I’ve been reading a lot lately about Chick-fil-A. The news of their contributions to anti-gay organizations first came to my attention last year when Equality Matters researched some of their contributions and published them. Here is what they found:
WinShape Is Chick-Fil-A’s Charitable Arm.
The WinShape Foundation is Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm, created by Chick-fil-A founder and chairman S. Truett Cathy in 1984.
WinShape has received a substantial amount of funding from Chick-fil-A: in 2009 alone, WinShape received $7,814,788 from Chick-fil-A Inc. (Winshape 2009 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 10/28/11)
In 2009 alone, WinShape donated $1,733,699 to multiple anti-gay groups:
- Marriage & Family Legacy Fund: $994,199
- Fellowship Of Christian Athletes: $480,000
- National Christian Foundation: $240,000
- Focus On The Family: $12,500
- Eagle Forum: $5,000
- Exodus International: $1,000
- Family Research Council: $1,000
This all came out in November of last year. In the time since, I’ve seen several posts on Facebook urging people to boycott the company as it continued to grow. Then last week, Chick-fil-A CEO, Dan Cathy responded to a question about the company’s anti-gay stances: “We’re guilty as charged.”
In the same interview, Cathy said: “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
Cathy then reiterated that stance on The Ken Coleman Show, as Jeremy Hooper pointed out:
“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about,”
While contributing to organizations that align with your beliefs is indeed the right of any person or corporation, it is also the right of citizens to research the work of the organizations you contribute to and make their shopping choices accordingly.
Let’s take a look at how you are supporting anit-gay bigotry around the globe when you buy some waffle fries (or anything else at Chick-fil-A):
Marriage & Family Legacy Fund: Founded by Exodus North America’s Alan Chambers who has admitted to anti-gay housing discrimination: “As a property owner of Orlando, I wouldn’t rent to someone who is gay…” He has also implied a connection between gay people and pedophiles with no evidence whatsoever: “I believe the gay community is a good group of people but with groups like NAMBLA (a pedophile group) riding on their coattails.”
Exodus International: Exodus International Board Member John Schmierer began his trips to Uganda in 2009, preaching alongside Nazi revisionist Scott Lively, spreading hatred of gay people to the people and leaders of the country. This directly led to their legislation requiring the execution of some gay people.
In Schmierer’s future trips to Uganda, he would whip up anti-gay furor with lies linking homosexuality to child abuse, calling for mandatory “conversion therapy” for homosexuals and any other number of falsehoods he could come up with.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes: The FCA is decidedly anti-gay and discriminates against gay people from participating. Their website even goes on about “saving” people from being gay. Danny Burns, the National College Conference of the FCA spoke of people being “freed from homosexuality” at the 2011 annual conference.
Focus on the Family: Founded by James Dobson, FotF has been at the front of most anti-gay movements the US has seen since it’s founding. They have supported and funded “Ex-Gay” organizations for years and one of their co-founders (George Alan Rekers) was actually found bringing a gay sex worker on vacation with him.
These same organizations have been one of the primary causes of suicide among young gay people forced to go through this “therapy.” Dobson believes gay people will destroy the earth:
“Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth,” Dobson said.
Dobson additionally equates homosexuality and sex with animals quite clearly in the video here.
Family Research Council: Not sure where to start. Let’s start with a Tony Perkins quote:
“While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.”
— Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, FRC website, 2010
There are literally dozens of other moments where FRC and Focus on the Family link homosexuality and pedophilia with zero reputable evidence.
In 2010, The Congress was considering a public condemnation of Uganda’s “Kill the Gays Bill” which would put gay people on trial with a possible death sentence as punishment for homosexuality. Family Research Council spent $25,000 lobbying Congress to not disapprove of this bill.
FRC and FotF have also fought hard against anti-gay adoption laws, so it can safely be said that they would rather see children spend their whole lives in a foster care system than find a forever home.
I posted the following meme on Facebook today in the hopes of enlightening people to where their money might be going when they pick up their chicken and waffle fries at Chick-fil-A.
Not that I should be, but I was honestly surprised by the anti-gay response on Facebook. People who refused to equate “Christian” organizations with anything anti-gay. The biggest leap of course was to people thinking they were supporting the murder of gay people. It’s a tough thing to think about, but the truth is that homosexuality is still criminalized in 77 countries. And the death penalty is among the possible punishments in at least 7 of those countries.
The Family Research Council is supportive of a new law proposed in Uganda which would also add a death penalty for those suspected of being gay. Chick-fil-A supports the work of the Family Research Council.
Plain and simple, this is where your money is going when you buy something at Chick-fil-A. Of course not every person who works there or owns a franchise is anti-gay. That’s not at all what we are saying. But when you purchase something there, your money goes to the corporation, which then uses that money to invest in bigoted, anti-gay, anti-family organizations.