By Anna Peirano
The Civil Rights Agenda (TRCA), a Chicago-based LGBT advocacy group, is reporting that anti-gay restaurant chain Chick-fil-A has agreed to stop making donations to conservative groups opposing same-sex marriage.
A press release from the organization claims Alderman Moreno, the Chicago elected official who said he would not allow the franchise to enter his city during the controvery earlier this year, confirmed the distribution of an internal memo, reportedly titled “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are.” The memo claimed that the company would “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect- regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender.”
“We are very pleased with this outcome and thank Alderman Moreno for his work on the issue,” says Anthony Martinez, executive director of TCRA. The civil rights group served as an advisor to Alderman in the drafting of the new policy and through the negotiations with Chick-fil-A executives. The Huffington Post reports that the details of those negotiations are still unclear.
“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,” Martinez continued in his statement. “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.”
Rick Garcia, policy advisor for TCRA, believes that next step requires an anti-discrimination policy to be adopted at a corporate level. “As we have heard from gay employees that work for Chick-fil-A, there is a culture of discrimination within the company and we would like to ensure that employees can speak out and call attention to those practices without fear of reprisal,” Garcia says. “It takes time to change the culture of any institution and steps like a corporate policy ensure that progress is made.”