The Chicago alderman whose opposition to Chick-fil-A over the restaurant owner’s santi-gay marriage stance made national headlines last month, has announced the company has agreed to stop funding those organizations, according to the Chicago Tribune.
A press release posted on a Chicago-based civil rights advocacy group web site quotes a letter said to have been sent to the alderman from Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate”
“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.
An internal memo declaring the company will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender” and that their “intent is not to engage in political or social debates,” was also said to have been distributed and included in an official company document called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are.”
The Chicago Tribune notes the language is similar to a July 19 Facebook post the company made:
The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.
Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy previously told the Baptist Press the company supported “the biblical definition of family.”
The stance caused a controversy with some calling for a boycott of the restaurant, while others came out en masse to support the stance including staging a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”
In July, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared Aug. 1 national “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” in support the chain owner’s recent comments against gay marriage and supporting the right to free speech and thousands flocked to the franchises to show their support.
– with reports from Erin Mulvaney, chron.com
Miguel Martinez, left, kisses partner of five years, Sergio Andrade, right, during National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A on Richmond Avenue in Houston on Aug. 3, 2012. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)