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Moreno Does About-Face on Chick-Fil-A

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    Ald. Joe Moreno apparently has changed his mind about Chick-fil-A.

    Nearly two months after the First Ward alderman discussed blocking the fast-food chain over "homophobic" public comments from its president, Moreno said this week he would allow a Logan Square location after all.

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    Support for restaurant comes after former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee declared August 1 the national day to recognize the chain following its president's comments condemning same-sex marriage. Sharon Wright reports.

    The about-face comes from a franchise agreement not to donate money to organizations that oppose gay marriage and to include in company documents a statement of respect for all sexual orientations, he told the Chicago Tribune.

    Moreno told the publication he considers the written statement a big win and said it affirms the company doesn't have discriminatory policies.

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    "We are a family of deep Chicago roots," said restaurant owner Lauren Silich. Natalie Martinez reports.

    Chick-fil-A already obtained zoning for a second restaurant in Chicago, in the 2500 block of North Elston Avenue. The company still needs council approval to make changes to the land, though, and in July Moreno told NBC Chicago he would block the company's efforts.
     
    "I think it's irresponsible to have discriminatory policies from the top down," he said, adding, "they're not coming in."

    Even Mayor Rahm Emanuel weighed in, saying "Chick-Fil-A's values are not Chicago values." The mayor later clarified his stance with a statement from his office maintaining his opinion about values but confirming he would not block the business.

    On July 19, Chick-fil-A posted a Facebook message commenting on the national criticism that went beyond Chicago:

    "The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."

    The Tribune pointed out the statement includes language similar to that expected in the agreed upon statement of respect.