Buzzfeed offered this story:
A Chicago advocacy group says that the restaurant Chick-fil-A has promised to back away from funding socially conservative groups that have pressed to limit marriage to one man and one woman.
The apparent decision by the chain’s WinShape Foundation would mark a retreat from the summer’s culture war pitting advocates of marriage equality against conservative claims that the chain was under assault for simple free speech. The comments came, the group The Civil Rights Agenda said, in correspondence with a Chicago alderman who had opposed the chain’s expansion to the city….
The company did not contest the report in a statement from spokesman Steve Robinson emailed to BuzzFeed Monday — though it also would not confirm the new report.
“We have no agenda, policy or position against anyone. We have a 65-year history of providing hospitality for all people and, as a dedicated family business, serving and valuing everyone regardless of their beliefs or opinions,” he said in a general press statement emailed to BuzzFeed by another Chick-fil-A spokesman, Jerry Johnston, who said the company’s press statement is not new. “The genuine, historical intent of our WinShape Foundation and corporate giving has been to support youth, family and educational programs.”
The Chicago Tribune also reports that the Chicago Alderman who blocked the restaurant’s entry into his area has dropped his opposition:
(Ald. Proco “Joe”) Moreno said the statement will be included in a memo called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are” to be distributed to all corporate employees and restaurant operators. The alderman said the memo will state the company’s commitment to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.” It also would state that it is the company’s “intent … not to engage in political or social debates.”
The press release by The Civil Rights Agenda offers praise for the development, but also hopes for more progress to come:
“Although we are encouraged by their internal statement, we still would like for the company to adopt an anti-discrimination policy at the corporate level,” said Rick Garcia, policy advisor for The Civil Rights Agenda. “It is one thing for a company to say they respect everyone they serve and employ, it is quite another for them to put that into their policies and demand that all employees adhere to that behavior. As we have heard from gay employees that work for Chick-fil-A, there is a culture of discrimination within the company and we would like to ensure that employees can speak out and call attention to those practices without fear of reprisal. It takes time to change the culture of any institution and steps like a corporate policy ensure that progress is made.”