Chick-fil-A wants to make something perfectly clear: It will continue to donate money to programs that “strengthen families and enrich marriages.”
What this means, exactly, remains unclear.
On Thursday, the company indicated that its corporate giving policy had been “mischaracterized” by a Chicago alderman and a civil rights group, both of which claimed that the fast feeder planned to stop donating money to “anti-gay organizations”
as a concession to open a second location in the Windy City.
At the time, the company would neither confirm nor deny the claim.
After media outlets ran with the story that Chick-fil-A had reversed course, it released a statement
“A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Because of this commitment, Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.
“As we have stated, the Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect—regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators.”
And on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s website
, Chick-fil-A President Don Cathy added:
“There continues to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities in order to obtain permission for a new restaurant in Chicago. That is incorrect. Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been.”
He also tweeted a photo
from a “Ride for the Family” family, which, according to The Huffington Post
, “is a fundraiser for an organization with a known opposition to marriage equality.”
Does that mean it will continue to give to “anti-gay organizations”?
Presumably, although not necessarily.
It has not responded to media inquiries on the topic, so its exact position remains somewhat unclear, a move that could hurt the fast feeder, according to a marketing professor who spoke with The Washington Post
University of Georgia marketing professor Sundar Bharadwaj told the Post
“You can change your position, but you have to have a rational reason for the change and be consistent and communicate that to your customers. Two different brands cannot be visible to the customer. Your authenticity is questioned after that, and your brand loses equity.”
When reports first emerged that Chick-fil-A was reversing its position on corporate giving, supporters of same-sex marriage offered muted praise while opponents railed against the fast food company.