After months of blocking approval to build a Chick-fil-A in the first ward, Chicago alderman Joe Moreno says the fast-food chain can now construct a restaurant in the Logan Square neighborhood.
Earlier this summer, Moreno refused to allow the company into his ward after Chick-fil-A’s president made public comments against same sex marriage.
Now after ten months of negotiations between Moreno and Chick-fil-A representatives, the company reportedly announced its non-profit arm will no longer support groups with a political agenda.
A call to that non-profit was not returned on Wednesday.
Moreno says Chick-fil-A also issued an internal memo saying it doesn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation--a move which he applauded.
“I don’t care if they believe what they believe, but I do care if their policies do reflect those beliefs. And before today I did not have any clarity that they had an anti-discriminatory policy towards sexual orientation,” Moreno said in a phone interview Wednesday.
The Civil Rights Agenda--a civil rights advocacy group that worked with Moreno in an advisory role during negotiations--lauded the decision.
“Hopefully their employees will then understand...that that behavior of discriminating against the LGBT community is unacceptable,” said Anthony Martinez, Executive Director at the Civil Rights Agenda.
But David E. Smith of the Illinois Family Institute said he is still upset Moreno pressured Chick-fil-A to change its policies.
“It’s absolutely tyrannical. Who is alderman Moreno to decide what religious practices, belief systems, political ideologies a corporation must have?” Smith said.
Moreno said he will file written approval for the new restaurant by the end of the week.