Chick-fil-A’s charitable foundation once made a significant contribution to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which lists several faith organizations as hate groups.
Townhall reported that Chick-fil-A gave $2,500 to the SPLC in 2017, based on an IRS 990 form filed by the Chick-fil-A Foundation.
The SPLC lists multiple prominent pro-faith, pro-family and pro-religious liberty organizations as hate groups, including the Family Research Council, the Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Counsel, and Pacific Justice Institute.
The SPLC cites those groups’ opposition to rights sought by the LGBT community, including same-sex marriage.
The Family Research Council was one of the organizations Chick-fil-A contributed to through its charity arm as of 2010, Forbes reported.
The company has been in the crosshairs of many LGBTQ advocates after CEO Dan Cathy came out in support of traditional marriage in 2012.
In July 2012, as the controversy was reaching a crescendo, Chick-fil-A announced, “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
Nonetheless, the Family Research Council came under physical attack the month after Chick-fil-A’s announcement.
A gunman named Floyd Corkins showed up at FRC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., on August 15, 2012, and opened fire at point-blank range on the building manager, who was manning the reception desk.
Despite being shot in the arm in the melee, the building manager managed to tackle and subdue Corkins.
“I wanted to kill the people in the building and then smear a Chick-fil-A sandwich in their face … to kill as many people as I could,” Corkins said at the time, according to a news release from FRC.
In an interrogation video released by the FBI, Corkins told federal authorities he chose the FRC from the SPLC’s list of hate groups.
By March 2014, the progressive group ThinkProgress reported that Chick-fil-A had “dramatically” reduced its “anti-LGBT giving.”
ThinkProgress did fault the restaurant chain for continuing to give to the “anti-LGBT Fellowship of Christian Athletes.”
FRC president Tony Perkins said on Wednesday that he believes Chick-fil-A has strayed from its Christian moorings.
“Tax reports have now exposed Chick-fil-A for funding the anti-Christian Southern Poverty Law Center; an organization linked in federal court to domestic terrorism after their smear campaign of Christian organizations resulted in a shooting in which the gunman planned to smear Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the faces of his victims,” Perkins said in a statement.
“Not only has Chick-fil-A abandoned donations to Christian groups including the Salvation Army, but it has also donated to one of the most extreme anti-Christian groups in America,” he continued.
“Anyone who opposes the SPLC, including many Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and traditional conservatives, is slandered and slapped with the ‘extremist’ label or even worse, their ‘hate group’ designation. At one point, the SPLC even added Dr. Ben Carson to its ‘extremist’ list because of his biblical views (and only took him off the list after public outcry).”