Chick-fil-A apologises to homophobic hate group for ‘inadvertently discrediting’ discriminatory charities

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy, son of the chain's founder Truett Cathy

Chick-fil-A has apologised to homophobes for “inadvertently” giving the impression that it disapproves of charities that discriminate against gay people.

In a letter to anti-LGBT+ lobbying group American Family Association, Chick-fil-A boss Dan Cathy attempted to reassure evangelicals after reports that the fast food chicken chain was set to end its long record of donations to groups that discriminate against LGBT+ people.

Chick-fil-A boss denies ‘abandoning’ anti-LGBT+ charities

The fast food chicken chain boss wrote: “As you have seen, recently we announced changes to our giving strategy at the Chick-fil-A Foundation. These changes were made to better focus on hunger, homelessness and education.

“We understand how some thought we were abandoning our longstanding support of faith-based organisations. We inadvertently discredited several outstanding organisations that have effectively served communities for years.

“Some also questioned if our commitment to our corporate purpose was waning. Let me state unequivocally: It is not.

“The intent of our corporate giving has always been to have impact — not to make a statement or support a political or social agenda.”

A Chick-fil-A logo is seen on a take out bag at one of its restaurants on July 28, 2012 in Bethesda, Maryland.

A Chick-fil-A logo is seen on a take out bag at one of its restaurants on July 28, 2012 in Bethesda, Maryland. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Addressing the anti-LGBT+ lobbying group, he wrote: “I speak for the entire Cathy family, our leadership team, our operators, team members and support center staff when I say, we are thankful for all of you, your support and your feedback.”

Chicken chain backed down after pressure from anti-LGBT groups.

Reports had emerged in November that, following a years-long boycott from LGBT+ activists, the chain would stop donating money to anti-LGBT+ charities and organisations.

Chick-fil-A president and chief operating officer Tim Tassopoulos had appeared to confirm the shift, telling Bisnow: “There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are.

“There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”

However, the company rapidly buckled after a pressure campaign from hate preacher Franklin Graham and anti-LGBT activists.

Graham said in November that Cathy had “personally” assured him that the company “has not bowed down to anyone’s demands, including the LGBTQ community.”

He added: “They will continue to support whoever they want to support. They haven’t changed who they are or what they believe.

“Chick-fil-A remains committed to Christian values. Dan Cathy assured me that this isn’t going to change. I hope all those who jumped to the wrong conclusion about them read this.”