By Julia Kemp
People across the country associate Chick-fil-A with their delicious chicken, classic Chick-fil-A sauce, and polite workers. However, people seem to turn a blind eye towards their homophobic ideals and charity work. For years, the Cathy family (the owners of Chick-fil-A) and the Chick-fil-A corporation have donated over 2 million dollars towards anti-LGBTQ+ charities.
Some examples of anti-LGBTQ+ charities that the Cathy’s have donated to include The Marriage and Family Foundation, which promotes “traditional” marriage, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which is an athletic group that forces athletes to sign a “sexual purity statement” that includes the idea that LGBTQ+ people live an “impure lifestyle”, and Exodus International, which promotes and enforces conversion therapy. All of the charities listed market themselves as Christian organizations that promote purity, while they are instead promoting hate and exclusion. By using personal, religious beliefs to justify the homophobic charities they donate to, the Cathy family shows repeated oppressive behavior.
One argument that can be made to continue eating from Chick-fil-A is their statement in 2020 that states that they will discontinue donations to charities that express anti-LGBTQ+ ideals. However, in 2012, Chick-fil-A made a similar statement. They stated, “We have no agenda, policy, or position against anyone. We have a 65 year history of providing hospitality for everyone and, as a dedicated family business, serving and valuing everyone regardless of their beliefs or opinions. The genuine, historical intent of our WinShape Foundation and corporate giving has been to support youth, family, and educational programs.” Were these “youth, family, and educational programs” really meant for youth and family education, or were they created to coax confused youth into self-hatred? After issuing this statement, Chick-fil-A proceeded to donate 1.65 million dollars to Fellowship of Christian Athletes and 115 thousand dollars to The Salvation Army, an organization that has denied service and shelter to LGBTQ+ people in the past, and had owners and spokespeople express homophobic views. While Chick-fil-A has made the promise in 2020 to discontinue working with anti-gay charities, they have made this promise before, and have not followed through.
I’ve encountered many people who excuse Chick-fil-A’s behaviors and ideals purely because of their love for chicken. I haven’t personally been to Chick-fil-A, but I can confidently say that the lives of almost five percent of the US population have to be worth more than a good dipping sauce.