Matt C. Abbott
Did Chick-fil-A really chicken out?
By Matt C. Abbott
September 22, 2012

Yes, I realize there are more pressing matters in the world, but still...

From the most recent email:

    In our last email, dated Sept. 21, we excoriated Chick-fil-A and its CEO Dan Cathy for allegedly caving in to the demands of the homosexual movement ... It appears that this is largely not true. We've published the truth below. But finally finding that out wasn't easy. This is definitely one of the most exasperating news stories we've ever covered. Getting to the facts has entailed wading through a lot of confusion generated by the homosexual movement, the pro-family movement, and especially Chick-fil-A itself.

    Our email quoted from The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Times, Huffington Post, and a homosexual press release. They all basically reported the following: Chick-fil-A officials had told Chicago Alderman Joe Monero in writing that the company would no longer donate any money to 'anti-gay,' pro-family groups.

    Chick-fil-A also allegedly showed documentation that they had not recently given money to such groups. The company supposedly also promised to make an internal statement about non-discrimination on sexual orientation. In doing this, Chick-fil-A reportedly had negotiated with Moreno and also a Chicago homosexual activist group called 'Civil Rights Agenda.' In return, as Monero gleefully announced, he would not block Chick-fil-A's efforts to open a restaurant in his trendy Chicago district. He termed this a 'great victory for the gay rights movement.'

    Several newspapers contacted Chick-fil-A for comment, but the company refused to respond except to direct them to a statement on its website....

    Soon after publishing our article, we were inundated by over a hundred people emailing us articles by CitizenLink (Focus on the Family) and WorldNetDaily, which deny the press reports about Chick-fil-A caving in. Now, we are great admirers of CitizenLink and WorldNetDaily, but, in our opinion, their articles only added to the confusion.

    Friday afternoon [Sept. 21] we were finally successful in reaching someone in the Chick-fil-A public relations department. Previously, we were only able to reach people who were not knowledgeable of the situation, would not comment, or just recorded messages. The public relations woman we talked to was fairly candid, which was refreshing. We asked her direct questions, and she answered them.

    The main points of our conversation:

    • She told us unequivocally that Chick-fil-A is going to continue to donate to the same pro-family groups as before, even the ones that the homosexual groups disapprove of. We specifically asked her if this included Family Research Council, Exodus International, Eagle Forum, and Focus on the Family. She said 'Yes, it includes those.'

    • But what about the public statements that Chick-fil-A was (1) re-evaluating who they give to, and (2) would avoid the 'gay marriage' arena completely? She agreed that those statements were confusing but would not elaborate further as to why they are being pushed.

    • Why did Chick-fil-A refuse to respond to questions by the press about this, which would have cleared things up? She said that the company often doesn't respond to the media because of the media's propensity to spin things. (We suggested that in this case, it was necessary.)

    • Did Chick-fil-A executives actually meet and negotiate with Alderman Moreno and the homosexual group 'Civil Rights Agenda'? She said she did not know whether they did or not.

    • Did CEO Dan Cathy actually meet with college homosexual activists to find 'common ground' as has been widely reported in the press? She said she did not know.

    We talked for quite a while and she reiterated those points. We asked the obvious question: If Chick-fil-A is giving to the same pro-family groups as before — and this is the crux of the heated issue here — why not say that clearly on a prominent place on the web site, and tell it to the press, instead of having them read a confusing and misleading policy statement? It would have solved all the misunderstanding going around. She didn't have an answer to that.

    So apparently Chick-fil-A really isn't caving in. But who would have known? The big theme among the conservative bloggers, including even Michelle Malkin, is that the evil liberal media have been using their usual tactics to spin disinformation — that Chick-fil-A is caving in to the homosexuals. We don't buy that. This time, we think the media did their due diligence. It was Chick-fil-A that was being squirrely....

    All this just exacerbates the horrible double standard going on. Corporations across America openly brag about the millions of dollars they give to fund the radical homosexual movement. Yet Chick-fil-A tries to dance around and obfuscate the relatively tiny amounts it gives to groups fighting for the truth (e.g., they gave just $1000 to Family Research Council). Why not just be upfront and 'proud' of doing good things?

    We tried our best to get the real story and report it to you accurately. We think that Chick-fil-A's refusal to deny the allegations against it with a clear statement of the facts, and to further make it difficult and confusing for even its allies to get a straight [no pun intended, I'm sure] story, produced the result they deserve: misleading press reports across the country. And the sophomoric blather from the conservative movement trying to defend them only added to the problem....

I agree with MassResistance that Chick-fil-A's recent statements have been a bit murky. Perhaps it's a case of the restaurant chain having its cake and eating it too, so to speak. But the sad bottom line is this: It is indeed "politically correct" for corporations to donate to Planned Parenthood and/or the homosexual lobby, but should a business donate to pro-life, pro-family organizations — watch out.

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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