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Fast-food chain Chick-fil-A is seeing its sales grow despite outrage over its charitable arm's donations to anti-LGBTQ groups.
It had $10.2 billion in sales in 2018, triple the amount from 10 years ago, The Wall Street Journal reports. The full Journal article is available to subscribers only, but it was summarized by The Christian Post -- a publication that, it must be noted, has an anti-LGBTQ viewpoint.
The privately held Atlanta-based company is poised to become the third-largest fast-food chain in the U.S., behind only McDonald's and Starbucks, according to the Journal. It has double the number of locations it did in 2007, many of them in the South.
The major factors in Chick-fil-A's success are its cleanliness, customer service, and limited menu focusing on chicken sandwiches, the Journal reports. But The Christian Post adds, "The restaurant is especially popular among Christians in part because of the vision and values of the founding family. The restaurant chain has maintained over the years its policy of being closed on Sunday to honor the keeping of the Sabbath."
The "values" of Chick-fil-A and its founders include homophobia. CEO Dan Cathy has frequently spoken out against marriage equality. He once said the U.S. was "inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage."
And even though company officials said as far back as 2013 that they would cease donations to anti-LGBTQ organizations, tax filings from 2017 show that Chick-fil-A's foundation gave $1.8 million that year to groups with homophobic policies, the bulk of it going to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which enforces a "sexual purity" policy that bars "homosexual acts."
Chick-fil-A is one of the largest American companies without an LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination policy, and it has a zero score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.
Because of these factors, recently the San Antonio International Airport in Texas, two airports in upstate New York, and Rider University in New Jersey have decided not to allow Chick-fil-A restaurants on their property. And LGBTQ activists and allies have been boycotting the chain for years. But its growth continues nonetheless.