US: Chick-fil-A foundation’s tax filings show anti-LGBT donations almost doubled in 2011

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Despite reports that chicken restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, had ceased giving money to organisations opposed to equal marriage and LGBT rights, the company’s most recent tax filings suggest it has actually increased the amount it gives.

The latest tax filing by the chicken restaurant’s charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation,  to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) shows that in 2011, its anti-LGBT giving had actually increased.

The foundation gave $1,188,380 (£741,631) to the Marriage and Family Foundation in 2010, and in 2011 it increased its donation to  $2,896,438 (£1,919,822).

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes received $480,000 (£318,302) in 2010, and the National Christian Foundation received $247,500 (£164,124). Both organisations received the same amount in 2011.

WinShape also gave small donations of $1,000 (£663.13) each to the “gay cure” group Exodus International, and to the Family Research Council in 2010, and while those groups didn’t receive anything directly in 2011, they received money which could have originated at the WinShape Foundation through the National Christian Foundation and through the Marriage and Family Foundation.

ThinkProgess reports that, between 2010 and 2011, the WInShape Foundation’s anti-LGBT spending went from $1.9 million (£1.3 million) to over $3.6 million (£2.4 million).

A gay rights advocacy group last year said that, according to its most recent tax documents, Chick-fil-A had ceased giving money to groups opposed to equal marriage and gay rights.

Back in July, the CEO of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, publicly confirmed that the company was opposed to equal marriage.

Cathy told the Baptist Press that the company was “guilty as charged”, when asked about its perceived opposition to equal marriage.

There was then a drawn-out mix of messages coming out of the company over several months, some seeming to suggest that executives wanted to distance Chick-fil-A from the controversy, others confirming that it has maintained its anti-gay policy. The Chick-fil-A statement released said it intended “to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

Earlier this week, a university in the US city of Atlanta announced that it would remove Chick-fil-A from its campus following a lack of support from students.