(NEW YORK) — A Chicago lawmaker says that Chick-fil-A is re-evaluating the multimillion-dollar donations the company gives to anti-gay marriage activists and other groups with “political agendas,” a month after company CEO Dan Cathy’s pro-traditional marriage comments created a firestorm in the fast-food world between LGBT supporters and gay-marriage opponents.
After weeks of negotiations with city Alderman Joe Moreno, the fast-food restaurant agreed to take “a much closer look” at which groups receive donations from the WinShape Foundation, a non-profit created by the Cathy family and funded almost entirely by Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, the company told Moreno.
“The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas,” Chick-fil-A’s senior director of real estate said in a letter to Moreno.
Between 2008 and 2010, the WinShape Foundation gave $3.2 million to groups that advocate against same-sex marriage, according to the group’s tax reports. That included $2,000 to the Family Research Council, which was designated as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2010, and $2,500 to the Alliance Defense Fund, which supported California’s Proposition 8 to outlaw gay marriage.
The Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund did not return requests for comment.
News of these donations, which was sparked by Cathy’s saying he supports “the biblical definition of the family unit,” sparked national outcry from gay-marriage activists and an overwhelmingly supportive response from traditional-marriage conservatives, who turned out in droves to dine at Chick-fil-A restaurants Aug. 1.
Moreno, who represents the ritzy Northwest Side of Chicago, vowed to block construction of a new Chick-fil-A restaurant in his ward after Cathy’s remarks. But in a statement today, Moreno commended the company for making “real progress” toward addressing “the very legitimate concerns of the LGBT community regarding Chick-fil-A.”
Along with re-evaluating funding to anti-gay marriage activist groups, Moreno said Chick-fil-A has agreed to amend its corporate policy to include sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination policy.
Because of such changes to company policy, Moreno said he will recommend to the Chicago City Council that Chick-fil-A construction plans be approved for its new location in Chicago.
Chick-fil-A did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment or confirmation of Moreno’s statement.
The WinShape foundation directed all comments through the Chick-fil-A headquarters, which also serves as the foundation’s main offices, which did not respond to requests for comment.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Tara Bench, KSL.com
Jethro Mullen Ivana Kottasova and Patrick Gillespie, CNN
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