Chick-fil-A is under fire again after newly released tax filings show the Atlanta-based chicken giant donated $1.8 million to anti-LGBTQ organizations in 2017.
But the company reiterated that it's distancing itself – and curtailing donations – to an anti-LGBTQ youth home in Vidalia, Ga.
The Paul Anderson Youth Home called homosexuality an evil that is caused by the abuse of children. They have also taught boys that same-sex marriage is “rage against Jesus Christ and His values.” The organization’s views on LGBTQ issues now appear to be scrubbed from its website.
Chick-fil-A – one of the largest fast food chains by sales in the U.S. – donated $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home in 2017, according to tax filings unearthed by Think Progress. That’s on top of the $130,000 they gave to the group in 2016 and $200,000 the year before that. But the company told Think Progress on Tuesday that it decided in June 2017 to end its funding of the youth home, reiterating a pledge Chic-fil-A made in 2018.
“In 2017, a decision was made by the Chick-fil-A Foundation to no longer donate to the group after a blog post from 2010 surfaced that does not meet Chick-fil-A’s commitment to creating a welcoming environment to all."
The company’s 2018 tax filings are unavailable.
Chick-fil-A will continue to fund the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army. The company gave $1 million to FCA and $150,000 to the Salvation Army in 2016. They gave the same amount to the Salvation Army in 2017, but increased its funding to FCA to $1.7 million, according to the latest filings.
The company told Think Progress that it gives to FCA to support its summer sports camps and it gives to the Salvation Army to support various children’s programs.
“[S]ince the Chick-fil-A Foundation was created in 2012, our giving has always focused on youth and education,” the company said. “We have never donated with the purpose of supporting a social or political agenda. There are 140,000 people — black, white; gay, straight; Christian, non-Christian — who represent Chick-fil-A. We are the sum of many experiences, but what we all have in common is a commitment to providing great food, genuine hospitality, and a welcoming environment to all of our guests.”
The Salvation Army has a history of anti-LGBTQ housing discrimination among other incidents. FCA uses athletes and coaches to spread an anti-LGBTQ message, bars members from having gay sex and warns their youth away from same-sex marriage.
A day after the Think Progress report, the San Antonio City Council voted to ban Chick-fil-A from the city's aiport, citing the company's "legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior."
Chick-fil-A came under fire in 2011 when IRS filings showed their charitable foundation pumped millions into anti-LGBTQ groups. Company CEO Dan Cathy’s vocal opposition to gay marriage followed. The company later scaled back most of its funding to such groups, but a 2017 report showed that in 2015 the group donated more than $1.4 million to FCA, the Salvation Army and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.
Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy was the keynote speaker at an Atlanta conference in 2018 focused on equality despite his vocal opposition to marriage equality and the company’s record of pumping millions of dollars into anti-LGBTQ groups.