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Chick-fil-A Foundation still funding anti-LGBTQ causes

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is just one of the groups the charitable arm of Chick-fil-A is still supporting

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Chick-fil-A restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas.
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While Chick-fil-A restaurants from Philadelphia to Austin to the Bay Area have been testing new, sweet and spicy additions to the menu in recent months, what has not changed are the anti-LGBTQ charities the chain is financially supporting.

Despite claims by Chick-fil-A and its corporate masters denying a political or social agenda, newly-released tax documents from the Chick-fil-A Foundation show that support has continued unabated in the face of public criticism and boycotts.

Beneficiaries include the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, recipients of $1,653,416, the Salvation Army, which graciously accepted $150K, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home, which was happy to collect $6K.

The records, first reported by ThinkProgress, show that the donations actually increased from 2016 to 2017, the latest year made available.

Lest there be any doubt what kind of charities the foundation is supporting, the Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s mission statement declares it destined “To lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church.”

The FCA is an international nonprofit organization that works with athletes and coaches at the middle school, high school, collegiate, and professional levels, to “use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the word of Jesus Christ.”

FCA leaders are required to not only agree with its vision, statement of faith and its sexual purity statement, but to sign the agreements as well.

As Drake University trainer Emma Nye wrote in Outsports in January, the statement of faith is enumerated as nine points, including:

“God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.”

After agreeing to the organization’s nine points within the “Statement of Faith,” applicants and leaders must also agree to the sexual purity statement, which bans straight sex outside of marriage and all same-sex activities.

“God desires His children to lead pure lives of holiness. The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts. Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternative lifestyle acceptable to God.”

As Nye wrote, these statements effectively ban LGBTQ student-athletes and coaches from serving in any leadership positions, as well as highlight the notion that to be a member of the LGBTQ community is to also be a sinner.

The other big charity funded by the Chick-fil-A Foundation is the Salvation Army, which is notorious for its treatment of the LGBTQ community, despite a page on its website that declares its commitment to lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people.

A third charity, the Paul Anderson Youth Home, has a history of teaching anti-gay messages to Christian young men. When asked to comment, a spokesperson for Chick-fil-A, Inc. told ThinkProgress the company has already cut ties with the Georgia-based group.

“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,” the company told ThinkProgress.

But the foundation’s contributions to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Salvation Army have not stopped. The company claimed its donations to those groups are used to support summer sports camps and various children’s programs, respectively.

“[S]ince the Chick-fil-A Foundation was created in 2012, our giving has always focused on youth and education,” the company told ThinkProgress. “We have never donated with the purpose of supporting a social or political agenda. There are 140,000 people — black, white; gay, straight; Christian, non-Christian — who represent Chick-fil-A. We are the sum of many experiences, but what we all have in common is a commitment to providing great food, genuine hospitality, and a welcoming environment to all of our guests.”

But Chick-fil-A excludes sexual orientation from its employment non-discrimination policy, earning it a score of zero from Human Rights Campaign in its annual workplace equality guide for 2018.