Time to start eating mor chikin? Chick-fil-A slashes anti-gay giving

A review of 2012 tax documents filed by Chick-fil-A’s charity organization has revealed a surprising 99.2% drop in donations to anti-LGBT organizations over those made in tax year 2011, calling into question what this means for the chain’s relationship with the LGBT community.

The Atlanta-based fast food chain has been funneling a portion of earnings into the Winshape Foundation for years, who in turn dole out grants and donations to a number of groups. Controversy arose when it was revealed that they were making donations to several anti-gay groups, including the Marriage & Family Foundation, National Christian Foundation, Exodus International, Family Research Council and more.

Despite media reports suggesting otherwise, Chick-fil-A doubled their donations to anti-gay groups from 2010 to 2011, exceeding $3.6 million. But in 2012, as the new report shows, that dropped all the way down to $25,390—and that donation was to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, who are considered only arguably anti-gay, as they hold some questionable leadership policies and religious teachings.

Charlotte-based advocate Shane Windmeyer, of the national group Campus Pride, had once sought to boycott Chick-fil-A, later backing off in September 2012 after developing a personal relationship with company COO Dan Cathy.

“I still wouldn’t call Chick-fil-A a gay-friendly company, but I would say that our dialogues and conversation that Campus Pride has had has been a positive one. There is some, albeit small, progress there,” Windmeyer told Q-Notes, an LGBT newspaper based in Charlotte.

“Windmeyer was also the one who announced last year that Chick-fil-A would be shifting its focus. He now says the new financial documents prove his personal dialogue with Cathy helped to move the conversation forward,” Q-Notes reported.

So with Chick-fl-A’s anti-LGBT giving all but eliminated, can we start frequenting the chain’s many locations again without feeling like social pariahs? The Cathy family continue to hold anti-marriage equality views, which they seem all too happy to voice, but is that enough to continue a boycott?

Have we reached a point where buying a waffle fry isn’t a political statement? Or has the chain already done too much damage?

psaunders@thegavoice.com | @patricksaunders