As Chick-fil-A confused both its religious supporters and LGBT critics last week, the company quietly showed that it financially supports at least one gay-run HIV agency in Atlanta even if it’s a paltry donation compared to the millions funneled to anti-gay groups.
On Thursday, Chick-fil-A released a statement contradicting claims earlier in the week that it was backing away from donations to groups that oppose gay marriage. The company, in a four-paragraph statement, said its corporate giving “has been mischaracterized” and also published “Who We Are,” a longer statement that explains its donations to scores of groups and offers some specific organizations and amounts donated (read below).
But even when the company donates to a gay-friendly HIV organization, it buries the mention under a category called “Developing youth and family/marriage enrichment programs and supporting our communities.” It’s the anti-gay marriage programs that cause such consternation for LGBT activists, but it’s also where Chick-fil-A says it donated more than $500,000 over three years to several groups, including Jerusalem House in Atlanta.
The gay-run organization provides housing to low-income and homeless people with HIV. Jerusalem House hosts a popular gay Halloween fundraiser and benefits from several LGBT fundraisers throughout the year, including Joining Hearts.
Chick-fil-A didn’t detail the amount it donated to Jerusalem House, but the organization told Project Q Atlanta that it received $15,000 from the company in December to help fund the renovation of its Learning Center. The donation amounts to about three-tenths of one percent of the non-profit’s $4.5 million annual revenue.
Jerusalem House declined further comment on the donation. But it’s not the first time Chick-fil-A has flirted with an HIV agency. Last October, company President Dan Cathy – who ignited the recent controversy when he chided “arrogant” LGBT activists in July – jogged with gay jocks during AIDS Walk Atlanta’s 5K Run. Those waffle fries can’t be all that unhealthy – Cathy won the men’s 55-59 age group with a time of 26 minutes, 34 seconds.