A Chicago alderman announced this week that he plans to block Chick-fil-A’s plans to open a new restaurant in the district he represents following recent anti-gay marriage remarks made by the chain’s president.
“If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the 1st Ward,” Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno told the Chicago Tribune Tuesday of the controversial chain’s plan to open a new restaurant in the 2500 block of North Elston Avenue.
Moreno’s opposition to College Park, GeorgiaD-based chicken chain also has the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel who told the Tribune in a statement that “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values. They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”
Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s recent interview with the Baptist Press has put the chain’s long-held opposition to marriage equality back in the spotlight. When asked to explain his franchise’s “support of the traditional family,” Cathy said he was “guilty as charged” and that his position “might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
The remarks caused the Jim Henson Company, the company behind “The Muppets” and “Fraggle Rock,” to sever its ties with Chick-fil-A. The controversy also prompted Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to vow to block the franchise from opening any restaurants in his city.
The franchise’s expansion into the Chicago market last year, via the opening of a new downtown restaurant at 30 E. Chicago Ave., was met by opposition by LGBT activists. Marriage equality advocates protested at the location of the new restaurant and distributed “coupons” detailing the company’s history of “homo/transphobia … topped with workplace inequality” to passersby. The coupons were titled “Reserve your FREE Bigot-fil-A Deluxe.”