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Chick-fil-A to end anti-gay donations, mandates equal treatment of gays

By Tony Merevick| Chicago Phoenix
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

CHICAGO — After months of negotiations with Chicago Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno over its anti-gay positions and donations, Chick-fil-A has agreed to cease donations from its non-profit charity to anti-gay organizations and issued a company-wide internal mandate calling for the equal treatment of all employees and customers, the alderman said.

WinShape, a non-profit funded by the College Park, Ga.-based chicken chain, has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBT organizations — some classified hate groups — including Focus on the Family, according to The Civil Rights Agenda, which worked with Moreno and company executives in an advisory capacity as they negotiated to adopt new policies.

Tony Merevick, Chicago Phoenix

Protesters at a Chicago Chick-fil-A on Aug. 1, 2012.

“At Chick-fil-A, we have a genuine commitment to hospitality for all of our guests. We have no agenda, policy or position against anyone,” said Steve Robinson, executive vice president of marketing in statement to Chicago Phoenix. “The genuine, historical intent of our WinShape Foundation and corporate giving has been to support youth, family and educational programs. We value everyone and strive to treat all people with a caring spirit.”

Chick-fil-A serves and values everyone regardless of their beliefs or opinions, Robinson said. The company made similar statements on its Facebook page in mid-July — before the controversy erupted over comments made by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, in which he reiterated the company’s support for marriage between a man and woman and his opposition to same-sex marriage.

“This is a win for the LGBT community,” Moreno said in a statement provided by TCRA. “This is a win for everyone who works for the cause of equal rights, and a win for Chick- fil-A. This is a win for all.”

The shift could ease intense opposition from the local LGBT community and the alderman that left many pitted against the restaurant chain’s plans to open a new location in the city.

“We are very pleased with this outcome and thank Ald. Moreno for his work on this issue,” said Anthony Martinez, executive director of TCRA. “I think the most substantive part of this outcome is that Chick-fil-A has ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights.”

The company reportedly outlined its shift in policy and practice in a letter addressed to Moreno, who in July declared that he would block the popular fast food chain from opening a new location in his ward unless they adopted gay-friendly policies. The letter, signed by Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate reads, “The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas,” according to Martinez.

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50 more reader comments:

  1. …Are you really taken in by this? They said the same thing when they got busted in 2011.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:26pm
  2. PFF! Hate like that isnt Just “swept away!” ITS TO LATE…to apologize.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:26pm
  3. I still won’t eat their shit….

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:26pm
  4. Don’t believe them till I see them in acting

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:28pm
  5. I want proof

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:29pm
  6. They will just hide it better… still not eating there.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:29pm
  7. too little too late, Chickfila

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:29pm
  8. Please remember some of these are franchised by gay people ( went to one today that had the best service I have ever had )!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:29pm
  9. I’m not running out to eat CFA anytime soon Actions speak louder than words….

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:30pm
  10. I call bullshit

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:30pm
  11. Don’t believe them…They just want to get into that location in Chicago! Let them make equivalent donations to our LGBT charities!! Then maybe I’ll believe them… But still won’t eat their crap food!!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:31pm
  12. I don’t think it’s productive to be skeptical of their sincerity. I think we should all go out and get some Chick-fil-A this week to show that it is worth it for company’s to do things like this. I never have a crap what their president believed. All that matters is they will stop donating to hate groups like FOF and that this sets a precedent for other companies. This shows the country that supporting far right hate groups is bad for business because there are too many people out there who support equality whose business they stand to lose.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:33pm
  13. Companies*

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:34pm
  14. Yes. Thank you, Joe.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:34pm
  15. Watch them like hawks and I’m still not spending a dime there.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:34pm
  16. Gave* argh! Autocorrect ruins my grammar!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:34pm
  17. This Is progress! The first steps forward are never easy, but now we can walk together.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:34pm
  18. I hope this is true. I really do. If so, I think we should at least applaud the action, whether or not you want to support their company with your money. It’s a step forward, no matter what the reasons are. This is what we wanted, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to kind of spit in their faces for it. I’m so happy that we proved that you can no longer make bold anti-gay statements and get away with it.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:40pm
  19. Until Cathy himself makes a public statement with a sincere apology, I will NEVER set foot in his stores again!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:40pm
  20. don’t they serve cock?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:42pm
  21. bullshit

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:42pm
  22. Good first move! Will definitely watch every step they make.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:44pm
  23. Only move they could make if they wanted to stay in business after all the controversy.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:46pm
  24. Why dont I trust CFA ? I wonder.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:48pm
  25. I agree with Tami. What’s the matter? Losing all that GAY money?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:49pm
  26. That is only because they realized that we as in THE GAYS support their dam company significantly = proffits. Gays make everything better America Is just coming to their senses.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 5:50pm
  27. Don’t believe it :(

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 6:01pm
  28. while this is a step forward, I think they should now donate an equal amount to pro-gay organizations to at least even their support. The damage has been done by their previous donations; to simply say they wont do it again is not justice to those who have been harmed. Personally, I will be waiting to see what they do before buying their food in the future – while I am willing to acknowledge that folks like these can change their behavior and be serious about taking the high road to equality and tolerance, actions speak much more than words, so as far as I am concerned, this is a small first step. Let’s keep them under the microscope and watch carefully to see what they do – and dont do – going forward.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 6:07pm
  29. WOO now I can finally go back to eating good christian woman chicken without shame!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 6:07pm
  30. Fuck Chick-fil-A.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 6:09pm
  31. Has anyone snoped this?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 6:13pm
  32. buahahahahahahah! not that i actually believe them, but the fact that they said it – out loud and in public – is HUGE!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 6:19pm
  33. Still not eating there!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 6:20pm
  34. Bullshit. Are they going start donating millions to charities that support marriage equality, AIDS awareness, or homeless LGBT youth instead? I’m happy they had to eat their words, but it’s too late. Good riddance, Chik-fil-hate.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 6:20pm
  35. That’s a good start. One little problem; why are the hardcore people like Bachmann, Malkin, etc. not going up in arms about it?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 6:27pm
  36. Not sure I believe this one.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 6:28pm
  37. yah Im not sure about this either,I think they would rather go under and say they planned on closing then agree giving millions to hateful,lying groups against equality for all is the wrong thing to do…

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 6:53pm
  38. Don’t trust it

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 7:21pm
  39. Lol

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:47pm
  40. All in the name of publicity. They probably have some gay folks in high positions over there at the office. Not good for any company to spread hate among it’s own employees and customers

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:48pm
  41. Christian Science Monitor reported it also. Would have to believe it, but, would have to watch that they don’t resume making donations in the future. Cathy can say what he wants publicly, like he did, that’s his right.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:52pm
  42. Too little to late life time of hate … When they start donating to equality I’ll think of it

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 9:01pm
  43. I still don’t trust ‘em…we’ll have to wait and see about this

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 9:37pm
  44. I’ve never eaten at one, and vowed never to in my life but if it proves true, and they focus on actual charitable stuff rather than discrimination I will change my stance on their food too :)

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 9:50pm
  45. I would still never eat there under any circumstances.
    Fuck them. And also a big hearty Fuck You to the assholes who flocked to Support Chick Fil H8s Day.
    You look like hateful assholes who were also fooled into buying a sandwich.
    LOL!!! POINTING AT YOU LOL!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 11:47pm
  46. Finally, doing the right thing.

    Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 9:51am
  47. Not really. They just fired their old PR firm and got a new one.

    Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 12:23pm
  48. I really hope they did.

    Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 12:47pm
  49. Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 2:07pm
  50. Need more convincing from their CEO before I’m convinced

    Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 3:21pm