Chicken chain Chick-fil-A on Monday
announced it would no longer donate to three groups opposed to
Chick-fil-A COO Tim Tassopoulos told
commercial real estate website Bisnow that going forward the eatery
wanted to be clear about its message.
“There's no question we know that, as
we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” he
said. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about
Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
Chick-fil-A's giving will focus on
education, homelessness, and hunger, he said.
Bisnow reported that at least three
organizations opposed to LGBT rights will no longer receive donations
from the chicken chain, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship
of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.
“This provides more focus and more
clarity,” Tassopoulos said. “We think [education, hunger, and
homelessness] are critical issues in communities where we do business
in the U.S.”
The Atlanta-based chain has for years
fought back against comments made by its CEO, Dan Cathy. In 2012,
Cathy conceded that Chick-fil-A is opposed to same-sex marriage. In
an interview with the Christian publication the Baptist Press,
Cathy answered, “Well, guilty as charged,” when asked about his
company's record of supporting groups opposed to marriage equality.
He later called same-sex marriage “twisted stuff.” In 2014, he
said he would no longer speak on the issue.
Chick-fil-A's reputation as a quiet
supporter of anti-LGBT groups – the company publicly said that it
was not political – delighted social conservatives who used the
brand on social media to signal their own opposition to marriage
equality. That led to Chick-fil-A facing opposition to its stores on
some college campuses, airports, and cities.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
said in a tweet that the company had capitulated to LGBT activists.
“In Aug 2012, I coordinated a
national @ChickfilA Appreciation Day after they were being bullied by
militant hate groups,” Huckabee said. “Millions showed up. Today,
@ChickfilA betrayed loyal customers for $$. I regret believing they
would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathey [sic]. Sad.”
“The sad message of @ChickfilA is
quite clear- they surrendered to anti-Christian hate groups. Tragic,”
he added in a separate message.
In a statement, LGBT rights advocate
GLAAD said that it was greeting the announcement with “cautious
“[S]imilar press statements were
previously proven to be empty,” GLAAD said.