Chicago politician now claims Chick-fil-A president "wants to confuse people" over gay issues

Posted by JD Uy
September 23, 2012 10:50 AM |

This morning, Proco Joe Moreno, an alderman for Chicago, released his response to a public rebuff he received last Friday from Dan Cathy, the President and CEO of Chick-fil-A.

Chicago Alderman Proco Joe MorenoMoreno claimed last week that executives at Chick-fil-A had "changed their tune," "changed their ways" and "changed those" policies regarding charitable donations made to anti-gay organizations. However, Moreno posted on Tumblr today, "A Response to Cathy and Huckabee." In part, he wrote: 

''Dan Cathy decided to make a PUBLIC statement to Mike Huckabee that, at the least, muddied the progress we had made with Chick-fil-A and, at the worst, contradicted the documents and promises Chick-fil-A made to me and the community earlier this month. Since Mr.Cathy made a PUBLIC statement, I am PUBLICLY asking him to confirm and support what I was told and shown by his company representatives....

''I am asking him to PUBLICLY confirm and support a letter that was voluntarily given to me by his company executives earlier this year ...  that these organizations included groups that politically work against the rights of gay and lesbian people.... that Chick-fil-A, and its not for profit arm WinShape, in 2012 has not and will not donate to entities with political agendas, including organizations that politically work against the rights of gay and lesbian people.

''Mr Cathy continues to not confirm to the press what his company executives have told and showed me. This is disturbing. Since Mr. Cathy wants to confuse people, he needs to publicly confirm the three components described above, which allowed us to move forward.... Do you acknowledge and support the policies that your exectuives outlined to me in writing or do you not? Yes or no? If not, Chick Fil A is a business that practices irresponsible, and potentially illegal, business standards.

''Perhaps Mr. Cathy felt that he could make these public statements to Mike Huckabee because I had provided a letter of support for his restaurant to the City of Chicago earlier this week...."

Moreno and a group called The Civil Rights Agenda had promoted a press release this past week in which they alleged that Chick-fil-A had agreed to "concessions." The release said the corporation would supposedly cease "donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights."

The claims in that press release were immediately quoted by bloggers, news organizations and even entertainers across the nation. But on Friday, Dan Cathy made it rather clear, in a statement given to Mike Huckabee, that those reports contained "erroneous implications" and that his corporation had "made no such concessions" in regards to opeining a store in Chicago.

Rick Garcia of TCRA told NBC News that he was "angry and disgusted" because Chick-fil-A had "lied" to them.

On Friday, Moreno had said to Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks that an internal Chick-fil-A document stated "very clearly that they will not discriminate, and they will not tolerate discrimination amongst a variety of people, including those of sexual orientation." His latest statement, however, does not appear to reference those alleged "discrimination" policy changes.

Update: The Windy City Times reported on Friday, that Garcia and a representative for Moreno had both suggested there existed an ''agreement with Chick-fil-A not to release the purported written statement from the company, affirming it had ceased anti-gay donations.''

Back in July of 2012, Alderman Moreno appeared on CNN where he explained his opposition to the opening of a specific Chick-fil-A location. He began by saying there were "traffic congestion issues with the site," but he was confronted by the show's host for possibly believing that Chick-fil-A may have discriminatory policies. He replied:

"The bottom line is that, if the discriminatory policies are there, or the lack of protections that are there, for a constituency that is very much alive and thriving in Chicago, then I have an issue with that, just as we have in our civil rights history."

Moreno was questioned again about the existence of allegations that the company had been discriminating against gay couples in hiring or serving processes. The Alderman referred to some type of information held by The Civil Rights Agenda:

"Well, I would suggest, if you've never heard that -- if you talk to The Civil Rights Agenda, which is an LGBTQ group that's dealing with some issues just like that, in terms of firing, or being felt unwelcome and inappropriate, in their hiring of individuals that are in the LGBTQ community --. They're working on that. But that doesn't make mass headlines." 

Asked if he was referring to "Chick-fil-A specifically," Moreno seemed to say:

"Yes, specifically."

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