Fast-food chain Chick-fil-A — embroiled in a controversy last year surrounding the millions of dollars it donated in 2009 and 2010 to anti-gay organizations — almost doubled it’s charitable donations to anti-gay groups in 2011, according to newly released IRS documents.
Although records for 2012 are not yet available, the latest tax filing by the chain’s charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation, shows that in 2011, its anti-LGBT giving exceeded $3.6 million — almost double the $1.9 million from the year prior, reported Think Progress.
According to the documents, the foundation gave $2,896,438 to the Marriage and Family Foundation in 2011, a massive increase over the $1,188,380 donated in 2010.
The group was founded in 2007 by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy and originally called the “Marriage and Family Legacy Fund.” Its purpose was to serve as the “implementation and funding” arm of Marriage CoMission, a group which promotes the “traditional family structure.”
The WinShape Foundation also donated $480,000 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and $247,500 to the National Christian Foundation in 2011 — both organizations received the same amount in 2010.
Last year, a number of reports suggested that Chick-fil-A, and WinShape had, or would, cease donations to anti-gay organizations, while others said that no such agreement existed. The company eventually released a statement that said it intended “to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
In January, Campus Pride executive director Shane Windmeyer announced that he and Dan Cathy were now friends. Windmeyer, who is gay, married, and advocates for LGBT college students, claimed that he had “exclusively” seen Chick-fil-A’s tax documents, and because the chain was no longer funding anti-gay groups like the Family Research Council or Exodus International as of 2011, he was suspending his campaign against Chick-fil-A, which has franchises on many university campuses.
And while Chick-fil-A did not donate to Exodus International or the FRC in 2011, as it had in 2010, both received money from the National Christian Foundation, which did receive direct funding from WinShape.
Last year, in an interview with the Baptist Press, Cathy acknowledged that Chick-fil-A was “guilty as charged” regarding its millions of dollars in contributions to established anti-gay organizations.
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