Two months after Alderman Joe Moreno began the fight to keep fast-food chain Chick-fil-A out of Chicago due to its anti-gay stance, the company has reportedly promised him that it will to stop donating money to anti-gay organizations. The news was announced yesterday by way of a press release issued by the LGBT advocacy organization the Civil Rights Agenda:
In a letter addressed to Alderman Moreno and signed by Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate, it states, “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.” Winshape, a non-profit funded by Chick-fil-a, has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBT groups, including some classified as hate groups, such as Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage. In meetings the company executives clarified that they will no longer give to anti-gay organizations.
In total, the WinShape Foundation, the charitable arm of Chick-Fil-A’s created by company founder S. Truett Cathy, has donated almost $2 million to groups that oppose gay marriage. The company’s stance caused a national uproar this summer, with mass protests by LGBT groups and allies and a counter “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” by those who oppose same-sex-marriage.
In addition to the Moreno letter, Chick-fil-A reportedly issued an official company document asserting their commitment to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender.”
In light of the company’s change in donation policy and promise to respect LGBT customers, Moreno has given Chick-fil-A the OK to set up business in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, according to the Chicago Tribune. While this is surely a win for the LGBT community and chicken-sandwich lovers alike, the secondhand nature of the announcement has some questioning how committed the company actually is to adopting anti-discrimination policies.
As the Tribune notes, the “company made nearly identical pledges in a July 19 Facebook post that went up even before Moreno took issue with Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s opposition to gay marriage. The statement of respect also falls short of Moreno’s goal of adding language opposing discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to the company’s employee handbook.” And it certainly doesn’t help that, as BuzzFeed reports, the company will neither deny nor confirm its intentions to cut off anti-gay donations.