Chick-fil-A faces rightwing backlash after cutting ties to Christian groups

Chick-fil-A faces rightwing backlash after cutting ties to Christian groupsTed Cruz and Mike Huckabee condemn restaurant chain that also donated to civil rights group Southern Poverty Law CenterTed Cruz said the restaurant had ‘badly lost its way’. Photograph: Manuel Balce Ceneta/APLeading US conservatives have turned on the fast-food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A after the company decided to cut its ties to two Christian groups that have long opposed same-sex marriage.To compound rightwingers’ fury, it has also emerged via tax filings that Chick-fil-A donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights advocacy organization, in 2017. The SPLC has a lengthy record of supporting LGBTQ+ and abortion rights.Chick-fil-A, previously best known for its chicken sandwiches, was embraced by conservatives due to its foundation’s funding of the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which oppose same-sex marriage.This adoration has now turned sour, however.The restaurant has “badly lost its way”, tweeted the Republican senator Ted Cruz, a prominent religious conservative. “Millions of Christians have been proud of ChickFilA’s courageous stands for religious liberty. To fund those who hate your customers is just sad.”The former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, another devout Republican, accused Chick-fil-A of having “surrendered to anti-Christian hate groups”.Having been boycotted by protesters who accused it of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, Chick-fil-A now faces the prospect of being shunned by some of its most enthusiastic former backers.“It’s time for Christians to find a fast-food alternative to Chick-fil-A,” said Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council organization. “Not only has Chick-fil-A abandoned donations to Christian groups including the Salvation Army, it has donated to one of the most extreme anti-Christian groups in America.”A spokeswoman for Chick-fil-A said the company had fulfilled its obligations to the two Christian organizations and would now focus its donations to “education, homelessness and hunger”.

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