After much media attention regarding Chick-fil-A’s questionable history of anti-gay donations, the now infamous restaurant chain will be opening in our community and many residents are concerned about what it means for accepting and socially-inclusive Santa Barbara. As part of its corporate policy, all Chick-fil-A franchises are required to pay half of all of its net profits back to Chick-fil-A, Inc., where a percentage will then go toward its foundation’s corporate giving. It is through this foundation that Chick-fil-A has donated to some of the most controversial and notorious organizations; many of which support extreme anti-gay agendas. Chick-fil-A donations—which are in part made possible through consumer purchases—have supported organizations that are not only against LGBT equality, but have backed such extreme measures as Uganda’s infamous “Kill the Gays” bill that called for the execution of gay citizens, as well as dangerous and damaging “gay conversion therapy”. In 2010 alone, Chick-fil-A’s foundation received over $8 million from Chick-fil-A, Inc.*
• Donated nearly $5 million to anti-gay organizations through its foundation* between 2003 and 2010. Among these organizations are certified hate groups*, as well as organizations that supported California’s Proposition 8 campaign against marriage equality.
• Does not offer any protections or benefits for its lesbian and gay employees. Unlike many other fast food chains, Chick-fil-A does not offer any domestic partnership benefits and does not have any non-discrimination policies in place to protect its LGBT employees.*
• Reaffirmed that they will continue to donate to anti-gay organizations despite media rumors*. In response to reports that Chick-fil-A would end donations to groups actively seeking to prevent same-sex marriage, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said, “There continues to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities…Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been.”
A press conference will be held on Wednesday, February 6 at 2:30 p.m. in De La Guerra Plaza, in front of City Hall, to address Chick-fil-A policies and presence in Santa Barbara. Members of the Lose Your Appetite for Hate Coalition will speak, including representatives of the Pacific Pride Foundation and the Fund for Santa Barbara.
* Sources used in this document may be found at: www.thesamelove.org.