Did Chick-fil-A cave? Restaurant chain responds to ‘mischaracterization’ of giving practices

Chick-fil-A today issued a statement to clarify what it calls a months-long mischaracterization of the chain’s charitable giving practices.

Many conservatives were disappointed yesterday at reports the chain had caved to pressure from Chicago alderman Joe Moreno, who in August had opposed the construction of a franchise in his ward. Moreno had announced Wednesday that he had reached an agreement with the chain, saying that “for the first time, Chick-fil-A has provided a way to ensure that their employees know that discrimination will not be tolerated.”

Thursday’s statement by Chick-fil-A, though, reiterates the chain’s corporate commitment “to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us.” It continues, “Because of this commitment, Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.”

A report published today on CitizenLink, an affiliate of the group Focus on the Family, says that Wednesday’s news reports were incorrect and that Chick-fil-A “did not agree to stop making donations to groups that support the biblical definition of marriage in exchange for being allowed to open a franchise in Chicago.”

CitizenLink cites a press release by the gay-rights group The Civil Rights Agenda as the mainstream media’s source of the claim that Chick-fil-A would no longer donate to groups that champion traditional marriage. Indeed, The Advocate on Thursday reported that the chain was “already raising questionable money” with a motorcycle ride to benefit the Marriage and Family Foundation.

In its statement, Chick-fil-A said only that “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.” While Chick-fil-A’s “clarification” statement still leaves a number of questions open, it appears for now that claims of the chain caving come not from Chick-fil-A or Moreno but from a third party anxious to claim victory in the controversy.

Twitchy will continue to monitor the situation.

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