Whose 'Chicago Values'? Gay Group, Cardinal Join in Chick-fil-A Fray
BY Trudy Ring
August 03 2012 2:49 PM ET
Chicago continues to be one of the centers of Chick-fil-A controversy, with a local LGBT rights group filing legal complaints against the company and the head of the city’s Roman Catholic archdiocese defending it.
The Civil Rights Agenda filed multiple complaints Thursday with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, saying among other things that the fast-food chain’s “intolerant corporate culture” violates the Illinois Human Rights Act, which prohibits a “public accommodation” from making protected classes “unwelcome, objectionable or unacceptable.”
The company, with its donations to antigay groups and executives’ stated opposition to LGBT rights, “has announced and caused to be published, to hundreds of millions of people, that LGBT people are unacceptable and objectionable,” said Jacob Meister, the Civil Rights Agenda’s governing board president and the attorney who filed the complaints.
Anthony Martinez, the Civil Rights Agenda’s executive director, said the issue is “not freedom of speech or religious liberty as some might suggest. This is about Chick-fil-A having a policy, a corporate culture, which promotes discrimination.”
The group has been working with City Council member Joe Moreno, who opposes the opening of a Chick-fil-A in his ward. The organization and the alderman originally sought to persuade the company to adopt an LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination policy and institute diversity training, but the talks stalled when news of Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s antigay statements broke, Meister said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has also criticized the company, saying its values “are not Chicago values,” prompting a response from Cardinal Francis George, the city’s Catholic archbishop.
“My understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval,” the cardinal wrote on the archdiocese’s blog. He continues, “The value in question is espousal of ‘gender-free marriage.’ Approval of state-sponsored homosexual unions has very quickly become a litmus test for bigotry; and espousing the understanding of marriage that has prevailed among all peoples throughout human history is now, supposedly, outside the American consensus.”
He goes on to claim that same-sex unions are “not physically marital” and adds, “‘Gender-free marriage’ is a contradiction in terms, like a square circle.” Read the full post here.
- WATCH: President Obama Tells Morehouse Grads 'Be the Best Husband to Your Boyfriend'
- Op-ed: Religion Shouldn't Be an Excuse for Discrimination
- Florida Teen Facing Sex Offender Charge For Consensual Same-Sex Relationship
- WATCH: Ben Affleck and SNL Crew Go to Ex-Gay Camp
- The Miseducation of Destin Holmes
- WATCH: The Cure for Gay Wedding-Related Depression
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Commentary Gun Advocate Uses Gays To Make His Point 7 min 47 sec ago
- Music EXCLUSIVE: Audra McDonald's 'Some Days' 1 hour 44 min ago
- Travel A Handy, Color-Coded Map to Gay Europe 1 hour 57 min ago
- Commentary Op-ed: Religion Shouldn't Be an Excuse for Discrimination 4:40 AM
- Current Issue The Miseducation of Destin Holmes 4:00 AM
- Politics Obama to Grads: 'Be the Best Husband to Your Boyfriend' May 20 2013 7:56 PM
- Crime Thousands Rally Against Anti-LGBT Violence in NYC May 20 2013 7:35 PM