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Chicago alderman angered after Chick-fil-A denies agreement to end anti-gay donations

Monday, September 24, 2012
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CHICAGO, IL — Chicago Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno is again threatening to block Chick-fil-A from building a restaurant in his ward after reports published on Friday signaled that promises made by Chick-fil-A executives to him and a local LGBT advocacy group (that the company was going to cease financial support of several noted anti-gay organizations) were nullified by Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy.

Just days after Chick-fil-A reportedly agreed to end donations to anti-gay organizations and end discrimination based on sexual orientation throughout the company, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced on his website Friday that those claims were not true.

Chicago Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno

On his website, Huckabee said that he spoke to Cathy early Friday, and was given this statement by the Chick-fil-A president: “Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been.”

Taking to his personal blog over the weekend, Moreno wrote:

Dan Cathy decided to make a PUBLIC statement to Mike Huckabee that, at the least, muddied the progress we had made with Chick-fil-A and, at the worst, contradicted the documents and promises Chick-fil-A made to me and the community earlier this month. Since Mr.Cathy made a PUBLIC statement, I am PUBLICLY asking him to confirm and support what I was told and shown by his company representatives.

I am asking him to PUBLICLY confirm and support a letter that was voluntarily given to me by his company executives earlier this year that states the future behavior of Chick-fil-A’s not for profit arm, The WinShape Foundation. The letter states that, “The WinShape Foundation 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.”

We were told that these organizations included groups that politically work against the rights of gay and lesbian people. I am also asking him to PUBLICLY confirm and support what Chick-fil-A executives voluntarily told and confirmed to me earlier this month— that Chick-fil-A, and its not for profit arm WinShape, in 2012 has not and will not donate to entities with political agendas, including organizations that politically work against the rights of gay and lesbian people.

Moreno wrote that should the response not be forthcoming and honest, he would reconsider his position on the legislation which is necessary for the fast food company to build a franchise in his ward.

Mr. Cathy continues to not confirm to the press what his company executives have told and showed me. This is disturbing. Since Mr. Cathy wants to confuse people, he needs to publicly confirm the three components described above, which allowed us to move forward.

I am simply asking Mr. Cathy to confirm statements and documents that HIS company executives provided to me. It is pretty simple, Mr. Cathy. Do you acknowledge and support the policies that your executives outlined to me in writing or do you not? Yes or no? If not, Chick Fil A is a business that practices irresponsible, and potentially illegal, business standards.

Perhaps Mr. Cathy felt that he could make these public statements to Mike Huckabee because I had provided a letter of support for his restaurant to the City of Chicago earlier this week. I provided this letter based on the progress we had made with Chick-fil-A.

Moreno said he is still required to introduce legislation to make the Chick-fil-A in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago a reality, and that he will “wait to see what Mr. Cathy’s next PUBLIC statement is, and reflect on that statement before moving forward with appropriate legislation.”

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