Chick-fil-A opponents declare, um, victory?
Alderman Joe Moreno has relented and said he now will allow Chick-fil-A to open in his Chicago ward. Earlier this summer, Moreno had attempted to block the company after decrying president Dan Cathy’s comments in support of traditional marriage.
According to Moreno, he’s giving in because Chick-fil-A has now released a memo entitled “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are,” which reaffirms that they “will treat every person with honor, dignity, and respect–regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender.” The language in this document almost exactly mirrors a statement Chick-fil-A had placed on its facebook page on July 19, prior to any of Moreno’s actions.
In addition, the WinShape Foundation, a charity funded by Chick-fil-A and the Cathy family, released a statement saying that it will refrain from donating to “groups with political agendas.” In a letter to Alderman Moreno, the foundation wrote:
The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.
Moreno would like this turn of events to be recorded as a “big win,” and he certainly needs some semblance of good publicity. After coming under fire from First-Amendment advocates for his (illegal?) attack on free speech, the Alderman has recently been skewered by the far-left for supporting Rahm Emanuel during the recent teacher strike.
And Moreno has more than enough help in spinning the statement into a sort of watershed victory for activist LGBT groups. A press release sent out by the Civil Right Agenda, an Illinois-based LGBT advocacy group, proclaimed “Chick-fil-A ceases anti-Gay donations,” while Chicagoist, a leftwing blog, ran the headline “Chick-Fil-A Promises Chicago Alderman: No More Anti-Gay Donations.” Even the Los Angeles Times‘s headline read: “Chick-fil-A promises to stop giving money to anti-gay groups.”
Quite a leap to “no more anti-gay donations” from the facts: a company re-releasing language affirming that it treats all its customers with dignity and respect, along with its foundation resolving to refrain from donating to political groups. The Chicago Tribune reports:
Meanwhile, Illinois Family Institute Executive Director David Smith said the pledge to respect all people was simply in keeping with the Cathy family’s values. “That’s just consistent with their Christian beliefs — that’s consistent with orthodox Christian values,” Smith said. But Smith took issue with limiting how the company or foundation spent its money. “It seems as though Moreno is asking them to handcuff themselves and to limit their speech,” he said. “Why couldn’t they fund whatever organization they want?”
Some might say treating every person with honor, dignity, and respect is exactly what Chick-fil-A employees had already been doing, as exemplified by the drive-through window employee’s polite response to Vante CEO Adam Smith’s verbal, recorded, tirade against her. We all know about the infamous LGBT protest wherein an Occupy activist verbally abused a homeless man outside the restaurant.
At least Alderman Moreno got a good lesson on the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. Let’s hope he continues on to read the rest of them.
ADDED INFORMATION: While many news outlets are running headlines saying that Chick-fil-A will no longer donate to anti-gay groups, this information appears to stem from one press release put out on “The Civil Rights Agenda” website and Alderman Moreno’s comments to the Chicago Tribune, rather than primary sources. Chick-fil-A has not responded to repeated requests from the Tribune for confirmation. The actual sources currently made available are: the “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are” memo and the statement from the WinShape Foundation. Neither of these makes any mention of donations to anti-gay groups; rather, the language states they are “not supporting organizations with political agendas.” Until more information is released, it appears premature, at best, to say that this means “no more anti-gay donations.”
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