Two months after Chick-fil-a owner Dan Cathy made comments reaffirming his opposition to same-sex marriage, his company has agreed to stop funding anti-same-sex marriage organizations.
The Washington Post is reporting Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno announced the alleged policy change after what he called "extended negotiations".
In July, Moreno said he would block construction of a Chick-fil-A in the 2500 block of North Elston Avenue because of comments Cathy made in an interview with Baptist Press. In the interview Cathy said he was "guilty as charged" for supporting "the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is a supporter of gay marriage, entered the debate when he said "Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago's values."
The public backlash against the Atlanta-based fast food company began in July when Cathy's comments were made public, but the controversy had been brewing for months. In February, New York University student Hillary Dworkoski launched a petition against the fast food chain, asking for NYU to close its Chick-fil-A franchise. Students from other college campus' had also been vocal about Chick-fil-a donations to groups such as Exodus International and Focus on the Family according to a Huffington Post report.
The July firestorm of both criticism and support for Chick-fil-a saw boycotts, petition drives, and demonstrations. One demonstration included same-sex “kiss-ins” at Chick-fil-A stores across the country. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee organized a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” which saw supporters of the company stand in long lines to purchase food from the fast food chain.
Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day
Shortly after Cathy's interview was published, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said"There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail, and no place for your company alongside it." Menino's comments were seen by many to mean the city would not allow a Chick-fil-A franchises to be opened.
In August, Texas State students launched a petition to remove the Chick-fil-A from the LBJ Student Center. The campus newspaper also called for students who disagreed with Cathy's comments to avoid eating at Chick-fil-A as a form of protest. Accordingly, if the Chick-fil-A at the student center ceases to be profitable, it will also cease to exist on this campus. The ideology of the university is formed by the demands of the students. Every time you spend a dollar at a cam-pus vendor, you are casting a vote for the type of products you want the university to offer.
The strategy appears to have worked. Anthony Martinez, executive director of Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) released a statement saying:
"We are very pleased with this outcome and thank Alderman Moreno for his work on this issue. I think the most substantive part of this outcome is that Chick-fil-A has ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights. It has taken months of discussion, both with our organization and with the Alderman, for Chick-fil-A to come forward with these concessions and we feel this is a strong step forward for Chick-fil-A and the LGBT community, although it is only a step.”
A Chick-fil-a spokesperson emailed a statement to NBC News saying "Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."