Back in late July/early August, Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy admitted to the radio that he donated to charities and churcheswho are both against gay marriage and gay rights altogether. One of the most notorious charities was the Family Research Council, an anti-gay rights hate group who famously lobbied money to not condemn Uganda's bill to execute people just for being gay. This topic was heavily talked about here to the point where it was locked because it was becoming uncivil.
Some of the protests include not allowing Chick-Fil-A restaurants to expand into campuses and cities where gay rights activities are in the forefront, one of them being Chicago. This piece of news occurred four days ago:
The Chicago alderman whose opposition to Chick-fil-A over the restaurant owner’s santi-gay marriage stance made national headlines last month, has announced the company has agreed to stop funding those organizations, according to the Chicago Tribune.
A press release posted on a Chicago-based civil rights advocacy group web site quotes a letter said to have been sent to the alderman from Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate”“The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.” Winshape, a non-profit funded by Chick-fil-a, has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBT groups, including some classified as hate groups, such as Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage. In meetings the company executives clarified that they will no longer give to anti-gay organizations.An internal memo declaring the company will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender” and that their “intent is not to engage in political or social debates,” was also said to have been distributed and included in an official company document called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are.”
The Chicago Tribune notes the language is similar to a July 19 Facebook post the company made:
The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy previously told the Baptist Press the company supported “the biblical definition of family.”
The stance caused a controversy with some calling for a boycott of the restaurant, while others came out en masse to support the stance including staging a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”
In July, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared Aug. 1 national “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” in support the chain owner’s recent comments against gay marriage and supporting the right to free speech and thousands flocked to the franchises to show their support.
This is actually supposedly a major step in the right direction. Contrary to what some people said, what Cathy said and did was very dangerous. If he were someone who was alone, unknown, and was speaking for himself, there may not be as much controversy. However, he demonstrated his anti-same sex marriage beliefs and "charity" donations as basically the entire core of the restaurant from the CEO/Owner to the employees. His words, therefore, were put into a much larger context. He and his company were justifiably criticized and blasted for not only their words, but for also donating money that customers paid to anti-gay right charities and hate groups. Therefore, the supposed harassment of CFA's employees — cooks, waiters, etc. — were one hundred percent Cathy's own fault because he put them in danger. Expressing an opinion doesn't mean guarantee freedom of financial and personal consequences.
However, now that CFA supposedly won't donate any more money to anti-LGBT charities, will I eat at any of the restaurants?
One is the fact that I want no association with someone who donated any money for the sake of "protecting traditional marriage," which is a major fallacy. There hasn't been one good reason why same sex marriage — NOT civil unions, as they're mostly recognized state-wide only; don't offer the same federal legal status protections, benefits, and recognitions as marriage in most states; and the words "civil union" psychologically translate into being part of "different, inferior" class status-wise to plenty of the LGBT and its activists — shouldn't be legalized and recognized throughout the U.S. Every argument against it has been poorly thought out or uses religion as a crutch. In the U.S., using religious as a reason to outlaw constitutional civil rights is against the law.
The other reason is the fact that I have absolutely zero trust in Cathy and the higher-ups in Chick-Fil-A. Here's an article that describes this alleged new practice and an excerpt from the article:
Although Chick-fil-A supposedly assured a Chicago alderman that it would stop donating to antigay groups, this week it held a fundraiser for one anyway.
The fast food chain promised in a letter to Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno, reported by the Chicago Phoenix, that it would end giving to any groups with "political agendas," implying it had stopped a practice that had led to about $5 million for antigay groups. But there might be a loophole.
Although the company's foundation might not be donating directly, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy tweeted a photo on Tuesday from the 2012 WinShape Ride for the Family. He wrote alongside the picture of a pack of motorcyclists: "WinShape Ride for the Family bikers locked and loaded for 200 mile ride to Wilmington out of Charleston."
That long ride is a fundraiser for an organization that helps lobby against marriage equality. Registration forms for the event ask that checks be sent, not to the WinShape Foundation that Chick-fil-A operates, but directly to the Marriage and Family Foundation at 5200 Buffington Road in Atlanta, Ga.
The forms say the ride fee is $3,500 for each individual or couple. But sponsorship packages posted online show that organizations could pledge $5,000 for "silver" status, $10,000 for "gold" or $15,000 and more to reach "platinum." The Chick-fil-A logo accompanies everything, and so does the WinShape name, but it's unclear whether the foundation continues to make donations.
The Marriage and Family Foundation was not only included in the investigation by Equality Matters of the fast-food chain's questionable giving history, it was identified as the top antigay recipient in 2010. WinShape had given more than $1 million to the group in 2010 alone.
Equality Matters explained the group's history in detail. It was originally named the Marriage and Family Legacy Fund when it was founded in 2007 by a member of the Cathy family. In fact, the current Buffington Road address in Atlanta is now shared by Chick-fil-A's headquarters.
Basically, the funds they'll get is indirect. Not from WinShape, but to groups personally, who in turn donate to the anti-gay (marriage) groups like the Family Research Council. If they're going to donate and associate themselves that way, then that's still create a problem for simply one reason.
Dan Cathy lied!
According to meetings in Chicago, CFA claimed to quit donating to anti-gay marriage churches and charities. This practice, while legal, is conniving because he's donating via other means. Cathy's claim was a bold-face lie because the charities he associates with will still receive donations.
It also doesn't help when Cathy denied giving these "concessions" so they can build a restaurant branch in Chicago, which is considered one of the more liberal cities in the U.S.
The previous announcement earlier this week was a major step in the right direction. Unfortunately, Cathy gave the movement the other cold shoulder via attending the "charity" as well as making this statement.