN reports.
The fast-food company revealed in their announcement that they had donated $1.65 million to the FCA and $115,000 to The Salvation Army in the year 2018 alone. Nonetheless, going forward, Chick-fil-A stated that they would work solely with charities focus on providing aid in the fields of education, homelessness, and hunger. In order to do so, they will be partnering with Junior Achievement USA and Covenant House International. In addition to this, they will be donating $25,000 to several local food banks.
In response to the news, the Salvation Army was not too pleased. They affirmed, "We're saddened to learn that a corporate partner has felt it necessary to divert funding to other hunger, education and homelessness organizations — areas in which the Salvation Army, as the largest social services provider in the world, is already fully committed." The charity went so far as to claim that they are the largest provider of poverty relief to those in the LGBTQ+ community. "When misinformation is perpetuated without fact, our ability to serve those in need, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or any other factor, is at risk," they said. "We urge the public to seek the truth before rushing to ill-informed judgment and greatly appreciate those partners and donors who ensure that anyone who needs our help feels safe and comfortable to come through our doors." But their past record proves otherwise. Previously, the Salvation Army has reiterated that the Bible forbids any form of sexual intimacy between partners of the same sex, that LGBTQ+ Christians should commit to celibacy, and lastly, that Christian holy scripture does not support same-sex marriages.
Meanwhile, LGBTQ+ rights organization GLAAD suggested that the announcement should be met with "cautious optimism". Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, stated, "In addition to refraining from financially supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations, Chick-fil-A still lacks policies to ensure safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees and should unequivocally speak out against the anti-LGBTQ reputation that their brand represents." At present, Chick-fil-A is expanding into more liberal areas, such as New York City, where the chain recently opened its first branch. It is suspected that perhaps the move to withhold donations from anti-LGBTQ+ organizations could have been motivated by the desire to capture these liberal markets. Despite the questionable intent, perhaps the impact will be worth it.