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Chicago official to block Chick-fil-A

This Thursday, July 19, 2012 photo shows a Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant in Atlanta. Gay rights advocates were surprised Thursday that the president of the Atlanta-based chain has taken a public position against same-sex marriage. Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said this week that his privately owned company is "guilty as charged" in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family unit. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

This Thursday, July 19, 2012 photo shows a Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant in Atlanta. Gay rights advocates were surprised Thursday that the president of the Atlanta-based chain has taken a public position against same-sex marriage. Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said this week that his privately owned company is "guilty as charged" in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family unit. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

CHICAGO — A Chicago alderman, angered by the president of Chick-fil-A's comments that he is against gay marriage, said he will block the company from building a restaurant in his ward.

Alderman Joe Moreno said Wednesday that unless the company comes up with a written anti-discrimination policy, Chick-fil-A will not open its first free-standing restaurant in the city as it plans to do.

"They have nothing on the books that says they do not discriminate and they are open to everyone," said Moreno, whose ward is on the northwest side. "I want to see that policy before they go forward."

Moreno's comments follow an interview that Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy gave to the Baptist Press in which he said he was "guilty as charged" in support of what he called the biblical definition of a family.

The fast-food chain later said that it strives to "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender," the Boston Herald reported. The Atlanta-based company did not respond to a telephone call or email from The Associated Press.

Last week, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino told the Boston Herald he would block Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in the city.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel expressed similar sentiments to the Chicago Tribune, which first reported Moreno's efforts this week. He said the comments "''disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents," and therefore building the restaurant in Chicago "would be a bad investment, since it would be empty."

On Wednesday, Moreno did not dispute that Cathy had the right to say what he said. But, Moreno said, "There are consequences for freedom of speech (and) in this case the consequences are... you're not going to have your first free-standing restaurant in Chicago."

Chick-fil-A has obtained a zoning permit for the restaurant but needs approval from the City Council to divide the land, Moreno said. And in a city where the City Council rarely go against the wishes of the alderman, Chick-fil-A needs Moreno's help.

Moreno said holding up construction would be as simple as refusing to introduce an ordinance to subdivide the land where Chick-fil-A wants to build.

He said he was not worried about being sued. First, he said, there are well-documented traffic and congestion issues in the Logan Square neighborhood that he could raise to justify his decision.

He added, "We have a responsibility to look at (whether companies) are responsible actors and responsible means not being discriminatory."

Comments

SickandTired 2 years, 4 months ago

Chicago politics at it's finest. Blackmailing a private company to do business the way the politicians want. You wanna bet that restaurant wouldn't be empty? Build it then lets talk.

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Sandykin 2 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm, you don't share my opinion, therefore I deny you the opportunity to build where you want, I will stop you from creating business in this community, with jobs in this community. Hmmmm...where have I seen this kind of attitude before...

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SickandTired 2 years, 4 months ago

@Sandykin i lived in Chicago for 15 yrs before moving to Gwinnett. I lived there during the Daly "machine" era. City politicians were corrupt then and they are corrupt today. Nothing has changed there. Alderman Moreno is an idiot. CFA should just write up a document to appease him. "They have nothing on the books that says they do not discriminate and they are open to everyone," said Moreno, whose ward is on the northwest side. "I want to see that policy before they go forward." That's an easy fix especially since Dan Cathy essentially said the company does not discriminate and they are open to everyone "The fast-food chain later said that it strives to "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender," the Boston Herald reported. CFA put that statement on CFA letterhead and boom.....you have your policy!!!

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MissDaisyCook 2 years, 4 months ago

Just had lunch, but after reading this I'm headed to Chik-fil-a for a milkshake, sandwich and waffle fries; SUPER SIZED!

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 4 months ago

At a time when every state is hurting for jobs, you're actually going to tell a company that they cannot build in your community because you disagree with the personal convictions of one man within the company, even though company policy states a different opinion than his?

When i need groceries, I don't ask myself what Bruce Lucia's stance is on drug legalization, I just go to Kroger and get what I need. I don't care what his stances on societal issues are. The point being, if you're letting the opinions of one person within a multi-billion dollar company dictate your feelings toward that company providing jobs in your community, you're probably too sensitive to being with.

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toby 2 years, 4 months ago

This would make me think that the Chicago mafia is gay.

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dentaldawg83 2 years, 4 months ago

City of Chicago bans Chic Fil A, yet the Mayor welcomes Louis Farrakan with open arms...what in the heck has happened to this country?..

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ssilover1 2 years, 4 months ago

Shame on Chicago, Boston and any other entity that won't allow Dan Cathy to have an opinion. Sounds like mind control to me.

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snellvillemike 2 years, 4 months ago

sandykin Hmmm, you don't share my opinion, therefore I deny you the opportunity to build where you want, I will stop you from creating business in this community, with jobs in this community. Hmmmm...where have I seen this kind of attitude before...

You are absolutely correct. I may state my opinion and if you disagree, then I will respect your opinion, I may not agree, but I will respect it. When a government official decides to threaten someone from a business venture only because the business has a different opinion than the government official, now this is fascism and this attitude by the mayor of Boston and the alderman of Chicago will haunt the both of them as well as anyone who uses idealogy and political power to oppress free speech.

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Award88 2 years, 4 months ago

@snellvillemike, not only is it fascism, it is illegal. No government entity can deny the establishment of a business on the grounds of the CEOs opinion. That is a violation of the 1st amendment. So long as the business does not discriminate against protected classes, it is illegal to take action against them for an individuals comments.

Off the legal topic and on to my personal feelings, I just love it how liberals are all about free speech and excepting each other, until you disagree with them. In this case I happen to disagree with Cathy. Personally, I don't care who you marry as long as you don't infringe on my rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That being said, since this controversy as blown up, I have eaten at Chick-fil-A as often as possible. I am a diehard Constitutionalist and it infuriates me when an organization is targeted because someone expressed their opinion.

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NewsReader 2 years, 4 months ago

Seems to me the fool publicly admitted his reason for blocking the business, and as such, opened himself up for a lawsuit should Chick-fil-A be denied the necessary permits regardless of what the grounds are. Like I've said before, if you stake a claim that Chick-fil-A has discriminated against you, prove it! Either put up or shut up.

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teelee 2 years, 4 months ago

It is the Liberal way, go after anything good an decent. Make the abnormal normal. It is the year 2012 and Liberals are demonizing everything from Christians to the Constitution. They are going to decide what light bulbs we use, cars we drive, food we eat, soda we drink, words we say. When does the madness end? Didn't we fight wars against people like this?

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SpankyKnows 2 years, 4 months ago

Political cynisism and religion are no excuse for Dan Cathys statements. If the comments had been about women, African-Americans, or another minority group the right wing would be beating a different drum. Becasue the statements made were about Gay rights it seems to be okay rally behind them as being "patriotic or even Christian." Make it about whatever you want but the bottom line is that the statements were wrong and in bad taste. anyone who thinks the boycotting of chick-fil-a or the government exclusion of chick-fil-a resembles anythign near fascism needs to reed a book. Intentionally alienating a minority group and lableing them as wrong as Dan Cathy did comes much closer fascism. Hitler created a lot of jobs too but does that mean his ideas were okay?

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SpankyKnows 2 years, 4 months ago

You can use whatever excuse you would like, whether it is political cynicism or religion, to defend Dan Cathy’s statements but ultimately they are wrong. Because he spoke about Gay rights it seems okay for conservatives to rally around his words as “patriotic” or “Christian”. If he had spoken about another minority group like African-Americans or Women it would not be so. Simply because of the taboo surrounding homosexuality in his and other older generations is it that these statements are accepted by some. I wonder if Dan Cathy approves of the so called “Biblical” role of women? Anyone who thinks that the city governments boycotting Chick-fil-a is fascist needs to read a book. The labeling of a minority group as less important and wrong, such as Dan Cathy did, is much closer to being fascism. I bet Hitler created a lot of jobs too but does that mean that he should have been allowed to do so? You can hide behind your titles as an American or Patriot or Christian so that you don’t really have to absorb and think about the issue at hand, as most of you seem to have chosen, but this issue cannot be avoided. It is not okay to discriminate against ANYONE based on race, religion, creed, or sexual orientation. You cannot simply choose to exempt groups from this ethos based because of ignorance. Some of you may be too engrained in your ideas to comprehend but one day it won’t matter. The older generations with their archaic ideals and world view will someday fade and a more educated and less ignorant youth will be there to pick up the pieces.

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SickandTired 2 years, 4 months ago

@Spankyknows...CFA is NOT discriminating against homosexuals! If you can come up with one (1) story, article, lawsuit anything where CFA was accused of refusing to serve a homosexual I will buy you dinner.....at CFA of course! Very rude of you to call people ignorant or uneducated simply for expressing their viewpoint. I happen to have PhD, what is your educational background?

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kevin 2 years, 3 months ago

For the last time I repeat. A person has a right to free speech and their own opinion without being boycotted over it. The gays are making themselves look so stupid by doing this to a private company, mainly because it is a Christian organization, something gays can't seem to handle. A practicing Christian will NOT compromise his/her beliefs in the Bible, something gays refuse to acknowledge as well. Horray for Chick-fil-A's owner. The company itself does not discriminate and even hires gays. Gays have to understand a simple fact. You can still have a great relationship with gay people but your religious views are just that, sacred, and your own opinion. I do not care what religion gays follow, if any or not. I do respect the fact of what they are and accept them as human beings. My Bible forbids gay marriage and I will always believe in that. The Bible is way higher than any "personal" belief. This is the problem with this country. Its morals are going down the tube because of people like gays because they all feel you have to live by "today's rules, not rules provided by our God. Amen.

If gays want to treat people equal, they should be leaving Georgia, a state that voted against gay marriage. Georgia is speaking out against gay marriages the same as the owner of Chick-fil-A. Why don't the gays also boycott, shutdown, or leave the state of Georgia? The Liberal gays just want their free time in the news and the Liberal media give it to them freely.

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kevin 2 years, 3 months ago

this video is more serious than a person's right to free speech. Why don't people protest our president as a racist?

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