Atlanta- based chicken sandwich quick-service food chain, Chick-Fil-A, has pledged to cease its financial support to anti-gay groups and organizations yet reinforces their pledge to equal treatment of gay employees and customers.
CEO Dan Cathy's statement about his support for "the biblical definition of the
family unit" ignited an uproar by gay marriage activists in August. Later
investigation revealed groups such as Focus on the Family and the National
Organization for Marriage received millions of dollars worth of donations from
the Cathy family between 2003 and 2009.
"The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping," said Senior Director of Real Estate in a signed letter addressed to Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno. "And in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas."
WinShape is a
non-profit organization created by Cathy and his family.
According to The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA), Chick-Fil-A has also released a memo to all their franchisees and stakeholders in a documented titled "Chick-Fil-A: Who We Are." The memo stated that as a company, they will "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender."
TCRA's executive director, Anthony Martinez, applauds the company for taking the steps they have taken. However, TCRA's policy advisor, Rick Garcia, is still concerned about discrimination at the corporate level.
"It is one thing for a company to say they respect everyone they serve and employ, it is quite another for them to put that into their policies and demand that all employees adhere to that behavior," said Garcia. "As we have heard from gay employees that work for Chick-fil-A, there is a culture of discrimination within the company and we would like to ensure that employees can speak out and call attention to those practices without fear of reprisal. It takes time to change the culture of any institution and steps like a corporate policy ensure that progress is made."