Chick-fil-A’s CEO Clarifies: ‘We Have Made No Concessions’

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?

  • Neo

    Reminds me of the image someone posted on Facebook, of Samuel Jackson saying, “Say chick-fil a one more time!”

  • Caleb T

    Focus on the Family may be well-known by evangelicals, but it’s widely considered to be a hate group by the left.

  • Ellie Bressner

    All the talk about tolerance breaks my heart. Born again Christians have to tolerate a lot of things we do not wish to see or hear, but the rest of the world refuses to tolerate our views. This country had better get back to God, and in a heart beat! Jesus is coming soon, for His Church.
    This country will not improve in any way until we get back to God’s principles, follow His Word, the Bible…which by the way indicates that homosexuality is an ABOMINATION to God! That couldn’t be stated more clearly! I support Chik-fil-A 100%!

  • Chad

    The TGC quoted Carl Trueman last week saying that holding a biblical definition of sexuality would be equivalent to being a racist. He underestimated the shift in ethics. It will eventually, and sooner rather than later, be a requirement to deny biblical sexual standards in order to participate in the economy.

    It’s one thing to have you views mocked but it’s entirely another to be denied the ability to feed your family for your arcane beliefs on human sexuality. We live in some strange days.

    • Renee

      Sounds lot like what is described in the book of Revelation doesn’t it?

  • Rob French

    Part and parcel of being a Christian in the world. Remember, Christians in the early church were attacked for being atheists (because they didn’t worship the pantheon), and even for incest (because they spoke of love, and called one another brothers and sisters). We’ve just lost sight of some of that because we’ve spent so long living in a culture (the West) that has maintained the veneer of Christianity.

  • Easton West

    I don’t get it. People aren’t protesting that Cathy holds a view that marriage is betwixt a man and a woman. People are against Cathy funding groups that demonize and dehumanize the homosexual community. The donating money to group such as Focus on the Family which belittles homosexuals is the problem, not that Cathy holds the position he does.

    What’s happening isn’t “Intolerance toward supporters of traditional marriage”. Rather, it’s “Intolerance towards funding groups whose goal is to demonize homosexuals”, which is a perfectly legitimate response.

    • Collin Hansen

      So who exactly determines the definition of demonization and intolerance? When does supporting traditional marriage become oppressing gays? By whose authority? What does Cathy have the right to do, in your view, as a tangible outgrowth of his views on marriage?

  • Brian

    Is it just me or am I missing something? :) In all the articles and official statements, it still remains unverified and seems as though the issue is being skirted. Did Chick Fil-A stop funding FOF or not?

    If they did, when and why? And if they didn’t, what was it that gave Moreno the willingness to engage in negotiations? Until I hear the facts on that specific element of this story, everything else is just meaningless banter and hearsay.

    • Carol

      That’ s exactly my question.

  • Bruce

    I hope Dan Cathy will stand up and declare that the Chicago politician is the one breaking the law when he seeks to use political authority to infringe on the religious freedom of Cathy.

    I also have to wonder where the Catholic Church is in this debate. There were Protestants, such as Al Mohler, who spoke out against the contraception mandate because they understood it was an attack on religious freedom. Yet, Chicago and Boston politicians have openly declared that anyone who doesn’t support homosexual rights is not welcome in those cities.

  • Ron Hongsermeier

    The alderman appears to have a license to do what the FBI may not: prosecute people on the basis of what he cannot guarantee they will not do; i.e., prohibit them from doing business in his district on the ground that they may commit a crime. The alderman is ignoring the distinction between hiring practices, which are governed by law and using profits of a business for financial support of groups with which he does not agree (which is the right of the person who earned the money). He decides he doesn’t like them, so he attacks them as he can, by denying them a building permit, until they prove something which they are not required by law to prove. He mentions 16 cases being sued. Chick-Fil-A is a large company with lots of franchises. The salient statistic would not be how many cases were brought before the courts, but how often was CFA found guilty and what were the circumstances thereof. My suspicion? : Nada. But I don’t know that. However, if I am even close to right, Alderman Moreno is simply grandstanding and playing his power– something which should be boycotted at the ballot box, but then Wikipedia has a fact which makes that happening unlikely: Moreno paid for snow removal during the last blizzard out of his own pocket. How could anyone in Chicago even run against a man who does that kind of thing? Why, that would be like being against the dead being resurrected and having the right to vote.

  • Amy

    It isn’t about the definition of marriage or about FOF, directly. It’s about one of Exodus International’s “pray away the gay” camps for children. Some of them espouse abusive practices. Everyone should be against that. The Gospel changes people, not sensory deprivation.

  • Tim Sheppard

    I read the USA today Weekend edition this past weekend and was basically not surprised by their slant on this issue. What? They moderate their stance? I have to say the headline did have me hooked. Turns out no moderation or change was made.

  • Mandi

    This is so frustrating. Christians boycotted Starbucks and other companies for their donations to homosexual charities and advocate groups. If homosexuals and those who are sympathetic to them want to boycott Chick-Fil-A then that’s their right as Americans. The problem is that no political leaders I am aware of ever tried to keep businesses out of their cities that supported homosexual groups. But Chick-Fil-A supports Focus on the Family and all of a sudden cities need to keep them out? Doesn’t sound like a free market to me. If the people of Chicago don’t want Chick-Fil-A in their city then they won’t eat there and the restaurant will go out of business. A politician has NO RIGHT IN AMERICA to keep a business out of his city because he doesn’t agree with something they support. Christian or not.

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  • Pam

    It has nothing to do with ‘intolerance of the traditional view of marriage’. It is only and entirely about giving money to groups that spread vicious hateful lies about the LGBT community. The difference between these two things is absolutely enormous, and it saddens me to see so many Christians unable or unwilling to acknowledge it.

  • Bruce

    Pam, please give examples of which groups CFL donated to, how much was donated, and when the donations were made.