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Proco Joe Moreno's Stand Against Chick-fil-A Is Cheap, Hypocritical And Dangerous

"A Chicago alderman wants to kill Chick-fil-A's plans to build a restaurant in his increasingly trendy Northwest Side ward because the fast-food chain's top executive vocally opposes gay marriage," the Tribune reports.

"Ald. Proco 'Joe' Moreno announced this week that he will block Chick-fil-A's effort to build its second Chicago store, which would be in the Logan Square neighborhood, following company President Dan Cathy's remarks last week that he was 'guilty as charged' for supporting the biblical definition of marriage as between a man and woman."

But wait: Moreno had no problem supporting Barack Obama even though he had the exact same position until earlier this year - and then only went so far as to back leaving gay marriage up to the states, validating North Carolina's (and others') decision to ban it.

In fact, Illinois doesn't allow gay marriage! Get the state out of the 1st Ward!

Beyond that, how fair is it to single out Chik-fil-A when other businesses in his ward are surely run by owners who oppose gay marriage? (Will Moreno evict Domino's from the 1st Ward because of owner Tom Monaghan's well-known stance against abortion? Where does it end?)

NOTE: (It's been brought to my attention that Monaghan doesn't own Domino's anymore, but you get the idea.)

Look, I'm ferociously in favor of gay marriage, but this move by Moreno - always rationalizing his footsie with the Emanuel administration by stressing the importance of compromise - smacks of cheap political opportunism.

Worse, it's an affront to freedom of thought; people ought to be allowed to have whatever political positions they want without seeing their livelihood endangered as a result.

That's the problem with the mayor reportedly punishing the Cubs in their effort to receive city help for rehabbing Wrigley Field because Joe Ricketts is a right-wing wack-job. He's allowed to be a right-wing wack-job! One has nothing to do with the other - and there's a better reason to reject the Cubs request for taxpayer assistance: the Ricketts' are filthy rich.

(I wonder if the Cubs are not welcome in the 1st Ward.)

Now, it would be one thing if the company was guilty of discrimination. That's up to the government's workplace regulators to determine. But company executives told Moreno "they would take no stance on the issue of gay rights and would not discriminate in any fashion at the restaurant."

The Tribune reports that Moreno "dismissed any First Amendment concerns" (which is funny because he did the same when he voted in favor of the mayor's secretive infastructure trust).

"'You have the right to say what you want to say, but zoning is not a right,' he said, adding that he also had concerns about traffic in the area."

Oh, so this is about zoning. That's just so hacky.

"The alderman has the ideological support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel," the Tribune reports.

"'Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,' the mayor said in a statement when asked about Moreno's decision."

I'm sorry, I didn't get my Chicago Values handout, but if I remember correctly they have something to do with "What's in it for me?"

More importantly, this sets a dangerous precedent: If your ideological belief isn't shared by Joe Moreno, forget about building a business in the 1st Ward.

And if the next alderman is against gay marriage and you're for it, the next alderman will have every right to reject your business too.


Comments welcome.


1. From Kevin B. O'Reilly:

First Amendment law expert weighs in.


Posted on July 25, 2012

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