Though criticism over a Chicago city official's plan to block Chick-fil-A's expansion into the ward he represents continues to build, Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno has continued to stand firm against the controversial fast-food chain.
Still, Moreno said Thursday that a deal might still be worked out allowing the franchise to open a new store in the city's Logan Square neighborhood -- but only if the company vows to not donate funds to any groups with a political agenda, including one opposed to same-sex marriage, WBEZ reports.
"I think those are the grounds where we can move forward," Moreno told WBEZ, also noting that the company needs to work out traffic issues in the area of the proposed store.
The alderman's stand against the chain has been the subject of nationwide media coverage since the Chicago Tribune reported his opposition earlier this week. ABC's "The View" took up the matter on Thursday and Moreno appeared on CNN's "Starting Point" Friday, when he was grilled on the issue by anchor Christine Romans. (See video above.)
“Should you be stalling or denying any new jobs creator just because you don’t agree with what the guy thinks?” Romans asked Moreno.
Ald. Moreno has cited the College Park, Ga.-based chain's history of anti-gay marriage remarks and contributions to anti-gay groups as the source of his opposition. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the Tribune that he essentially agreed with the alderman and emphasized that "Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values."
Meanwhile, a suburban official who also works as a spokesman for the Thomas More Society, a conservative group that recently got the green light to defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage, told CBS Chicago that he will support next Wednesday's "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," which former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee previously called for.
"Unlike the City of Chicago’s values as laid out by Mayor Emanuel, Lombard values freedom of expression. We value a diversity of opinions, and we’re going to focus on a pro-business and pro-jobs agenda," Breen told the station.
The Chicago Republican Party has threatened to file a complaint with both the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Attorney General's office over the chicken chain controversy, ABC Chicago reports.
The owners of Chicago's only current Chick-fil-A restaurant have also weighed in on the controversy and issued a statement Wednesday aimed at separating the local chain from its president's well-documented opposition to marriage equality. They also invited the mayor to visit their Near North Side restaurant. The owners of a Hollywood, Calif., Chick-fil-A issued a practically identical statement Thursday.
Equality Illinois, an LGBT advocacy group based in Chicago, has launched a "Flick-the-hate" petition against the chain, while students at the University of Illinois have created a Change.org petition calling for the company to be removed from their campus, the Windy City Times reports.