The Chicago alderman threatening to block construction of a Chick-Fil-A restaurant over the company’s same-sex marriage stance on Friday seemed to accuse the fast food chain of discriminating against gays in its business practices — a first in the now weeks-old controversy.
“I’ve said from the beginning, it’s not about what people believe or what they say — that’s protected and I would be the first to protect any of that,” Alderman Joe Moreno said on CNN’s “Starting Point.” “If those beliefs or those sayings transfer into a policy that discriminates in hiring or in serving then that’s when I have an issue with it and the community has an issue with it.”
“But has there ever been a complaint against this company for — this is the personal opinion of the president of the company, I mean, you could say that with 9.4 percent unemployment in Chicago, should you be stalling or denying any new jobs created just because you don’t agree with what the guy thinks?” host Christine Romans asked.
Moreno called Romans’ premise incorrect, and said it’s not about him disagreeing with Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy.
“He used the language as a ‘we’ and ‘we were going to do this’ and ‘we’re going to do this,’” Moreno said. “That’s more than one person. And, again, it doesn’t matter to me about anyone’s beliefs. They have the right to do that or what they say. That’s been mischaracterized in this discussion by some. The bottom line is that if the discriminatory policies are there or there are lack of protections that are there for a constituency that is very much alive and thriving in Chicago, then I have an issue with that, just as we have in our civil rights history.”
TheBlaze’s Will Cain, a “Starting Point” panel guest, told Moreno he was breaking news because Cain had never heard of an allegation of discrimination against Chick-Fil-A.
“Well, I would suggest that if you’ve never heard that if you talk to the Civil Rights Agenda, which is a LGBTQ group that is dealing with some issues just like that, in terms of firing or being felt unwelcome and inappropriate in their hiring of individuals that are in the LGBT community. They are working on that,” Moreno said.
Cain said Moreno was changing his message after never having brought up discrimination allegations before.
Romans later said CNN has not substantiated any of the discrimination claims, and asked Moreno that if they turn out to be false, “you’re not going to let the opinion of the president stop you from creating jobs in your district?”
“Again, eight or nine months I have been working on this without any public exposure from me or from the LGBT group or from Chick-fil-A,” Moreno said. “We’ve been working on this and this is their words, not mine, they will no longer donate dollars to any organization left, right, or center that has a political agenda. That was one thing that we were working on.”
Watch the full segment below, via CNN: