After two months of controversy, fast food chain Chick-fil-A has agreed to stop all funding of anti-gay organizations, claimed the Civil Rights Agenda, a Chicago-based group, in a statement released on Tuesday.
“We are very pleased with this outcome and thank Alderman [Proco "Joe"] Moreno for his work on this issue,” said Anthony Martinez, executive director of TCRA, according to the statement. “I think the most substantive part of this outcome is that Chick-fil-A has ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender] civil rights.
"It has taken months of discussion, both with our organization and with the Alderman, for Chick-fil-A to come forward with these concessions and we feel this is a strong step forward for Chick-fil-A and the LGBT community, although it is only a step.”
The agreement that ceased the fast food restaurant’s funding of groups that attempted to block same-sex marriages comes just over two months after opposition from Chicago Alderman Moreno.
Although the TRCA feels the agreement is a victory, Slate cited a Chicago Tribune article that offers a different perspective.
Chick-fil-A apparently had posted similar statements to Facebook before the anti-gay issue reached the national spotlight, according to the Tribune article. The claims from the company also don't include what Moreno had wanted; there is no direct opposition to language against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the restaurant's employee handbook.
BuzzFeed said the company did not confirm the new report; however, Chick-fil-A did not contest it in an email statement Wednesday, it said.
"We have no agenda, policy or position against anyone. We have a 65-year history of providing hospitality for all people and, as a dedicated family business, serving and valuing everyone regardless of their beliefs or opinions," said spokesman Steve Robinson, in a general statement, allegedly emailed to BuzzFeed on Wednesday. "The genuine, historical intent of our WinShape Foundation and corporate giving has been to support youth, family and educational programs."
The statement cited by BuzzFeed is in contrast to what Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy said in an interview with the Baptist Press on July 18. “We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit,” said Cathy.
In the following weeks, the fast food chain received mixed reactions from customers.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in a letter told Cathy that the company should back out of plans of moving to his city. He was also joined by Moreno, who didn’t want the restaurant to build a new location in Chicago, either.
Conversely, conservatives saw these attempts to halt Chick-fil-A in certain cities as an attack on free speech, which spawned Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. The Aug. 2 event, created by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, set new sales records for the company.
This protest led the way for the Chick-fil-A Kiss In event. The day after Appreciation Day, same-sex couples flocked to Chick-fil-A restaurants and showed their affection toward one another.
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