Chick-fil-A faces backlash for anti-LGBTQ+ support

Photo courtesy of Elvert Barnes, Flickr

Chick-fil-A has been known for their association with Christian organizations that are historically anti-LGBTQ+. They faced serious backlash in 2012 for donating to various Christian charities, such as The Marriage and Family Council.

At the time, Chick-fil-A released a public statement saying, "Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena." 

Despite this statement, Chick-fil-A continued to donate to various anti-LGBTQ+ Christian charities such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which publicly calls its employees to abstain from “homosexual activity.” Chick-fil-A has also come under public ridicule for the public statements that CEO Dan Cathy has made opposing gay marriage.

The backlash against Chick-fil-A was reinvigorated in recent weeks by LGBTQ+ activists. One of many activists who spoke out was director of campaigns and rapid response at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Drew Anderson. 

“If Chick-fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families,” Anderson stated.

In the midst of this backlash, Chick-fil-A publicly stated that they will stop funding the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, two charities that they have donated millions of dollars to in the past. 

A representative for Chick-fil-A stated that the organization now plans to donate to causes involving “education, homelessness and hunger.” The representative failed to answer if this decision was in response to LGBTQ backlash; however, she did state that the change was “made to create more clarity.”

News of Chick-fil-A terminating their business with anti-LGBTQ+ organizations has been met with great satisfaction. 

“There is always space for people to change their minds and respect LGBTQ+ equality. We don’t do anyone any justice by bearing anyone any grudges. If they want to be trusted by our community, they have to show that our rights are not up for debate,” said LGBTQ+ rights campaigner Scott Cuthbertson to Reuters.  

While Chick-fil-A’s decision has largely been met with celebration, there are still individuals who oppose the decision. 

“Today, @ChickfilA betrayed loyal customers for $$. I regret believing they would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathey. Sad,” former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee tweeted Nov. 18. 

Along with the dissatisfaction of Mike Huckabee came many other notable names, such as the host of “I’m Right” of Pluto TV Jesse Kelly, Congressman Chip Roy and author Rod Dreher. 

While this all bodes well for the future of inclusivity within the Chick-fil-A franchise, there is still more work to be done. Many have come out on social media sharing their thoughts that this move by Chick-fil-A was simply to combat LGBTQ backlash.

Many believe that this move was economically driven and simply a publicity stunt. With countless activists still dissatisfied with the moral code that Chick-fil-A promotes, many on Twitter continue to boast the hashtag, #BoycottChickfilA.