Remember when company president, Dan dismissed the controversy as merely a local, one-time incident neither indicative of, nor condoned by, his company, saying, "In recent weeks, we have been accused of being anti-gay. We have no agenda against anyone. While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees."
Hmmm, not so fast Danny. Equality Matters research proves just the opposite [see HERE].
In fact, Dan Cathy's company has strong ties to anti-LGBT organizations like Focus on the Family and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and has donated more than $1.1 million to organizations spouting anti-LGBT messages, and provide those reparative therapies to "free" people of being gay. Here's more:
1. The WinShape Foundation
Chick-fil-A's charitable arm, WinShape, was created by company founder and chairman S. Truett Cathy in 1984, and has received a substantial amount of funding from Chick-fil-A: in 2008 alone, WinShape received $12,595,819 from Chick-fil-A Inc.
WinShape oversees programs intended to foster the "growth and education of young people" as well as to promote "healthy marriages and strong families" and has given $1.1 million to anti-LGBT groups from 2003-2008, the last year for which public records are available.
- The National Christian Foundation [NCF], a grant-making foundation that has made "hundreds of grants" to anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family, Family Life, and the Family Research Council, has received over $631,600 from WinShape.
- The Fellowship of Christian Athletes [FCA] which holds a National College Conference that conference Director, Danny Burns, describes as where "God freed some people from homosexuality, sexual sins, addictions and even ushered newcomers into His Kingdom"has received $480,000 from WinShape.
- Serving Marriages, an organization focused on honoring God through building "Biblically accurate marriage models for society to pattern," with ministry advisers that include WinShape, The Marriage CoMission, and the Georgia Family Council, all of which are established as promoting anti-LGBT work in this document, has received $15,000 in WinShape donations.
- The Alliance Defense Fund [ADF] is aggressively anti-LGBT, labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of America's most influential groups fighting against LGBT equality, has received $5,000 from WinShape.
- The Christian Camp and Conference Association [CCCA] is an organization that encourages member organizations to hold Christian camps and conferences, where camp counselors are "advised" to resist today's "media-led promotion of alternative lifestyles," and prepares them to effectively convey why homosexuality is wrong to campers, has been given $5,000 in WinShape donations.
- The anti-LGBT Family Life, which hosted the "Art of Marriage" event that ignited the controversy, is a Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, has received $2,400 in WinShape donations.
- The Georgia Family Council is a typical anti-LGBT group, whose website contains posts arguing in favor of California's Proposition 8 and criticizing Apple for removing an application that promotes the argument that marriage equality is a threat to children and traditional marriage. GFC president, Randy Hicks, has argued gay marriage would harm children and undermine traditional marriages. GFC received $2,000 from WinShape.
- The Family Research Council, labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its misleading attacks on the LGBT community, received $1,000 in WinShape donations.
Chick-fil-A actually requires potential franchise operators to disclose their marital status, number of dependents, and involvement in social, church, and other organizations. In fact, company founder Truett Cathy has said he aims to only hire workers who are married.
Nearly a third of Chick-fil-A operators have attended Christian-based relationship-building retreats through WinShape--a foundation of Chick-fil-A, at Berry College in Georgia, while family members of prospective operators--including children--are frequently interviewed so Cathy and his family can learn more about job candidates and their relationships at home.
3. Chick-Fil-A's Partnership With Focus On The Family
From October to November of 2005, Chick-fil-A partnered with Focus on the Family and Digital Praise Inc. to give away free CDs of Focus on the Family's 'Adventures in Odyssey', which presents kids with "important moral and biblical principles," with every Chick-fil-A Kid's Meal. Focus on the Family is notoriously anti-LGBT, promoting the theory that gays and lesbians can change their sexual orientation and arguing that homosexuality "violates God's intentional design for gender and sexuality."
4. Sponsorship Of Anti-Gay Hate Group Affiliate
Since 2008, Chick-fil-A has been a sponsor of All Pro Dad, a program created by Family First, also known as the "Florida Family Council." The Florida Family Council is an affiliate of the American Family Association, which has been designated as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.In 1995, the Florida Family Council opposed Disney's decision to extend health benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian employees, helping draft a letter calling the decision "anti-family" and inappropriate for a company that provides "wholesome, family-oriented
5. WinShape's "Traditional Marriage" Activities
Following the initial controversy over Chick-fil-A's connection to the Pennsylvania Family Institute, the Good As You website posted an email discussion between the WinShape Retreat and someone asking if the programs offered there were open to same-sex couples. WinShape made it clear that it's programs were meant to promote a biblical standard of marriage:
The WinShape Foundation works with the Marriage CoMission, a coalition of groups formed in response to the decline of "the traditional family in America." Since its inception, the CoMission has been supported by anti-gay activists such as Exodus International's Alan Chambers and Citizens for Community Values' Barry Sheets.
Every year since 2003, WinShape has hosted the Marriage CoMission's annual Marriage CoMission Strategy Summit at its Georgia retreat. WinShape spent $18 million over the past several years renovating the retreat center in order to hold seminars and conferences relating to marriage.
The summit has served as a meeting ground for anti-LGBT activists like NOM's Maggie Gallagher, Ruth Institutes' Jennifer Morse, Institute for American Values' David Blankenhorn, and Focus on the Family president Jim Daly.
WinShape's Jeff Fray stated that at WinShape "we're not arguing about if marriage is between men and women, that's what we're about. Resting on the truth that kids do best when raised under the same roof with mom and dad in a healthy relationship." He added that this principle is the CoMission Summit's "center of gravity."
Contrary to every word that has come out of Dan Cathy's mouth, Chick-fil-A is most decidedly anti-LGBT, ant-marriage equality. They do so through their support of anti-LGBT groups--many of which are labeled as hate groups--both financially, and through company sponsored programs.
Do they have that right?
Yes, they do. Dan Cathy, and every one at Chick-fil-A, from the top down, has the right to believe whatever they want, and fund it and speak it and promote it.
What they shouldn't do, is lie about their support.
What they shouldn't do, is be patronized by any LGBT person in this country, or any person who thinks Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, Truett Cathy, and the whole company, is wrong.