March 25, 2019
Seven years after Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy first publicly voiced support for “the biblical definition of the family unit”—and national gay rights groups vowed to boycott the fast food chain—the Georgia-based private company is again on the defensive against claims that it has a discriminatory agenda.
The company’s conservative Christian leanings are back in glaring view—with newly released tax filings first publicized by ThinkProgress. The left-leaning news site found that, in 2017, the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave $1.8 million to three tax-exempt groups with a history of anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
The donations include payments of $1.6 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a ministry that spreads an anti-LGBTQ message to college athletes; $150,000 to the Salvation Army, which has opposed LGBTQ rights; and $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a Christian residential facility for troubled youth that teaches that homosexuality is wrong.
Chick-fil-A also listed the donations on its website, which noted that the company’s foundation as of June 2017 “no longer supports” the Paul Anderson Youth Home.
Chick-fil-A, which has previously denied that it discriminates against any group, reiterated that stand. “To suggest our giving was done to support a political or non-inclusive agenda is inaccurate and misleading,” the company stated in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.
The private company’s conservative Christian leanings also drew attention last year when then-EPA head Scott Pruitt explained why he had looked into having his wife own a Chick-fil-A franchise. “I love, she loves, we love Chick-fil-A as a franchise of faith,” Pruitt told a reporter.
Research contact: @CBSNews