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Chick-fil-A says it will stop funding anti-gay groups

Cody Duty / AP

Miguel Martinez, left, kisses partner of five years, Sergio Andrade, right, during National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A in Houston on Aug. 3, 2012.

Chick-fil-A has agreed to stop funding groups with anti-same-sex marriage stances, according to a statement released Wednesday by LGBT advocacy group The Civil Rights Agenda. 

Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno, who had blocked the fast-food chain from opening stores in Chicago because of its anti-gay views, likewise announced he would now let Chick-fil-A open up new outlets after he received a letter this morning from the company stating that they would cease donating to the groups.  

"Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena," Chick-fil-A wrote in an emailed statement to NBC News. Civil Rights Agenda (CRA) and Moreno's office did not respond to emailed requests. 

The chicken-sandwich chain ignited a furor both online and offline this summer after its COO Dan Cathy said that it was company policy to support “the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit.” He stated that in his view, same-sex marriages invite “God's judgment” and its proponents “have the audacity to define what marriage is about.” 

In response, gay rights protesters launched nationwide boycotts and staged same-sex “kiss-ins” at Chick-fil-A stores. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee launched a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” in which supporters of the company's stance on same-sex marriage descended on their local stores to purchase chicken sandwiches en masse. 

According to the release by the CRA, the letter stated that chain's charitable wing “is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.” 

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