Chick-fil-A shifts donations away from anti-gay groups, tax forms confirm

Chick-fil-A’s WinShape Foundation 2011 IRS 990 tax documents confirm that the company appears to have cut donations to anti-LGBT groups that work to actively harm LGBT adults, young people and families, Campus Pride reported today. In 2011, the WinShape Foundation contributed nearly $6 million in outside grant funding to programs that focus on "youth, education, marriage enrichment and local communities."

The 990 forms were filed by the WinShape Foundation on November 15, 2012 and will be released to the public by the IRS in the near future.This past week, Shane Windmeyer, the executive director of Campus Pride, met with Chick-fil-A representatives in Atlanta to confirm the details of recent donations and to review the information on the 990 forms.

"The recent 990 tax form shows that Chick-fil-A is who they say they are, a company dedicated to food, service and hospitality -- not political or social agendas," said Windmeyer. "For our organization, this all came down to the company's giving to divisive anti-LGBT groups who work to actively harm LGBT adults, young people and families.  The 990s are a positive step forward in not funding the most divisive, anti-LGBT groups.”

In an article published to The Huffington Post today, Windmeyer details his evolving relationship with Chick-fil-A founder and CEO Dan Cathy. "I have spent quite some time being angry at and deeply distrustful of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A," Windmeyer writes. "If he had his way, my husband of 18 years and I would never be legally married." But much to his surprise, Windmeyer develops not only a working relationship with Cathy, but a friendship, concluding: "I will not change my views, and Dan will likely not change his.  But we can continue to listen, learn and appreciate 'the blessing of growth' that happens when we know each other better."

In 2012, Chick-fil-A came under fire for donating more than $5 million to anti-LGBT organizations, including The Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center deems a “hate group.” Chick-fil-A had also donated to groups that promote so-called “reparative therapy,” a practice both debunked and deemed as harmful by nearly every major medical and mental health authority in the country.

"That Chick-fil-A seems to have cut its ties and stopped donating to anti-gay groups that actively work to harm LGBT people is a sign of great progress," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "Conversation is the path to common ground, and as more Americans like Dan Cathy share dialogue with LGBT people, the closer we all come to a more equal tomorrow."