Chick-fil-A CEO Denies Giving 'Concessions' to Open Chicago Restaurant
Chick fil-A has "made no … concessions" regarding its support of groups that oppose gay marriage, company CEO Dan Cathy said in a statement that was posted online by Mike Huckabee, denying a statement by a Chicago alderman that the company said it would reevaluate its policies in the face of a move by city officials to bar Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant there.
"Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been," Cathy said in the statement. "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."
Chicago Alderman Proco Joe Moreno told ABC News Wednesday that he had received a letter from Chick-fil-A's senior director of real estate saying the company had decided to re-evaluate the multimillion-dollar donations it gives to anti-gay marriage activists and other groups with "political agendas."
"The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas," the letter said.
A representative from Chick-fil-A did not return calls made by ABC News by press time to explain the letter.
While the company memo "Chick-fil-A: Who We Are," released last week, does use language quoted by Moreno, the document goes on to reaffirm the company's commitment to funding pro-marriage groups, although the document does not clarify as to which groups.
"Chick-fil-A supports programs and marriage retreats to help strengthen and enrich marriages. More than 4,000 couples benefit annually from these programs, including military personnel and sports coaches that received scholarships." [ Click here to view the entire company document.]
Previously the company's WinShape Foundation gave money to groups like the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund - donations that rekindled a firestorm among pro-gay groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Family Research Council as a "hate group," as displayed on the group's "hate map."
Moreno raised the stakes last month when he threatened to block the construction of a Chick -fil-A restaurant, a move that prompted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to side with Moreno, declaring that "Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago's values."