Chick-fil-A’s chief operating officer boasts an anti-marriage equality rally sponsored by the fast food company in a Tweet.
I guess Dan Cathy has pulled a fast one on Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno and Illinois-based advocacy group The Civil Rights Agenda. They declared victory yesterday in an announcement that the lawmaker had negotiated an agreement with chicken sandwich purveyor Chick-fil-A agreeing that it would no longer donate to anti-LGBT organizations — end giving to groups with “political agendas.”
There wasn’t even time for the fundies to erupt over it. The Advocate reports today that:
Although the company’s foundation might not be donating directly, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy tweeted a photo on Tuesday from the 2012 WinShape Ride for the Family. He wrote alongside the picture of a pack of motorcyclists: “WinShape Ride for the Family bikers locked and loaded for 200 mile ride to Wilmington out of Charleston.”
That long ride is a fundraiser for an organization that helps lobby against marriage equality. Registration forms for the event ask that checks be sent, not to the WinShape Foundation that Chick-fil-A operates, but directly to the Marriage and Family Foundation at 5200 Buffington Road in Atlanta, Ga.
The forms say the ride fee is $3,500 for each individual or couple. But sponsorship packages posted online show that organizations could pledge $5,000 for “silver” status, $10,000 for “gold” or $15,000 and more to reach “platinum.” The Chick-fil-A logo accompanies everything, and so does the WinShape name, but it’s unclear whether the foundation continues to make donations.
…The Marriage and Family Foundation was not only included in the investigation by Equality Matters of the fast-food chain’s questionable giving history, it was identified as the top antigay recipient in 2010. WinShape had given more than $1 million to the group in 2010 alone.
This represents not only a giant loophole of bigotry in the agreement, but it puts messy egg on the face of Alderman Moreno. Chick-fil-A never released a statement about its change of corporate heart in the wake of the announcement, and the company has not promised any timeline to add official anti-discrimination language to its policies, only offering its statement to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender.” He was grilled about the agreement on The Young Turks.
As I mentioned yesterday, it’s a PR victory that Cathy felt the need to sit down with any pro-equality activists or lawmakers to discuss the future of its chain and the impact of its openly funded homophobia on the company’s bottom line. But as we all know, the devil is in the details and Chick-fil-A is going to be under the microscope for some time to come — the old “trust, but verify” will apply. If you want to even apply “trust” to this agreement at all.
UPDATE: Chick-Fil-A released its statement on the matter, and it hardly clarifies things.
For many months now, Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized. And while our sincere intent has been to remain out of this political and social debate, events from Chicago this week have once again resulted in questions around our giving.
For many months now, Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized. And while our sincere intent has been to remain out of this political and social debate, events from Chicago this week have once again resulted in questions around our giving. For that reason, we want to provide some context and clarity around who we are, what we believe and our priorities in relation to corporate giving.
A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Because of this commitment, Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.
As we have stated, the Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators.
For better understanding of our corporate giving, please click here to download the PDF document titled “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are.”