Chick-fil-A is no stranger to political controversy. But those hoping there was truth in their pledge to “not have a political or social agenda” might be disappointed to find out that as recently as 2017 the company was still donating millions to charities that hold anti-LGBTQ views, a thing the company explicitly promised it wouldn’t do.
According to tax filings acquired by ThinkProgress, Chick-fil-A made a sizeable donation of $1.6 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, $150,000 to the Salvation Army, as well as a small donation of $6,000 to the controversial Paul Anderson Youth Home which teaches that same-sex marriage is a direct insult to Jesus Christ and Christian values and has come out and blamed the “sexual, physical and mental abuse of children” for creating an “explosion of homosexuality,” because, you know, being gay is a totally new phenomenon.
Troublingly, The Fellowship of Christian Athletes requires its employees to sign a policy that explicitly bars them from “homosexual acts,” while the Salvation Army has a history of opposing LGBTQ causes and discriminating against transgender families. In 2012, a media relations director for the Salvation Army refused to refute the idea that gay people “deserve death” to a group of queer journalists.
Chick-fil-A has since pushed back on reports implying that it’s donations directly advance anti-LGBTQ policies, claiming in a statement to HuffPost that it’s charity focus is in “supporting causes focused on youth and education” later adding:
“We are proud of the positive impact we are making in communities across America and have been transparent about our giving on our web site… To suggest our giving was done to support a political or non-inclusive agenda is inaccurate and misleading.”
It should also be noted that Chick-fil-A has claimed that they have cut off donations to the Paul Anderson Youth Home since 2017. Chick-fil-A’s charity efforts are valiant, and we’ll note that in 2018 Chick-fil-A awarded $14.6 million in scholarships to its employees nationwide (the company is an equal opportunity employer ). Money that its employees could use at any accredited college or university to study any field of their choosing. Which is dope. But we’re also going to point out that there are a lot of charities out there, and Chick-fil-A didn’t have to choose the ones that hold anti-LGBTQ views.