Mike Huckabee is upset about Chick-fil-A’s policy changes regarding charitable giving.
On Monday, Chick-fil-A announced it will end donations to two groups with an anti-LGBTQ+ past: the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The company had come under fire in recent years for its ties to other homophobic organizations. Through its Winshape Foundation, Chick-fil-A funneled millions of dollars to groups that have advocated for ex-gay therapy, opposed marriage equality, and even sent a pastor to Uganda to support those working on the country’s death-to-gays bill.
In an interview this month, Chick-fil-A President Tim Tassopoulos seemed to distance the company from those donations telling the real estate news site Bisnow, “As we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are … There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.”
However, Chick-fila left the door open to continue funding of other homophobic groups, like the Family Research Council. In addition, the company still does not have inclusive workplace protection for LGBTQ+ employees.
Huckabee responded the the news on Twitter by waxing nostalgic about his support for the Chick-fil-A amid nationwide protests over its anti-LGBTQ+ giving.
“In Aug 2012, I coordinated a national @ChickfilA Appreciation Day after they were being bullied by militant hate groups,” the former Arkansas governor and Fox News contributor wrote on Monday. “Millions showed up. Today, @ChickfilA betrayed loyal customers for $$. I regret believing they would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathey. Sad.”
“The sad message of @ChickfilA is quite clear- they surrendered to anti- Christian hate groups. Tragic,” he concluded.
Other conservative commentators leapt at the opportunity to signal their allegience with homophobic companies.
“It won't be long before you will see a @ChickfilA cow in drag,” wrote Fox News commentator Todd Starnes.
Much of the conservative outcry seems to have come from figures who uncritically took the company at its word. Blogger Matt Walsh wrote, “Chick fil A defied the LGBT rage mob for years and only grew in popularity because of it. Now all of a sudden they cave. This is the most pointless and counter productive surrender I’ve ever seen.”
Going forward, Chick-fil-A says that it will focus its charitable giving on “education, homelessness, and hunger,” according to a press release.
A Chick-fil-A restaurant opened in a U.K. mall earlier this year, but within a few weeks mall management announced that the contract would not be renewed, saying that ending the relationship with the company was “the right thing to do.”
That may have been what motivated the company to adjust their policies. But Tassopoulous also indicated that not much may change. In a later statement, he added that the company could still donate to anti-LGBTQ+ groups.
“No organization will be excluded from future consideration — faith-based or non-faith based,” he wrote.