Now legendary for their unabashed support of anti-gay organizations, fast food chain Chick-fil-A has said they are turning themselves around, and are working with advocacy group The Civil Rights Agenda, to change their company mandate. They are saying that they will officially stop making donations to anti-gay organizations and have sent out a company-wide memo detailing their commitment to fair and equal treatment of all people.
According to The Civil Rights Agenda’s press release:
In a letter addressed to Alderman [Poco Joe] Moreno [from Chicago’s First Ward] and signed by Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate, it states, “The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.” In meetings the company executives clarified that they will no longer give to anti-gay organizations, such as Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage.
Additionally, they have sent an internal memo to franchisees and stakeholders that stated that, as a company, they will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender,” and that their “intent is not to engage in political or social debates.” This statement was placed into an official company document called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are.”
Civil Rights Agenda policy advisor, Rick Garcia, thinks Chick-fil-A’s new anti-discrimination policy doesn’t go far enough:
“It is one thing for a company to say they respect everyone they serve and employ, it is quite another for them to put that into their policies and demand that all employees adhere to that behavior. As we have heard from gay employees that work for Chick-fil-A, there is a culture of discrimination within the company and we would like to ensure that employees can speak out and call attention to those practices without fear of reprisal. It takes time to change the culture of any institution and steps like a corporate policy ensure that progress is made.”
This move by Chick-Fil-A comes after a rash of universities and colleges across the US decided to ban the restaurant chain from opening on their campuses. Is the sudden change of heart based entirely on financial decisions? Does Chick-Fil-A’s Dan Cathy still believe that his money should be going to the fight for “traditional marriage?” And does this mean that Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin won’t be participating in any more Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Days?