Chicago Alderman OKs plan to let Chick-fil-A build after it promises to end anti-gay donations

By Tiffany Hsu

Los Angeles Times

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 19 2012 11:39 p.m. MDT

In a Wednesday. Aug. 1, 2012 file photo, customers stand in line for a Chick-fil-a meal at the chain's restaurant in Wichita, Kan.

Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

LOS ANGELES (MCT) — Chick-fil-A has pledged to stop giving money to anti-gay groups and to back off political and social debates after an executive's comments this summer landed the fast-food chain smack in the middle of the gay marriage debate.

The Civil Rights Agenda, which dubs itself the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group in Illinois, said Chick-fil-A agreed in meetings to stop donating to groups such as Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage. Such groups oppose same-sex marriage.

A report from LGBT advocacy group Equality Matters found that between 2003 and 2009, Chick-fil-A donated more than $3 million to Christian groups that oppose homosexuality. In 2010, the fast food company gave nearly $2 million to such causes, according to the report.

The LGBT collective said the Atlanta-based restaurant chain also sent a letter, signed by its senior director of real estate, to Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno.

Chick-fil-A said in the missive that its nonprofit arm, the WinShape Foundation, "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," according to TCRA.

Moreno helped fan this summer's controversy, after Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said his company was "guilty as charged" of supporting the biblical definition of the family unit. Moreno, who runs Chicago's trendy Northwest Side ward, said he would block the chain from opening shop in his area.

Now, according to the Chicago Tribune, Moreno has softened his stance and will allow Chick-fil-A in.

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