“Well, guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.
“We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that.”
With those words, Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy set off a firestorm that has reached to Chicago’s northwest side.
In case you haven’t heard or read about it, Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno, the first ward alderman has made his stance firm that he will not have any family-supportive businesses in his ward. Alderman Moreno has publicly stated that he will use Aldermanic Privilege to block the zoning permit allowing a Chick-Fil-A restaurant on Elston Ave. He also mumbled something about traffic, but he loudly proclaimed that the real reason he won’t have them is that the company is anti-gay and discriminatory towards the LGBT crowd. The Alderman was backed up by His Honor, Mayor Emanuel.
Ummm… Excuse me, Mr. Alderman?? Where did Chick-Fil-A say in that article that they hate gays or that they do not employ, serve or deal with lesbians? The ONLY thing Mr. Cathy said was that he and his company are supportive of a Biblical definition of a family.
Here’s a bit of news for you, Alderman Moreno – there are a lot of people in your ward that support traditional family values. But, let’s get back to the zoning issue…
Mr. Moreno, you have made this issue about Chick-Fil-A’s discriminatory practices against LGBT. You are going to deny them the zoning permit because they are violating the law in their hiring practices, right? Please, Alderman Moreno, show us any instance where the management of that chain violated the laws. Please show us any record of where the restaurant was hauled into court for violating someone’s constitutional rights. You can’t, can you?
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a resident of the Logan Square neighborhood, specifically, in the vicinity of the Goethe Elementary School and I am a member of the Greater Goethe Neighborhood Association and have been serving (for the last 3+ years) on the Board of Directors of the GGNA as well as the First Ward’s GGNA Zoning and Planning Committee under former Alderman Flores and current Alderman Moreno. Let me say up front that I in no way speak for those organizations and am not writing this opinion piece either on behalf of or as a member of the GGNA or the ZaPC. This is strictly my opinion. Please respect that.
Mr. Alderman, I would like to submit to you that your latest examples of what you expect the city to be are more discriminatory than anything Dan Cathy ever said. Mr. Cathy publicly stated his views on marriage and as far as I see it, you are just as bigoted as what you claim they are. Why do I say that?
Simple reasoning. Someone can have whatever opinion they want – as long as it doesn’t offend YOU or YOUR political beliefs, right? You have shown intolerance towards someone’s beliefs and manufactured claims that they are discriminatory, but provide no proof whatsoever or have any verifiable evidence in your favor. Bigoted.
What’s worse, in my opinion, you are acting in a bullying manner by using your power to determine – on your own – who is allowed to sit at the community table. This is the latest example of your disregard of the wishes of your community in order to further your agenda.