Chick-fil-A donated almost $2 million to anti-LGBT groups in 2017

Chick-fil-A branch

American fast food chain Chick-fil-A reportedly donated over $1.8 million to organisations with an anti-LGBT+ record in 2017.

The restaurant company, which has around 2,000 branches in the US, gave $1,653,416 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 2017, according to US news website ThinkProgress.

The publication reports that Chick-fil-A also donated $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home and $150,000 to the Salvation Army in the same year.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a conservative Christian sports ministry, requires staff to abide to a “sexual purity” policing, which forbids all “homosexual acts.”

Chick-fil-A continues donations to anti-LGBT groups

Paul Anderson Youth Home, meanwhile, is a “Christian residential home for trouble youth,” that opposes equal marriage and homosexuality.

The Salvation Army has a previous history of advocating against legal protections for LGBT+ individuals in America.

“We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit.

— Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy in 2012

However, the group has more recently said on its website that it is “committed to serving” the LGBT+ community in various ways, including providing shelter and addressing teenage suicide.

ThinkProgress’ investigation comes despite the council’s then president Jeff Finkle allegedly implying to the publication that donations to anti-LGBT+ groups would stop.

“I think if you look at where their donations were in 2010, 2011, and 2012—and where they are in 2018 and in the future—I think you’ll see a company that is changing,” Finkle told ThinkProgress.

Chick-fil-A’s gay rights history

Chick-fil-A has previously been criticised for donating large sums of money to anti-LGBT+ groups and opposing equal marriage,

In 2012, it emerged that Chick-fil-A had donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups, including the Family Research Council, ‘gay cure’ group Exodus International and Focus on the Family.

CEO Dan Cathy later confirmed the company was opposed to marriage equality and “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.”

Chick-fil-A protestors against their anti-LGBT behaviour

Protestors hold signs outside a Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant, August 1, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty)

Cathy told Baptist Press at the time: “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

However, the company later put out a statement on Facebook following backlash, saying it would “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”