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Chick-Fil-A Chicago Fallout: Pastor Takes On Mayor's Opposition, Illinois GOP Offers Coupons

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CHICKFILA CHICAGO PASTOR
A Chick-fil-A logo is seen on a take out bag at one of its restaurants on July 28, 2012 in Bethesda, Maryland. Chick-fil-A, with more than 1,600 outlets mainly in the southern United States, has become the target of gay rights activists and their allies after president Dan Cathy came out against same-sex marriage last week. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages) | Getty Images

One week since a Chicago alderman's opposition to a new Chick-fil-A restaurant being built in his ward became a national story, the backlash hasn't exactly dissipated.

In a Sunday sermon, the Rev. Charles Lyons of the Armitage Baptist Church criticized Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno's stand against the chicken chain over its owner's anti-gay marriage stance. Moreno's comments on the chain have been backed up by Mayor Rahm Emanuel -- a flank of opposition Lyons described as "anti-religious, agenda-driven bullying," CBS Chicago reports.

Meanwhile, Mayor Emanuel on Monday emphasized that he had no regrets when it came to his previous statement that "Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago values," the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Since making that remark, however, the mayor's office clarified that Emanuel would not block the fast-food chain from opening up new locations of its restaurant in the city.

"If they meet all the usual requirements, then they can open their restaurant, but he does not believe the CEO’s values are reflective of our city," Tarrah Cooper, Emanuel press secretary, told the Sun-Times.

To date, the mayor has not, however, taken the owners of Chicago's only current Chick-fil-A up on their invitation for him to visit their restaurant.

Still the "Chicago values" comment has struck a chord. Chicago Archbishop Francis Cardinal George criticized Emanuel's statement in an op-ed published Sunday on the Archdiocese of Chicago's blog.

"Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city?" George wrote. "Is the City Council going to set up a 'Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities' and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it?"

The Illinois Republican Party has also lashed out on the Chick-fil-A controversy. The Daily Herald reports that the state GOP is offering a $5 gift cards to anyone who donates $10 or more to them.

"Let's show Barack Obama, Mike Madigan and their fellow Chicago Democrats that even in Illinois, we will not stand for business owners being silenced for expressing their opinion," state party chair Pat Brady said in a Monday news release on the matter.

Ald. Moreno previously stated that, due to the chain's history of anti-gay marriage remarks and contributions to anti-LGBT groups, he does not approve of the College Park, Ga.-based chain's plan to open a new restaurant, the city's second, in the ward he represents.

His opposition was prompted, in part, by a recent comment Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy made in an interview with the Baptist Press comment that put the chain's long-held opposition to marriage equality back in the spotlight.

Wednesday will mark a "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" that former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has called for.

In response to that call, the Chicago-based Hearty Boys launched their own "Chick-fil-Gay Appreciation Day" dinner. They will be donating all proceeds from the evening -- including sale of special fried chicken sandwiches -- at their Hearty restaurant, 3819 N. Broadway, to Equality Illinois, an LGBT advocacy group, Chicago Pride reports.

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