CHICAGO — Despite reports last week that an outspoken Chicago alderman was boasting a victory in the effort to convince Chick-fil-A to cease anti-gay donations, the chicken chain has confirmed that its philanthropic priorities will continue unchanged.
The company — which has been assailed over its support of anti-gay groups to the tune of $5 million in grants and services through its WinShape foundation — says claims it “capitulated” to pressure from LGBT advocates are incorrect. COO Dan Cathy assured former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee that the company “made no such concessions,” to Ward 1 alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno, as he and Chicago-based LGBT group The Civil Rights Agenda claimed.
In fact, though the Huffington Post reported the company recently participated in dialogue with unnamed LGBT activists, the company circulated an internal memo last week reiterating its previous stance on LGBT issues, insisting the WinShape Foundation does not donate to specific “political or social agendas,” and that all customers and employees will be treated with dignity, without explicitly barring discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation in both employment and service.
On Monday, Alderman Moreno demanded Chick-fil-A clarify statements he claims the company made to him that anti-gay donations had already ceased in 2012.
Moreno, who has said he would block the construction of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in his ward if the company does not end anti-gay support, said on his blog Sunday that Cathy’s statements to Huckabee “at the least, muddied the progress we had made with Chick-fil-A and, at the worst, contradicted the documents and promises Chick-fil-A made to me and the community earlier this month.”