Chick-fil-A, a southern-style chicken sandwich franchise and a self-identified Christian company, doesn’t want to be labeled “anti-gay” anymore.
Earlier this week Rider University in New Jersey denied the fast food restaurant a potential on-campus location because of “the company’s record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ community.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
Chick-fil-A says it has supported Christian values. Its corporate purpose is “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.”
In a statement sent by its attorney, Chick-fil-A responded to the rejection from Rider University:
Rider University’s survey was recently brought to our attention, and while we respect the University’s decision, this news story represents a good opportunity to clarify misperceptions about our brand. Chick-fil-A is a restaurant company focused on food, service and hospitality, and our restaurants and licensed locations on college campuses welcome everyone. We have no policy of discrimination against any group, and we do not have a political or social agenda. More than 120,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs represent the Chick-fil-A brand.
However, despite the protests from Chick-fil-A’s legal representation, the fact remains that every chicken sandwich you buy from Chick-fil-A helps support anti-gay Christian hate groups.
A recent report from ThinkProgress indicates that Chick-fil-A continues to support anti-gay groups despite claims that it had “ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights.”
Chick-fil-A Foundation’s most recent IRS filings show it gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-LGBTQ organizations in 2015. Though its website’s FAQ claims the foundation “is focused on helping every child become all they were created to be,” its donations went to groups that do not believe this includes LGBTQ youth.
In particular, “the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave more than $1 million in 2015 (nearly one-sixth of its total grants) to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes,” a religious organization which “imparts a strongly anti-LGBTQ message.”
In addition, the foundation also gave more than $200,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a Georgia-based “transformative organization” that operates an anti-gay “Christian residential home for troubled youth” and uses propaganda associated with harmful and discredited “ex-gay” therapy.
Also on the list, “the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave at least $130,000 to the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is a Christian organization with a long history of anti-LGBTQ housing discrimination, opposition to same-sex marriage equality, and supporting exemptions from non-discrimination ordinances”.
Indeed, Chick-fil-A has a long and well documented history of promoting discrimination against members of the gay and lesbian community. In the past Chick-fil-A donated considerable resources to anti-gay causes, including Christian extremist organizations labeled as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
And in the past Chick-fil-A has supported multiple anti-gay Christian extremist organizations, including the Focus on the Family Institute, the American Family Association, the National Organization for Marriage, the Pennsylvania Family Institute, Exodus International and the Family Research Council. These groups are some of the most vehement and vicious anti-gay groups in the country.
Bottom line: The Christian fast food restaurant whose corporate purpose is to “glorify God,” continues to support anti-gay groups and organizations.