Conservatives claim the chain has abandoned its supporters by changing up its giving strategy.
Conservatives are angrily denouncing Chick-fil-A's announcement this week that its charitable arm will suspend donations to organizations with anti-LGBTQ policies.
For years, the Chick-fil-A Foundation has bankrolled groups with a history of discrimination, including a religious athletics group that requires employees to sign a "sexual purity" statement barring "homosexual acts."
After significant national pushback, the fast food chain announced Monday that it had decided to revamp its charitable giving to focus on a small number of charities, including Covenant House International and Junior Achievement USA.
As of 2019, the foundation has stopped funding the anti-LGBTQ charities it supported previously, though a spokesperson would not rule out future contributions to those groups or others like them.
Chick-fil-A has not said whether the backlash to its previous giving had triggered the change in donation strategy.
Monday's announcement spurred immediate backlash from many of the same conservatives who once fiercely defended Chick-fil-A and its right to operate by its own values.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) spent years boasting of his support for the chain. When San Antonio's city council voted to drop a proposed location from their airport, Abbott backed and signed a law he called the "Chick-fil-A law" to ensure that the company would not face discrimination for its anti-LGBTQ record.
"No business should be discriminated against simply because its owners donate to a church, the Salvation Army, or other religious organization. Texas protects religious liberty," he said at the time.
On Monday night, Abbott tweeted a link to a news story about the company's announcement. "I'm headed to Bill Miller's tonight," he responded, indicating that he planned to eat at a competitor restaurant instead.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) spent much of the day tweeting and re-tweeting about his disdain for Chick-fil-A's decision. He complained that the chain had "bowed to the 'made to care' harassment lobby" and said his attitude toward the fast food chain was now "meh."
Roy complained that Chick-fil-A was now "just like every other corporation that ultimately capitulates."
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) also joined in, calling the move "a shame."
"My [favorite] chicken sandwich is one that satisfies hunger," he tweeted Monday afternoon, "not necessarily every question about intersectional gender identity assumptions. Sheesh."
An array of other prominent conservatives also blasted the decision.
Senior Trump 2020 adviser Katrina Pierson said she would stop eating at the chain. "If [Chick-fil-A] caved to the LGBT mafia and canceled the Salvation Army," she tweeted, "then those of us who grew up in poverty and have one the few happy memories from childhood being from the Salvation Army summer camp should cancel Chick-fil-a. Done."
Former Trump White House staffer Sebastian Gorka said the company "clearly" did not understand the ramifications of its decision. "Show weakness the radicalized Left and they will destroy you," he tweeted, calling the move "[t]ruly pathetic."
David Bossie, Trump's 2016 deputy campaign manager, said the company "caving to the rage mob is a disaster and they will find it's never good enough for the left all while abandoning their base supporters."
Dinesh D'Souza, the conservative writer and birther conspiracy theorist whom Trump pardoned last year for his campaign finance violations, said the "sniveling idiots" at Chick-fil-A had apparently decided to "kowtow to the gays."
Even former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR), who organized a national 2012 "appreciation day" to praise Chick-fil-A for its opposition to LGBTQ rights, lambasted his former friends for "surrendering to critics and betraying loyal customers to appease those who despise them," and for betraying "loyal customers for $$."
Chick-fil-A remains one of a dwindling number of major national companies that refuses to expressly protect employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.