Put down the chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A is back in the dog house.
The company, which has received flak for donating to anti-LGBTQ causes and organizations in the past, apparently never made good on its promise to stop discriminating and focus on chicken. Based on Chick-fil-A’s most recent IRS filing, the company gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations that preach discriminatory messages against gender and sexual minorities.
Five years ago, the company found itself in hot oil after its CEO Dan Cathy frankly admitted that he was “guilty as charged” on opposing same-sex marriage.
“We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy said in an interview with Baptist Press. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
But what the Lord giveth, LGBTQ advocacy groups and national PR campaigns taketh away. Soon after making these statements, the restaurant chain announced it would “leave the public policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena” and withdrew millions in funding to anti-gay marriage groups.
And although the company has ceased donations to groups like Focus on the Family, an opponent of same-sex marriage, hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2015 supported anti-LGBTQ organizations with less overt but equally discriminatory agendas.
The Chick-fil-A Foundation gave $1 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), a religious non-profit sports organization that seeks “to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes,” according to its website. Based out of Kansas City, Missouri, the organization operates sports camps across the United states and in over 60 countries. According to figures provided on their website, FCA has hosted over 100,000 campers since it was founded in 1954.
But in their Student Leadership Application, FCA requires applicants to sign a sexual purity statement that prohibits “homosexual acts.”
“The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts,” the statement reads. “Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternative lifestyle acceptable to God.”
By signing the statement, applicants indicate that they “understand that if I am found being involved in a lifestyle that does not conform to the FCA’s Sexual Purity Statement…that it means that I will need to step down from my leadership position.”
The restaurant chain also donated more than $200,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a “Christian residential home for troubled youth” that “recreates healthy homes through enduring relationships, routines, and tough love.”
Along with providing a residential service focused on boys and young men struggling with addiction, the Georgia-based group also advocates for a Christian vision of parenting. This vision includes the belief that “sexual, physical, and mental abuse of children, mostly in the alleged ‘safety’ of their own homes has produced all kinds of evil throughout the culture to include the explosion of homosexuality in the last century.”
The disclosure of these donations have not provoked the level of outrage of previous donations. Outside of a few articles, the coverage and reaction to the news has been muted, especially in comparison to Cathy’s 2012 interview.