Chicago Alderman Wants to Block Chick-fil-A

Ald. Joe "Proco" Moreno called recent comments from the company's president "homophobic"

By Mary Ann Ahern and Michelle Relerford
|  Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012  |  Updated 11:38 PM CDT
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Ald. Joe

Ald. Joe "Proco" Moreno (1st) wants to block the fast-food chain from opening shop in the Logan Square neighborhood after President Dan Cathy vocalized his stance against gay marriage. Mary Ann Ahern reports.

A Chicago alderman is crying "fowl" over what he calls "homophobic" recent public comments made by Chick-fil-A's president.

Ald. Joe "Proco" Moreno (1st) said this week he wants to block the fast-food chain from opening shop in the Logan Square neighborhood after President Dan Cathy vocalized his stance against gay marriage.

Cathy said last week he was "guilty as charged" for supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit.”

Chick-fil-A already has obtained zoning for a second restaurant in Chicago, in the 2500 block of North Elston Avenue. The company still needs council approval, though, to make changes to the land, and 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."

Moreno said he doesn't want in his ward a company that discriminates against a segment of the community. He also said zoning is not a right and there already have been concerns about traffic in the area.

The Illinois Family Institute has criticized the alderman's move. NBC Chicago has reached out to the group whose director, David Smith, told the Chicago Tribune that Moreno is being "intolerant and discriminatory because somebody has a different view than he does."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel supports the idea and has said it would be a bad investment.

"Chick-Fil-A's values are not Chicago values," he said. "They're not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members, and if you're going to be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect the Chicago values,"

There has been other fallout across the country over the comment. Boston's mayor said he plans to block plans for Chick-fil-A to build in the city, and Jim Henson's company dropped out of a deal to create Muppets to promote the company.

In a statement by Donald Perry, the company's vice president of corporate relations, Chick-fil-A said its "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...Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."

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