The fast food chain Chick-fil-A donated nearly $2 million in 2009 to anti-gay groups such as Focus on the Family, Exodus International and the Eagle Forum. The donations to these, and other anti-gay groups, are made through the chain’s charitable foundation, WinShape.
The restaurant, which was recently voted the third best restaurant chain in the country, donated more than $1 million to anti-gay organizations between 2003 and 2008.
According to 2009 IRS tax forms, WinShape made the following donations:
- Marriage & Family Legacy Fund: $994,199
- Fellowship Of Christian Athletes: $480,000
- National Christian Foundation: $240,000
- Focus On The Family: $12,500
- Eagle Forum: $5,000
- Exodus International: $1,000
- Family Research Council: $1,000
Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy defended his anti-gay stance and said, “While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees.”
In recent months protests against the restaurant have been popping up around the nation, and a protest is planned for the new location in Salt Lake City during its grand opening. The protest, to be held Nov. 10, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 1206 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, will highlight not only the anti-gay stance of the restaurant, but also the mistreatment of animals, said Kyle Foote, the protest organizer.
“They have a strong record against equality that is well documented,” said Foote. “I think it’s important for us, as Salt Lake City residents, to be very careful about who we invite to be our neighbors. Does Chick-fil-A really espouse the values we want to have in our community?”
The company’s stated mission is to “glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.” The company touts its support for traditional families and even runs a ‘marriage institute,’ where gay couples are not welcome.
“We want this to be a multipronged defense attack and we’re going to have people there all day, from open to close, protesting in shifts,” Foote said. “Our goal is to have about 200 people involved.”
Those interested in participating should go to tinyurl.com/chikfilaprotest. As the event nears, a schedule with time blocks will be distributed to ensure there are people staffing the rally all day, Foote said.
“Here’s a chance to show Chik-fil-A and other community members who is being hurt by anti-gay policies,” Foote said. “Even if you just stop by on your lunch break to protest, it can make a huge impact.”