The American fast-food chain Chick-fil-A has changed its charity policy, which has been criticized by LGBTQ activists.
The restaurant company did not explain this decision, except that it said it wanted to offer “more clarity” regarding its donations.
The firm said its donations will now focus on education, homelessness and hunger.
Chick-fil-A has undergone a rigorous analysis since 2012, when CEO Dan Katie spoke out against gay marriage.
Leaders in Boston, New York, and other cities have spoken out or have proposed banning the family-owned company, which has around 2,400 outlets throughout North America.
Last month, the owner of the first British outpost of the chain in Reading said he would not extend the lease of the store after a protest by LGBT rights activists.
Mr. Katie said earlier that he regrets having taken a public stand on gay marriage, although he has not disavowed his view, which he linked to his Christian faith.
Chick-fil-A has also stopped donating to many groups that have opposed same-sex marriage.
On Monday, he announced that his charitable organization would be “more focused," and said donation recipients would receive $ 9 million in 2020.
The list did not include two organizations – the Brotherhood of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army – which continued to attract attention.
The Brotherhood of Christian Athletes, which received $ 1.65 million in youth sports camps at historically black colleges in 2018, did not respond to a request for comment.
The organization asks participants to adhere to a policy of sexual purity, which prohibits homosexual relationships and sex outside of marriage.
The Salvation Army, which received $ 115,000 last year, said it was “saddened” to learn of the Chick-fil-A decision, and challenged the allegation that its policies were hostile to the LGBTQ community.
“We serve more than 23 million people a year, including members of the LGBTQ + community,” the charity said. “We … appreciate those partners and donors who ensure that anyone who needs our help feels safe and comfortable when passing through our doors.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who supported Chick-fil-A during previous disputes, said the company’s changes sent a clear message.
“They surrendered to anti-Christian hate groups” in an attempt to get more money, he wrote on Twitter.
Chick-fil-A did not clarify the decision to terminate the funding of these two groups, except that he said that his charity had fulfilled many years of commitments to both groups ending in 2018.
The company said that both religious and non-religious organizations will be eligible for future donations.
GLAAD, a gay advocacy group that campaigned against the network, said the announcement should be met with "cautious optimism."
However, he stated that he remained concerned about the relationship between the Katie Family Private Foundation and Family Focus, which opposes gay marriage. The chain also still lacks a policy that provides a safe workplace for LGBTQ employees.
“Chick-fil-A … should clearly speak out against the anti-LGBTK reputation that their brand represents,” said Drew Anderson, director of campaigns and rapid response GLAAD.