The Story: Last week, a Chicago politician told media that Chick-fil-A had agreed to no longer fund groups opposed to same-sex marriage. Dan Cathy, the company's CEO, responded by denying the claims—-and now the alderman is suggesting the fast-food company may have done something illegal.
The Background: According to the Associated Press, last week on Wednesday, Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno announced the alleged policy change, which he said followed extended negotiations to bring the Georgia-based restaurant chain to the city. Moreno had previously vowed to block construction of a new Chick-fil-A restaurant in his ward after Cathy said, “We are very much supportive of the family—-the biblical definition of the family unit.”
On Friday, Cathy told Mike Huckabee,
There continues to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities in order to obtain permission for a new restaurant in Chicago. That is incorrect. Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been.
In response, Moreno now claims Cathy's statement contradicts what he was told by Chick-fil-A executives:
I am simply asking Mr. Cathy to confirm statements and documents that HIS company executives provided to me. It is pretty simple, Mr. Cathy. Do you acknowledge and support the policies that your executives 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.
Moreno says that he will wait to hear what “Mr. Cathy's next PUBLIC statement is, and reflect on that statement before moving forward with appropriate legislation.”
Why It Matters: Alderman Moreno has no evidence that Chick-fil-A has ever been accused of hiring discrimination based on sexual orientation. But for homosexual rights absolutists like Moreno, Truett committed a thought crime by defending the “biblical definition of the family unit.” Any political action taken to oppose his company—-such as pressuring the city council to keep the restaurant out of the city—-is therefore justifiable.
Intolerance toward supporters of traditional marriage has now spilled over from the realm of politics into the world of business. What is most surprising, though, is not that it happened (that was inevitable) but the speed at which it occurred. A decade ago, who would have predicted a company like Chick-fil-A would be the target of political opposition and media scrutiny for simply giving money to mainstream organizations like Focus on the Family?