Moreno wants answers from Chick-fil-A before approval

September 24, 2012|Mick Swasko, @mickswasko | RedEye

Ald. Joe Moreno’s relationship status with Chick-fil-A got complicated over the weekend.

The first-ward alderman on Sunday released a statement asking company President Dan Cathy to clarify comments he made to talk show host Mike Huckabee denying the company had stopped making donations to organizations that oppose gay marriage.  

Cathy said in a statement Friday the company had made “no such concessions” in order to gain approval for a Logan Square location.

Moreno had reversed his decision to block the restaurant earlier this month, after company representatives told him the chain would no longer donate to charities that politically support efforts against rights of the LGBT community. The company also shared a values statement with Moreno, which states it would not discriminate against any group based on sexual orientation.

But Moreno said Sunday he needs Cathy to respond to his comments before he introduces legislation that would allow the restaurant to open up.

“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,” he said in the statement. “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.”

Moreno called Cathy’s lack of clarification on the issue “disturbing,” and said he will wait to introduce any approval on the issue until Cathy responds. A spokesman for Moreno confirmed to RedEye on Monday the statement continues to be the official position on the issue.

Moreno made national headlines this summer when he vowed to block the restaurant from opening, saying Cathy’s comments about supporting traditional marriage was a “civil rights issue.” Mayor Emanuel followed suit, saying “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago’s values.”

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