ATLANTA (BP) -- Following reports that Chick-fil-A had agreed to stop funding certain traditional family groups in order to get approval for a new Chicago restaurant, company President Dan Cathy said Friday the restaurant made no concessions and "we remain true to who we are."
Cathy's statement, posted on Mike Huckabee's website, came one day after the company released its own statement saying that its corporate giving has "been mischaracterized" for many months and that it will continue to fund programs that "strengthen and enrich marriages."
"Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been."
-- Dan Cathy
Said Cathy, "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."
Focus on the Family President Jim Daly -- whose organization supposedly had been de-funded by Chick-fil-A -- also has spoken up for the company. And gay activist groups -- who initially applauded Chick-fil-A's supposed move -- now are criticizing the restaurant once again.
Chick-fil-A was facing a backlash after Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno and an Illinois gay activist group announced in Wednesday (Sept. 19) news reports that Chick-fil-A had agreed to no longer fund groups opposed to gay marriage, such as Focus on the Family. That alleged agreement led Moreno -- who had criticized Chick-fil-A during the summer for its president's comments affirming the traditional marriage -- to stop blocking a new franchise from being built in his ward. In comments to the Chicago Tribune, Moreno called it a "big win."
Media stories nationwide then gave Chick-fil-A another public relations headache. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's headline read, "Chick-fil-A said to change stance." The Los Angeles Times' headline: "Chick-fil-A promises to stop giving money to anti-gay groups."
The problem? Chick-fil-A's base of support remains largely in conservative states, and those customers hardly consider Focus on the Family and other groups "anti-gay." Many felt Chick-fil-A had caved.
Earlier this summer, hundreds of thousands of customers took part in Chick-fil-A Appreciation after company president Dan Cathy was criticized for comments supporting the biblical definition of marriage. Chick-fil-A's stance on values is well-known: It is closed on Sundays, and its corporate statement includes the desire to "glorify God."
In the 24 hours after the story out of Chicago broke, Chick-fil-A's Facebook page was flooded with criticism of the new policy.
"I'm disgusted that your faith is so weak," one person wrote. ... Read More