ATLANTA -- After months of negotiations with a Chicago alderman, Atlanta-based fast-food giant Chick-fil-A appears to have done an about face on its support of groups that oppose same-sex marriage.
A press release from the Chicago-based organization The Civil Rights Agenda says Chick-fil-A's Winshape Foundation has agreed to re-examine its charitable donations and that "company executives clarified that they will no longer give to anti-gay organizations, such as Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage."
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The release says Chick-fil-A has sent an internal memo to franchisees clarifying that position across the board, noting, "Additionally, they have sent an internal memo to franchisees and stakeholders that stated that, as a company, they will "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender," and that their "intent is not to engage in political or social debates." This statement was placed into an official company document called 'Chick-fil-A: Who We Are'."
Chick-fil-A's president and chief operating officer Dan Cathy set off a firestorm of social controversy this summer when he told a radio interviewer the company supported the "Biblical definition of the family unit."
In the wake of calls for Chick-fil-A to distance themselves from Cathy's statements, radio talk show host and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee made a call to declare August 1 as "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," which crafted a such a huge call to action that thousands of people crowded Chick-fil-A locations nationally, many of them saying they were in full support of Cathy's stance.
In response, New Yorker Carly McGehee decided to stage a same-sex "kiss-in" at Chick-fil-A restaurants nationally to a much smaller response.
Local policians across the nation announced they would block any attempt by Chick-fil-A to open restaurants in their local municipalities. Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno worked to block the opening of that city's second Chick-fil-A restaurant, while Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino formally sent a letter to Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy saying the company was not welcome in his city.
This week, according to NBC Chicago station, Moreno has done an about face, saying he would allow the new location to be built in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood after all.
Moreno says the company's written statements affirms in his mind that Chick-fil-A does not have discriminatory policies.
Chick-fil-A has not yet responded to a formal request for a statement.