|Chick-fil-A to back off supporting anti-gay groups?|
|Written by Dyana Bagby|
|Wednesday, 19 September 2012 09:29|
Remember when the Chicago alderman dug in and said he would oppose the building of a new Chick-fil-A in his community because of its anti-gay stances, specifically statements made by Dan Cathy that he opposes gay marriage?
Well, that alderman, Joe Moreno, says now he's fine with the Atlanta-based restaurant building in his neighborhood after he says the chain agreed to include an LGBT inclusion statement in its internal documents. More importantly, he says, he also was told by Chick-fil-A officials that Winshape would no longer donate to anti-gay causes, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune. Winshape, the nonprofit organization of Chick-fil-A, has donated millions to anti-gay causes over the years giving rise to LGBT anger and boycotts.
From the Tribune story:
Moreno said the statement will be included in a memo called "Chick-fil-A: Who We Are" to be distributed to all corporate employees and restaurant operators. The alderman said the memo will state the company's commitment to "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender." It also would state that it is the company's "intent ... not to engage in political or social debates."
Company officials did not respond to repeated requests to confirm Moreno's assertions about the document or the foundation's donation policies. Instead, company spokesman Jerry Johnston emailed the Tribune a copy of the statement it first posted on Facebook with very similar language to what Moreno said will be in the "Who We Are" document.
If this all pans out, Moreno is saying he scored a major win.
"It's one thing to say that's the way you feel — it's another thing to put it into a company policy and an official company statement," he told the Tribune.
Remember also that Moreno's statements, along with other elected officials including gay Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan, saying they oppose the building of new Chick-fil-A, turned out the right wing masses who followed Mike Huckabee's lead to Eat More Chikin in the name of "free speech" with the gays responding with a much less successful but earnest "Kiss In" day as well as an ongoing boycott of waffle fries and fried chicken sandwiches. Then there's the student movement on college campuses, including Atlanta's own Emory University, to boot the anti-gay chain off its property.
The Civil Rights Agenda issued a statement praising Moreno's efforts:
“We are very pleased with this outcome and thank Alderman Moreno for his work on this issue,” said Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda, an LGBT advocacy group in Chicago.
“I think the most important part of this outcome is that Chick-fil-A has ceased their donations to anti-gay groups in 2011 and going forward. With some of the groups that they were donating to being classified as hate groups, and others actively trying to halt the movement toward full civil rights for LGBT people, Chick-fil-A has taken a big step forward. We are encouraged by their willingness to serve all people and ensure their profits are not used to fight against a minority community that is still trying to gain full and equal civil rights.”
If Winshape does decide not to financially support anti-gay causes, then this is a good day for LGBT people. And with Berry College, a Christian college where Winshape is located, now recognizing an official student LGBT group on campus, can it be the Cathy's are actually going to uphold the Christian values they say they hold so dearly and learn to love and respect all people?
Let's hope they don't chicken out of such bold moves.
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