After sparking anger nationwide by vocally supporting the fight against same-sex marriage, the Chick-fil-A fast-food chain has reportedly agreed to halt giving money to groups that seek to ban the practice.
The chain's president and son of its founder, Dan Cathy, sparked the furor in July, when he gave an interview to a Christian radio program in which he said "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.'" He later said, "We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families."
The comments caused gay advocacy groups to call for a boycott of the chain, and supporters to flock to the restaurants to show solidarity. Politicians, including Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, said they would fight any attempts by the chain to move into their cities.
One of the politicians who made such a pledge was Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno, whose district in Chicago was scheduled to receive a Chick-fil-A. According to a Tuesday news release by The Civil Rights Agenda, a Chicago-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group, the charitable arm of Chick-fil-A pledged not to support groups that oppose same-sex marriage in negotiations concerning a Chicago franchise.
WinShare promised in a letter to Moreno that "Chick-fil-A will no longer give money to anti-gay organizations and that they have clarified in an internal document that the company will treat every person equally, regardless of sexual orientation," TCRA announced, adding that company executives said the same in face-to-face meetings.
The company did not confirm or deny its charitable organization's statement when approached by the Internet news source Buzzfeed, with a spokesman instead giving a statement saying "We have no agenda, policy or position against anyone."
Contact Jeremy C. Owens at 408-920-5876; follow him at Twitter.com/mercbizbreak.