(CBS) — Seven years after CEO Dan Cathy voiced support for “the biblical definition of the family unit,” Chick-fil-A is again on the defensive against claims the fast-food chain has an anti-LGBTQ agenda.
The chicken chain is not being allowed to open up shop in San Antonio International Airport after city council members voiced concerns about the company’s record on LGBTQ issues.
“We don’t have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior,” councilman Roberto Treviño said in a prepared statement about the seven-year concessions agreement.
Chick-fil-A said in an emailed statement to CBS MoneyWatch that it would welcome the chance to “have a thoughtful dialogue with the city council,” and wished that it had been given the change to “clarify misperceptions” ahead of the vote. “Chick-fil-A embraces all people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity,” the company said.
The private company’s conservative Christian leanings are also back in view with newly released tax filings first publicized by ThinkProgress. The left-leaning news site found the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave $1.8 million to three groups with a history of anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
The donations include payments of $1,653,416 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, an organization that spreads an anti-LGBTQ message to college athletes; $150,000 to the Salvation Army, which has opposed LGBTQ rights; and $6,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a Christian residential facility for troubled youth that teaches homosexuality is wrong.
Chick-fil-A also listed the donations on its website, which noted that the company’s foundation as of June 2017 “no longer supports” the Paul Anderson Youth Home.
Chick-fil-A, which has previously denied that it discriminates against any group, reiterated that stand in its statement to CBS MoneyWatch: “To suggest our giving was done to support a political or non-inclusive agenda is inaccurate and misleading.”
Chick-fil-A’s popularity with some conservative Christians also drew attention last year when then-EPA head Scott Pruitt explained why he had looked into having his wife own a Chick-fil-A franchise. “I love, she loves, we love Chick-fil-A as a franchise of faith,” Pruitt told a reporter.