Chick-fil-A agrees to end anti-gay donations, mandates equal treatment of gays

CHICAGO -- After months of negotiations with Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno over its anti-gay positions and donations, Chick-fil-A has agreed to cease donations from its non-profit charity to anti-gay organizations and issued a company-wide internal mandate calling for the equal treatment of all employees and customers.

WinShape, a non-profit funded by Chick-fil-A, has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBT organizations — some classified hate groups — including Focus on the Family, according to The Civil Rights Agenda, which worked with Moreno and company executives in an advisory capacity as they negotiated to adopt new policies. Chick-fil-A did not respond to attempts to confirm the information.

“This is a win for the LGBT community,” Moreno said in a statement provided by TCRA. “This is a win for everyone who works for the cause of equal rights, and a win for Chick- fil-A. This is a win for all.”

The shift could ease intense opposition from the local LGBT community and the alderman that left many pitted against the restaurant chain’s plans to open a new location in the city.

“We are very pleased with this outcome and thank Ald. Moreno for his work on this issue,” said Anthony Martinez, executive director of TCRA. “I think the most substantive part of this outcome is that Chick-fil-A has ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights.”

The company outlined its shift in policy and practice in a letter addressed to Moreno (1st), who in July declared that he would block the popular fast food chain from opening a new location in his ward unless they changed their anti-gay policies. The letter, signed by Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate reads, “The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.”

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Tony Merevick is the Editor-in-chief and co-founder of Chicago Phoenix.

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