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GLAAD Commends Chick-fil-A for Dropping Donations to Christian Groups But Demands Franchise Change ‘Anti-LGBTQ’ Brand

A franchise sign is seen above a Chick-fil-A freestanding restaurant after its grand opening in Midtown, New York October 3, 2015. (REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi)

On Monday, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation commended Chick-fil-A for its decision to halt donations to several Christian charities but demanded the fast-food chain do more to change its “anti-LGBTQ” brand.

GLAAD said it “greet[s] today’s announcement with cautious optimism” but warned that the Georgia-based company still has work to do to fix its tarnished image with the LGBTQ community.

“In addition to refraining from financially supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations, Chick-fil-A still lacks policies to ensure safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees and should unequivocally speak out against the anti-LGBTQ reputation that their brand represents,” GLAAD director of campaigns Drew Anderson said in a statement to CNN.

Chick-fil-A announced Monday that as the company expands it will no longer donate to the Salvation Army, the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which opposes same-sex marriage. The company’s charity, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, has donated millions of dollars to the two organizations.

“We made multi-year commitments to both organizations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018,” the company said, adding that from now on it will focus its charitable work “education, homelessness and hunger.”

“There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” said Tim Tassopoulos, Chick-fil-A’s president and Chief Operating Officer. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”

Tassopoulos added that he believes the decision to pull donations will be “helpful” and is “just the right thing to do.”

CEO Dan Cathy said in 2012 that Chick-fil-A backs “the biblical definition of the family unit.”

Chick-fil-A has frequently found itself on the receiving end of criticism from LGBT rights advocates, with some groups boycotting the franchise as it expanded.

Conversely, however, Chick-fil-A’s move was excoriated by conservatives who accused the company of caving to progressive pressure at the expense of its charity work.

“Congrats to the wokescolds who finally bullied Chick-Fil-A into stopping donations to the Salvation Army and their ‘bigoted’ history of helping the poor and helpless,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) wrote in a tweet Tuesday. “Real big accomplishment for the progressives. Hope you’re happy.”

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