Chick-fil-A Caves on Funding Anti-Gay Groups but Is It Enough?

What’s that noise of grinding gears? Chick-fil-A reversed its anti-gay agenda. What will happen as the company presents a two-faced approach to consumers?

Chick-fil-AIn an abrupt reversal of its traditional course, Chick-fil-A management decided to stop funding anti-gay “charities.” However, the decision comes with a great deal of confusion at the top of the company, as reported in a Lubbock Avalanche-Journal article, which quotes University of Georgia’s Dr. Sundar Bharadwaj, the Coca-Cola Company chair of Marketing at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business 

“You can change your position, but you have to have a rational reason for the change and be consistent and communicate that to your customers,” Bharadwaj told the Avalanche-Journal. “Two different brands cannot be visible to the customer. Your authenticity is questioned after that, and your brand loses equity.”

The PR-industry website Bulldog Reporter has been covering the back and forth and has an entertaining string of articles you may want to read.

For more on the importance of corporate values and their implications on your business, read:

Ask the White Guy: Decision Making, Clarity of Values & What to Do When It Goes Horribly Wrong

Does Gay Marriage Violate Your Religious Values?

Are Political Donations That Conflict With Your Diversity Policy a Shareholder Issue?

Lessons on Values From Ellen & JCPenney

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  • Reading your article, and the associated articles in the Atlanta and Lubbock publications, I don’t know how you can say that Chic-fil-A has ‘caved on funding anti-gay groups.’ The article says that this week they celebrated a fundraiser by Chick-fil-A’s primary charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation. One of the beneficiaries is The Marriage and Family Foundation, which was among organizations cited by gay rights groups as opposing same-sex marriage. The articles also said that Chic-fil-A’s press releases didn’t clarify their position on gay marriage. So, why the headline on ‘caving’ – it doesn’t appear that they’ve caved at all.

    • Luke Visconti

      I don’t think they caved either—a headline’s job is to get you to read the article. As Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

      • Why lie to get someones attention. Integrity, Luke, integrity.
        “Caves in…”? Not a chance.
        Diversity (and inclusion) accepts all to the table, but does not require “group think”. An individual or organization/company (like Chick-fil-A) that clearly and accurately states where they stand on an issue should be commended.

        • Luke Visconti

          “Caves in” was my way of getting you to read the article—which, if you did, you would see that they did cave in—but on the surface only. I don’t believe that the tiger changed its stripes; they are trying pull a fast one in order to stop the damage they’ve self-inflicted on their business.

          You see, there’s a lot of LGBT people out there—and a lot more concerned people if you add in siblings, parents and other allies. There are LGBT people and allies in all ranks of the government; this is where that company will need to get zoning permissions. There also are LGBT people and allies who buy franchises. There are franchise purchasers who do their due diligence, and they probably figure the likelihood of the folks running Chick-fil-A to step on another land mine is pretty high. If you look at Chick-fil-A’s franchise map, it’s centered where gay-bashing might be tolerated; but outside of that area, gay-hating isn’t a good way to build a business.

          You may commend who you wish—and do business with who you wish—but when I read between the lines of this situation it tells me that the Chick-fil-A executives are trying to pull one over on people who feel like you do, and people who feel like I do. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Wrong. Chick-fil-a has not changed their policy. That false report was started by a LGBT advocacy group in IL based on what a senior exec in CFA’s real estate division told them …. as part of negotiations to stop an attempted block on CFA opening a new location there (which they can’t legally do anyway). Nothing has changed.

  • Suggesting that the company is gay bashing by standing for their beliefs is just another attempt by the author to invoke a response. He really doesn’t care about anything else. Frankly, I find it disturbing – all of this narrow minded diversity speak. If it bothers you so much, don’t eat there. Besides, Chic Filet is a part of your diversity rainbow. What, would you have us all do, eat hamburgers flipped only by an LGBT? where’s the diversity in that? Leave the chicken guy alone; it’s not really him you are angry with anyway. It’s a country founded on those old stodgy Christian values. It’s the words God, and Jesus. It’s absolutes, it’s truth.

    • Luke Visconti

      There is no mention of “Christian” values in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. One of the pivotal thought leaders of the Revolution was Thomas Paine. Read his “Age of Reason” for a wake-up call.

      Our country was founded on the shoulders of religious oppression—that’s why our First Amendment forbids a state-run religion. You bring to mind all those so-called Christians who used the Bible to justify slavery—then used it to justify Jim Crow—and to fight integration. The good news for America (and the bad news for Chick-fil-A) is that our citizens are continuing a move toward embracing love for what it is: love. According to Gallup polls, 50 percent of Americans support same-gender marriage (as defined by the state, not the church). Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

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