Chick-fil-A said on Monday that its charitable foundation will no longer donate to two Christian groups that have long opposed same-sex marriage.
A spokeswoman for the fast-food giant told Reuters that the business’s charity, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, will no longer provide funding to The Salvation Army and to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“We made multi-year commitments to both organizations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018,” the spokeswoman told Reuters.
The representative added that the foundation plans to donate to causes centered around “education, homelessness and hunger” in the future.
The spokeswoman reportedly declined to say if the move was in response to some of the protests that have targeted the chain in recent years for donations made by its charitable foundation to anti-LGBT groups.
She told Reuters the move was “made to create more clarity.”
The decision by the family-owned chain, whose CEO Dan Cathy said earlier this year that he promised his father he’d uphold Christian values and never open the chain’s restaurants on Sundays, was met with opposition from conservatives online.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said the business “surrendered to anti-Christian hate groups."
He said in a later tweet that the fast-food chain “betrayed loyal customers” for money and added that he regrets “believing they would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathey.”
The sad message of @ChickfilA is quite clear- they surrendered to anti- Christian hate groups. Tragic. Chick-fil-A To Stop Donating To Christian Charities Branded ‘Anti-LGBT’ https://t.co/o93PfaaS04— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) November 18, 2019
In Aug 2012, I coordinated a national @ChickfilA Appreciation Day after they were being bullied by militant hate groups. Millions showed up. Today, @ChickfilA betrayed loyal customers for $$. I regret believing they would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathey. Sad.— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) November 18, 2019
A number of other conservatives also blasted the company over its decision.
Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyFreedom Caucus urges opposition to defense bill over 'draft our daughters' provision GOP leader taking proxy voting fight to Supreme Court Reps. Greene, Roy fined for not wearing masks on House floor MORE (@chiproytx) November 18, 2019
Shame, shame on you, @ChickfilA. You are the 3rd most successful fast food franchise in the US. You had no reason to capitulate. But you did. Yes, shame on the progressive bullies too -- yet the greater shame is yours, Chick-fil-A, you cowards. https://t.co/eTfALNMUz4— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) November 18, 2019
The move was met with praise by some LGBT advocates, with LGBT rights campaigner Scott Cuthbertson telling Reuters that “there is always space for people to change their minds and respect LGBT+ equality."
“We don’t do anyone any justice by bearing anyone any grudges,” he said, adding: “If they want to be trusted by our community, they have to show that our rights are not up for debate."