Restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A gave nearly $2 million to anti-gay groups in 2009, a new investigation by Equality Matters has found.

The 2009 figure is nearly twice as much as the company gave in the previous 5 years combined. Between the years of 2003 and 2008, the WinShape Foundation, Chick-Fil-A's charitable arm founded in 1984, distributed $1.1 million to 8 groups, including $631,600 to the National Christian Foundation, $480,000 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, $15,000 to Serving Marriages, $5,000 to the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), $5,000 to the Christian Camp and Conference Association, $2,850 to the Campus Crusade for Christ, $2,000 to the Georgia Family Council and $1,000 to the Family Research Council (FRC).

In 2009, the most recent year for which public records are available, WinShape gave over $1.7 million to 7 anti-gay groups, including $994,199 to the Marriage & Family Legacy Fund, $480,000 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, $240,000 to the National Christian Foundation, $12,500 to Focus on the Family, $5,000 to Eagle Forum, $1,000 to Exodus International and $1,000 to Family Research Council (FRC).

The largest benefactor of Chick-Fil-A's giving, the Marriage and Family Legacy Fund (MFLF), was founded by the company's senior vice president, Donald “Bubba” Cathy. It is a project of the Marriage CoMission, which is supported by the prominent anti-gay activists, including Alan Chambers, president of the “ex-gay” group Exodus International, and Barry Sheets, government affairs director of the Citizens for Community Values.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes has labeled being gay an “impure lifestyle” not “acceptable to God.”

The National Christian Foundation, which received nearly a quarter-million dollars, supports numerous anti-gay groups, including Focus on the Family, Family Life and the FRC.

The findings belie statements made this year by Dan Cathy, president of Chick-Fil-A, in the wake of the restaurant's sponsorship of a marriage seminar closely associated with the anti-gay marriage group Pennsylvania Family Institute.

In a two-minute-twenty-seven-second video message released in January, Cathy denied that the company's donation was an endorsement of its values.

“Let me be clear, Chick-Fil-A serves all people and values all people,” Cathy said.

“Providing food to these events, or any event, is not an endorsement of the mission, political stance or motives of this or any other organization. Any suggestion otherwise is just inaccurate,” he added.

Speaking to the New York Times, Cathy said his company would “not champion any political agendas on marriage and family,” then added that it would “continue to offer resources to strengthen marriages and families.”