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Despite a PR firestorm from president Dan Cathy's comments against gay marriage, Chick-fil-A experienced record sales in 2012.
During 2012, Chick-fil-A opened 96 stores, versus 92 the prior year.
Despite a social media backlash and promises of boycotts, Cathy's controversial statements also generated plenty of support, leading to a "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" during the summer that yielded a single-day sales record.
Meanwhile, as Chick-fil-A's sales grow, the chain's perception among consumers has dropped. It is no longer listed in the top five best-perceived limited-service brands as researched by YouGov BrandIndex.
Donations still being questioned
Also, conflicting reports have emerged about whether or not Chick-fil-A has ended its financial commitments to organizations that are considered anti-gay. These donations were the impetus behind Cathy's statements and the subsequent divisiveness.
A recent story on HuffingtonPost.com claimed that Chick-fil-A's philanthropic arm, WinShape Foundation, has ceased its donations to the organizations in question.
A national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered campus organization, Campus Pride, issued a statement claiming that its executive director, Shane Windmeyer, was given access to WinShape's tax documents proving the change.
However, media watchdog group Media Matters for America, released a statement shortly thereafter claiming that "in reality, the majority of the company's anti-gay donations remain unchanged."
The group continued: "If Windmeyer's claim that Chick-fil-A has stopped funding the most extreme anti-gay groups is true, the company would only have reduced its anti-gay donations by less than one percent.
"Windmeyer clarified in an interview with The Advocate that when he saw IRS tax forms, provided to him by Chick-fil-A officials, that several of the groups identified by (LGBT organization) Equality Matters are still indeed receiving donations."
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