By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com September 23 2012 7:06 PM ET
The Chicago alderman who claims Chick-fil-A executives promised him the company was changing its antigay ways is now demanding an explanation for President Dan Cathy's recent behavior. And if he doesn't get one, then the alderman says Cathy can forget about expanding in Chicago.
Cathy told Fox News' Mike Huckabee on Friday that his fast-food chain had "made no such concessions" to Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno and that "we remain true to who we are and who we have been."
Moreno was in negotiations with Chick-fil-A about whether he would continue to use his power on the city council to block a restaurant from coming to his neighborhood. Earlier this week, Moreno announced a breakthrough, saying Chick-fil-A had distributed an internal memo committing to equal treatment of LGBT employees and customers while also ending its history of financial contributions to antigay organizations. The company's foundation, WinShape, had given more than $5 million through 2010 to groups that Equality Matters identified as having antigay agendas, including those that try to turn people from gay to straight.
"Dan Cathy decided to make a public statement to Mike Huckabee that, at the least, muddied the progress we had made with Chick-fil-A and, at the worst, contradicted the documents and promises Chick-fil-A made to me and the community earlier this month," Moreno wrote this weekend on his Tumblr blog.
Moreno complains that Cathy appears to be publicly distancing himself and his company from a letter delivered to him personally and that was reiterated by release Thursday of an internal document, titled "Chick-fil-A: Who We Are." The company's own statement swears off donations to groups with "political or social agendas."
"We were told that these organizations included groups that politically work against the rights of gay and lesbian people," Moreno wrote.
Now Cathy has to say publicly what his representatives allegedly told Moreno privately, or Moreno is threatening to withhold legislation needed for Chick-fil-A to expand to the Logan Square neighborhood he represents.
Plus, Moreno is suggesting the shenanigans pulled last week might be illegal.
"Mr Cathy continues to not confirm to the press what his company executives have told and showed me. This is disturbing," Moreno wrote. "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."