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Chick-fil-A tweaked the policy after the protest



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Campaign outside the Reading shopping center

The US fast food chain Chick-fil-A has changed its donation policy, which has been criticized by LGBTQ activists.

The restaurant company did not explain the decision unless it said it wanted to offer "more clarity" about its donations.

The company said the gifts would now focus on education, homelessness and hunger.

Chick-fil-A has faced scrutiny since 2012 comment by CEO Dan Cathy on same-sex marriage.

Leaders in Boston, New York and other cities have spoken out or proposed banning family-owned companies, which offer around 2,400 outlets throughout North America.

Last month, the owner of the chain's first British post, in Reading, said it would not renew store leases after protests by LGBT rights activists.

'Sad'

Mr Cathy had previously said that he regretted taking a public attitude about same-sex marriage, even though he did not retract his views, which he tied to his Christian faith.

Chick-fil-A has also stopped donating to groups that campaign against same-sex marriage.

On Monday, the charity will take a "more focused" approach and reveal recipients of $ 9 million in donations by 2020.

The list does not include two organizations – the Christian Athlete Alliance and the Salvation Army – who continue to shoot.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, who received $ 1.65 million in 2018 for youth sports camps at the historic black college, did not respond to requests for comment.

The organization asks participants to comply with a sexual purity policy that prohibits homosexual relations and sex outside of marriage.

The Salvation Army, which received $ 115,000 last year, said it was "saddened" to know of Chick-fil-A's decision and denied claims that its policies were hostile to the LGBTQ community.

"We serve more than 23 million people a year, including those in the LGBTQ + community," the charity said. "We … deeply appreciate partners and donors who ensure that anyone who needs our help feels safe and comfortable to come through our door.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who has supported Chick-fil-A during the previous controversy, said the changes to the company sent a clear message.

"They surrendered to anti-Christian hate groups" in an effort to get more money, he wrote on Twitter.

Chick-fil-A did not elaborate on the decision to stop funding the two groups, except to say that the charity had fulfilled multiyear commitments for both groups ending in 2018.

The company said both faith-based and non-religious organizations will qualify for future donations.

GLAAD, a gay rights group that has campaigned against the chain, said the announcement must be greeted with "cautious optimism".

However, he said it remains concerned about the relationship between Cathy's private foundation and Focus on the Family, which opposes same-sex marriage. The chain also lacks policies to ensure a safe workplace for LGBTQ staff, he said.

"Chick-fil-A … must firmly oppose the anti-LGBTQ reputation represented by their brand," said Drew Anderson, GLAAD campaign director and quick response.

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