Chick-Fil-A is no longer welcome in the Northwest Side ward of Chicago.
According to Chicago Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno, his office will be stopping a proposal to build a new Chick-Fil-A in his ward largely because of CEO Dan Cathy’s statement that marriage should be between one man and one woman.
Calling gay marriage the civil rights struggle of our time, Moreno’s Director of Legislative Affairs & Communications Matthew Bailey also said that belief in gay marriage would not be a litmus test for approval in the ward. In the case of Chick-Fil-A, Bailey said that Moreno’s office felt action needed to be taken because Chick-Fil-A represented itself as apolitical to the Alderman’s office all while publicly stating opposition to gay marriage.
Bailey said that his boss has had concerns with the proposed fast food location since Chick-Fil-A first applied for permitting nearly a year ago. Moreno “challenged their positions of homophobia,” said Bailey.
Bailey did not believe that it was hypocritical or intolerant to deny the proposal to Chick-Fil-A because Morero disagrees with Cathy’s politics. “We are a progressive ward,” said Bailey, “the 1st Amendment is wonderful, but it’s not a right for a business to make a profit.”
The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA), Illinois’ leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights advocacy organization, which worked with Alderman Moreno in crafting the new policy, also said that Chick-Fil-A wasn’t willing to cater to the LGBT community.
“Those items included: an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination policy, diversity and cultural competency training, parity in employee benefits that included benefits for couples in civil unions and domestic partnerships, appropriate and respectful advertising in the LGBT community, transgender inclusive health benefits, and rejection of any activities that would undermine the goal of equal rights for LGBT people,” said TCRA in a press release.
Moreno was buoyed by the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, who said that Chick-Fil-A was not the sort of company that was welcome in Chicago.
“Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,” said Emanuel in a statement responding to Moreno’s announcement, “They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”
Bailey dismissed the idea that with near ten percent unemployment in Chicago, that the ward was missing out on much needed jobs. Estimating that the proposed site would bring between twelve and fifty new jobs, Bailey said it wasn’t worth it.
“Some things trump jobs,” said Bailey.
Chick-Fil-A’s media relations department didn’t respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment on this story.
Chick-Fil-A, which preaches family values, has become a flash point for the culture war debate. Started by Cathy’s father, S. Truett Cathy, more than sixty years ago, Chick-Fil-A has been under fire ever since the current CEO stated his support for traditional marriage earlier this month. The City of Boston has already told the fast food restaurant it isn’t wanted in that largely liberal city.