Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012

Contact: Wayne Besen, Executive Director
Phone: 917-691-5118

Company Says It Will No Longer Fund Anti-Gay Political Organizations, Says TWO

Burlington, Vt. — Truth Wins Out called on Chick-fil-A executives to very publicly announce its alleged divorce from anti-gay organizations and confirm its new pledge not to fund homophobic political groups though its Winshape Foundation. This is important because when TWO attended the Values Voter Summit in Washington last week, “Chick-fil-A” had become a code phrase for anti-gay activists disapproval of LGBT equality.

“Chick-fil-A is now viewed by the extreme right as its Alamo – a defiant fortress against corporate America’s widespread embrace of LGBT equality,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “It is a big victory if the company is no longer holding the banner of intolerance and is back in the business of poultry instead of anti-gay politics.”

According to reports, Chicago Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno has struck a deal with Chick-fil-A that will allow the chain to open in his ward, after months of controversy that started with anti-gay comments made by the restaurant’s chief operating officer, Dan Cathy. According to Moreno and The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA), the company will no longer donate money to anti-gay organizations and has issued a memo about respectful treatment of LGBT employees and customers.

Recently, Chick-fil-A’s Cathy created a furor when he claimed that those who support marriage equality for same sex couples are “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.” The comments caused several mayors of major cities, such as Boston, Chicago, and Washington, DC to express their contempt for the food chain.

The issue reached its apogee when polarizing political figures, such as Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, sponsored Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. While the corporation had a single day of huge sales, the controversy badly tarnished the brand and turned the product radioactive in America’s major metropolitan regions.

This controversy extends beyond Cathy’s comments and includes his more than $5 million in donations to anti-gay organizations such as The Family Research Council. His Winshape Foundation has also contributed to Exodus International, which has worked in the past to help people “pray away the gay.”

“The only way for Chick-fil-A to save the long-term viability of its brand is to publicly declare its divorce from anti-gay extremists,” added Besen. “Today’s announcement that it won’t be funding flagrantly anti-gay organizations is a good start and we hope to see more of a commitment to fairness in the future.”

Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.