Chicago | Chick-fil-A | News | Rahm Emanuel

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Backs Alderman's Plan to Block Anti-Gay Chick-Fil-A from Opening Restaurant

Chicago Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno says he won't allow Chick-Fil-A to open a restaurant in his Northwest Side ward because of the company's anti-gay worldview, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel is offering his support, the Chicago Tribune reports:

Moreno"If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don't want you in the 1st Ward," Moreno told the Tribune on Tuesday.

Moreno stated his position in strong terms, referring to Cathy's "bigoted, homophobic comments" in a proposed opinion page piece that an aide also sent to Tribune reporters. "Because of this man's ignorance, I will now be denying Chick-fil-A's permit to open a restaurant in the 1st Ward."

The alderman has the ideological support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values," the mayor said in a statement when asked about Moreno's decision. "They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty."

The proposed restaurant, in the Logan Square neighborhood, would be the second to open in the Windy City.

Note: Michelangelo Signorile is having Moreno on his show at 4:30 pm ET.

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  1. Joe is my Alderman and he's a pretty class act kind of guy--for a politician. :)

    The 1st ward encompasses the Wicker Park area of Chicago (remember Real World Chicago). It's a trendy neighborhood with lots of urban families and younger singles. It's nowhere near "Boystown" so it's pretty impressive that this ward is taking a stand.

    Thanks Joe! Now can you just do something about the illegal billboards? :)

    Posted by: Brad | Jul 25, 2012 3:34:17 PM

  2. As a former Chicagoan, I support the alderman's stance on this issue as well. While I advocate for fair business, I believe it's best to let the constituents of the ward and their respective representative decide the organizations that represent their community.

    Posted by: James | Jul 25, 2012 3:42:36 PM

  3. Take that, haters!

    Posted by: Jack M | Jul 25, 2012 3:43:28 PM

  4. Now Mr. Huckabee, how many bigots can you fit into a Chick-Fil-A on August 1? We'll be watching!

    Posted by: jed | Jul 25, 2012 3:48:06 PM

  5. Now Mr. Huckabee, how many bigots can you fit into a Chick-Fil-A on August 1? We'll be watching!

    Posted by: jed | Jul 25, 2012 3:48:07 PM

  6. Greatg!

    Posted by: | Jul 25, 2012 4:13:00 PM

  7. Words have consequences.

    Posted by: acorlando | Jul 25, 2012 4:13:34 PM

  8. This will end in a lawsuit. I find it hard to justify denying a business a permit based on the political viewpoints of its owner, so long as the business does not run afoul of any operational/employment laws and regulations.

    Will you complain when the mayor of a town denies a permit to a gay bar or bookstore because it doesn't comport with the values of their town?

    If the constituents don't want it there, they can choose not to go there and to let it fail. If that's the consensus, it will go out of business. If it doesn't, that means that there are people who wanted it there, and those people have every right to the same say as to what businesses come in to the neighborhood as anyone with a differing viewpoint.

    Sadly, I have to side with Chik Fil A on this one. I hope the judicial smackdown is prompt, because this sets a very, very troubling precedent.

    Posted by: Jack | Jul 25, 2012 4:51:06 PM

  9. While the wingnuts state it is the right of Chick-fil-A to voice their opposition to gay marriage, they forget it is also the right for others to oppose that position!

    A few pics...

    Posted by: CB | Jul 25, 2012 4:51:50 PM

  10. You don't have to be a wingnut to understand that this is unconstitutional. Imagine if the alderman were trying to deny permits and licenses to a business for donating to and expressing support for pro-gay-marriage organizations. The First Amendment does not -- and of course should not -- permit government discrimination on the grounds of political opinion.

    Posted by: One small problem | Jul 25, 2012 4:58:40 PM

  11. Wow these mayors and politicians in the northern states are educated, courageous, caring and operate with integrity.

    I ashamed of the weak, pathetic, money-hungry louses we have for politicians and mayors in the south. Shame on us idiots down here for not demanding more of our elected officials !

    Posted by: Icebloo | Jul 25, 2012 5:38:04 PM

  12. If they were that intelligent and educated they would have remembered that we have a constitution, and that while they are free to publicly scorn the restaurant for Cathy's views, they may not use governmental force to punish it.

    Posted by: Jack | Jul 25, 2012 6:27:39 PM

  13. what Albert responded I'm blown away that some one able to profit $6958 in a few weeks on the internet. did you look at this page >>>

    Posted by: amy | Jul 25, 2012 6:57:29 PM

  14. @OneSmalllProblem: You misunderstand, again, the1st Amendment. There is a constitutional right to free speech. There is not a constitutional right to open a business wherever you please, and politicians and citizens have the freedom of speech to say take your bigoted business elsewhere. If CFA wants to fight that in Court, good luck to them. Seems like they have enough PR problems to worry about already.

    @Jack: Your example diesn't hold water. Gay bars and bookstores aren't contributing large sums to deprive people of equal rights. And if people want to speak out against a small business owner who's causing no one harm, let them. Quite different than a national chain working with hate groups.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 25, 2012 7:28:54 PM

  15. I agree, unconstitutional.

    Posted by: scrufff | Jul 25, 2012 7:43:39 PM

  16. Ha! Suck it bigots!

    Posted by: Daws | Jul 25, 2012 7:53:46 PM

  17. It that legal?

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Jul 25, 2012 7:59:45 PM

  18. Ernie, you're wrong on the constitutional and the moral fronts. The First Amendment requires the government to be neutral with regard to citizens' and businesses' political opinions and participation, subject to limited "time, manner & place" limitations not relevant in this case. This turns out to be a very good thing (from the point of view of anyone with the merest sense of good-faith and a concern about unintended consequences) because otherwise government officials in jurisdictions with values different than yours could keep business owners who support, for example, gay causes from opening or conducting business. This doesn't bear any additional argument, but you simply do not know what you're talking about.

    Posted by: One small problem | Jul 25, 2012 8:00:26 PM

  19. Walmart, amongst other businesses have been refused permits in many communities for various reasons and have sued and have lost in some cases. Chick-fil-A can do the same thing if they are refused to open a business in a community, but to say that a local government can not refuse to permit a business to open is wrong. I suspect, if Chick-fil-A sues, the brohaha, that will prevail, will hurt, more than help the chicken franchise.

    Posted by: CB | Jul 25, 2012 8:32:13 PM

  20. @Ernie: As OSP pointed out, you are simply wrong. A government, in issuing permits or doing anything else that it extends to the public, cannot discriminate in doing so based on protected speech. Can the government refuse to give welfare to people who support a challenging candidate? After all, welfare payments are not a right.

    Furthermore, the part of your comment addressed to me is wholly irrelevant. The entire purpose of the First Amendment is that we DO NOT make subjective judgments about what speech is acceptable or not. My example is perfectly analogous, because it doesn't really matter whether someone is saying something you agree with or not. Protected speech is protected speech. I suggest you do some research on the First Amendment because you clearly have a fundamental misunderstanding of it.

    @CB: Walmart lost because there were legitimate reasons for not issuing a permit. However, exercising First Amendment rights CANNOT be a legitimate reason. That is a bedrock of First Amendment jurisprudence. If Chik Fil A sues, it will almost certainly win. A local government can refuse a permit, but they cannot do so because they don't like the political views of its owners.

    Posted by: Jack | Jul 25, 2012 8:51:56 PM

  21. Ernie, you are so confused. CFA isn't working with hate groups. CFA isn't contributing any money to deny anyone "equal rights".

    Jed, et al... every time you call someone who disagrees with your amoral views a bigot or a hater you expose yourselves and just as close-minded as you accuse others of being.

    Short of it: Rahm Emanuel and the Boston mayor are apparently just idiots. Unqualified to be mayors of anything, much less major US cities. Chicago and Boston should be embarrassed, though I suspect they probably aren't.

    Posted by: J.R. | Jul 25, 2012 11:25:57 PM

  22. HAHAHAA look at the homophobes on here trying to stick up for Chik Fil A

    Listen here and listen loud homophobes

    we will use EVERYTHING within our powers to fight you all. To fight homophobia, and to shun it.

    We will petition, boycott and make sure you and your estbalishment can't get in.

    We are a STRONG LGBT community. Tougher, braver, and louder than ever before. Didn't think we had a backbone, did ya?

    Posted by: ToLA8 | Jul 26, 2012 1:06:15 AM

  23. I resent the comparison that disallowing Cik Fil A in a town is like disallowing a pro gay estbalishment in a town. I resent ALL straw man arguments that try to paint being pro gay and anti gay as equal They aren't.

    And we see the anti gay ilk, in gay costumes, on here try to always play the straw man argument. Be it having anti gay protestors at OUR Pride parade (and them falsely arguing "well, if you kick them out, then tomorrow anyone can eliminate a gay person from entering a parade") to stories about a cake shop refusing service to a gay couple for their cake, you'll see same anti gay individuals on here play straw man arguments claiming "well, then tomorrow a gay cake shop owner can't refuse making a cake for a bigot"

    Stop equating homophobia with being pro gay. They are two different stances and deserve two different responses. Gay people don't need to, nor will they, feel guilt written for standing up harshly against homophobia in all forms.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Jul 26, 2012 1:10:45 AM

  24. Yeah...we ARE reaching a place where we are becoming intolerant toward homophobia, and ya know what? it's a great thing.

    We need more intolerance toward homophobia, and less complacent attitudes.

    Posted by: Amy | Jul 26, 2012 1:11:34 AM

  25. J.R/Jack: same poster

    and you putting our equal rights in quotes speaks volumes about your trolling, but more so, what really speaks volumes is that old tired, played out argument of "a person has every right to be anti gay and homophobic. just because they disagree with you doesn't mean they are a bigot"....spoken like a bigot who can't own it. Anytime someones comes at a gay person with the "I'm not a bigot for disagreeing with you"'re dealing with a deluded bigot.

    Posted by: Josh | Jul 26, 2012 1:13:39 AM

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