(TMU) — The popular fast-food chain Chick-Fil-A has recently announced that they will stop donating to the anti-LGBT Christian organizations that have been a point of controversy and protest for the past several years.
Representatives from the company have said that they were locked into the previous agreements that they had with these groups, which expired in 2018. Rather than renewing with these organizations, they will instead be shifting their donations to charities that focus primarily on issues relating to poverty and homelessness.
“We made multiyear commitments to both organizations, and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018. Moving forward you will see that the Chick-fil-A Foundation will support the three specific initiatives of homelessness, hunger, and education,” a Chic-Fil-A representative said in a statement to Business Insider.
In an interview with Bisnow, Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos seemed to indicate that the recent change was in response to the growing protests against the company’s relationships with anti-LGBT charities.
“There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are. There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message,” Tassopoulos said.
Some of the controversial organizations have included the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home. Chick-Fil-A has always insisted that they were not donating to these organizations because of their anti-LGBT stances, but because of their shared Christian background.
“When there is a tension, we want to make sure we’re being clear. We think this is going to be helpful. It’s just the right thing to do: to be clear, caring and supportive, and do it in the community,” Tassopoulos said.
While Chick-Fil-A has faced protests relating to their support for anti-LGBT organizations for many years, the backlash was finally large enough in 2018 to prevent the company from expanding into new markets.
They were forced to pull out of their expansion into the United Kingdom after a series of protests and they have been prevented from setting up storefronts in multiple U.S. airports. There is no doubt that the company became more sensitive to this issue when it began to impact their bottom line, and that they probably would have continued business as usual if it was not for the constant stream of protests, boycotts, and bad press.
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