Restaurants

Chick-fil-A no longer donates to controversial Christian charities after LGBTQ protests

Key Points
  • Chick-Fil-A said on Monday that it has stopped funding two Christian charities with histories of opposing same-sex marriage.
  • The fast-food chain has faced criticism in the past for its charitable donations and CEO Dan Cathy's public comments opposing gay marriage.
  • A spokeswoman for Chick-fil-A tells the Thomson Reuters Foundation the company would focus its giving on "education, homelessness and hunger."
Protesters targeted Chick-Fil-A for their alleged homophobe stance - some of the banners accused Chick-Fil-A of being anti gay. Members of the Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN) took to the streets at the Brooklyns third borough-wide march against gentrification, racism, and police violence, starting in downtown Brooklyn at the Barclays Center and ending in East New York at Broadway Junction.
Erik McGregor | LightRocket | Getty Images

Chick-Fil-A said on Monday that it has stopped funding two Christian charities after coming under fire in recent weeks from LGBTQ activists.

The fast-food chain's foundation has donated millions of dollars to The Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Both organizations have a history of opposing same-sex marriage.

Chick-fil-A said it no longer funds the organizations.

"We made multi-year commitments to both organisations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018," a spokeswoman for Chick-fil-A told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, adding the company would focus its giving on "education, homelessness and hunger."

When reached by CNBC, the company declined to comment further.

The Salvation Army said in a statement to CNBC that it was "saddened" to learn that a corporate partner was diverting its funding to other organizations.

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"We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, we believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ+ population," the organization said.

Chick-fil-A has faced criticism in the past for its charitable donations and CEO Dan Cathy's public comments opposing gay marriage. As Chick-fil-A expands outside of its stronghold in the southeastern U.S., activists have put pressure on the company. Its first U.K. location will close when its lease expires after protests from a local LGBTQ rights group.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement Monday.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who coordinated an appreciation day for Chick-fil-A when it first came under fire in 2012, tweeted Monday that the chain "betrayed loyal customers for $$."

— CNBC's Ryan Ruggiero and Reuters contributed to this report.

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