(Meredith) -- Newly-released tax documents from Chick-fil-A's charitable arm, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, show that the company is still donating to organizations that have anti-LGBTQ policies despite continued criticism and boycotts of the fast food chain.
The Chick-fil-A Foundation's 990 tax form from 2017 was recently released and shows that the company donated more than $1.65 million to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), an organization that has anti-LGBTQ policies that members of leadership teams are expected to follow.
FCA's mission statement is "To lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church." The FCA requires its leaders to agree with its vision, statement of faith and its sexual purity statement. A leader application lists the FCA's statement of faith and sexual purity statement, which bans all heterosexual acts outside of marriage and all homosexual acts. All applicants must adhere to the statement of faith and sexual purity policy and give their signature in agreement.
The Chick-fil-A Foundation also made smaller donations to two other organizations whose LGBTQ policies have sparked controversy in the past: The Salvation Army and the Paul Anderson Youth Home. The tax documents reveal the Chick-fil-A Foundation donated $150,000 to the Salvation Army and $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home.
The Salvation Army has a history of controversies regarding the LGBTQ community (listed in a timeline by the Huffington Post here), but does include a page on its website that states a commitment to serving the LGBTQ community.
The Paul Anderson Youth Home, which provides Christian-centered programs to help struggling young men, has previously been under scrutiny for its anti-gay teachings. In a statement to ThinkProgress, Chick-fil-A, Inc. said the company made a decision in 2017 to stop donating to the Paul Anderson Youth Home moving forward.
A dean at Rider University in New Jersey is stepping down from her post after the school decided to drop Chick-fil-A from a list of possible campus additions. The school's reasoning, says Dean Cynthia Newman, is an affront to her Christian beliefs.
"In 2017, a decision was made by the Chick-fil-A Foundation to no longer donate to the group after a blog post from 2010 surfaced that does not meet Chick-fil-A’s commitment to creating a welcoming environment to all," Chick-fil-A told ThinkProgress.
The aforementioned 2010 blog post appears to have been deleted.
Chick-fil-A, however, did not say that it would end donations to the FCA or the Salvation Army, saying that its donations to those organizations had been used to support summer sports camps and various children’s programs.
Chick-fil-A has drawn attention and controversy around LGTBQ issues for years. In a 2012 interview, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy was asked about his company's support of marriage being between only a man and a woman. "Guilty as charged," he answered. Boycotts of the fast food chain soon followed.
A day after Cathy's comments, Chick-fil-A posted on Facebook that the company was going to focus on serving great food and leaving policy debates over same-sex marriage to "the government and political arena." The full statement on Facebook reads:
"The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.
Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.
Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A."
Chick-fil-A has also been criticized for excluding sexual orientation from its employment non-discrimination policy and received a score of zero from the Human Rights Campaign in its 2018 annual buyers' guide.