Anti-Gay Chicken in Oak Park

Does Chick-fil-A have a place in Oak Park?

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By David Hammond

Chick-fil-A is a fast-food chain that specializes in chicken sandwiches; these restaurants currently serve only United States, and their business plan focuses future efforts on the Midwest. In the past year or so, Chick-fil-A has opened several stores in the are.

Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, says he and his company are "very much supportive of the family…the biblical definition of the family unit," which seems to mean he's at odds with those who advocate same-sex marriage.

Equality Matters reports that Chick-fil-A contributed $2 million to anti-gay groups in 2010.

In Chicago, Alderman Joe Moreno – whose district covers Logan Square -- is pushing to block a Chick-fil-A from his neighborhood due, in part, to allegedly anti-gay sentiments expressed by the chains religiously motivated owners.  Mayors in Boston and Chicago have also said No to Chick-fil-A, though Mayor Emanuel has lately been pulling back on that position.

Oak Park's Lake Street area is home to a number of franchises, including the big hamburger chains but also the somewhat smaller Five Guys, Cold Stone Creamery, and soon, Felafill.

I have long bemoaned what's happening to Lake Street, the land of a thousand franchises. Still, I recognize that, alas, franchise operations are pretty much inevitable and having some tenants is better than having no tenants at all on this perennially troubled stretch of Oak Park.

Though we have several chicken franchises in Oak Park, none of them are on Lake Street, so it could be just a matter of time before Chick-fil-A makes a move for a space on our main drag.

Would a Chick-fil-A have a place in Oak Park – or should they be kept out?


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Posted: August 7th, 2012 3:51 PM

@Doug - $1,000 of $5,000,000 in donations to a horrible group - yes that's a bad decision that he may regret just like the millions of people who paid for the protection of pedophiles every Sunday. If he comes out in a hateful way in full support of hateful groups, yes condemn him but let's hear him out.


Posted: August 7th, 2012 3:14 PM

George, Chick-fil-A has donated at least $5 million to organizations (including a certified hate group) that, among other things, depict gay people as pedophiles, want to make "gay behavior" illegal, and even say gay people should be "exported" out of America. That's the fair truth.


Posted: August 7th, 2012 10:55 AM

In fairness to the truth, religious organizations that have their own beliefs which include one man/one women marriage are not anti-gay, they are pro-their own religion. Should the Oak Park refuse to do business with anyone who has ever given to a Catholic organization? Tolerance is a two way street.


Posted: August 6th, 2012 5:29 PM

Lynn, he donates to a gay hate group and other organizations with an agenda against Gay people. Of course they hire Gay people, they're happy to have them work and sweat for them while they happily donate to stop their way of life. Bully for him.


Posted: August 6th, 2012 9:54 AM

Cathy expressed his opinion (and he said it about marriage, not civil unions or hating gays!) and he gets bullied. Gays have been getting bullied all of their lives and now they are being the bully. They want tolerance yet won't show that to others? In the end, CFA wins anyway because they got more publicity out of this than they could ever pay for. I love their food and love my gays. I support both.

Dan Cathy  

Posted: August 2nd, 2012 1:24 PM

--- it's call parody --- Wait until you see the mission statement for my new Asian and Mexican restaurants.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: August 2nd, 2012 1:20 PM

Dan Cathy, gay's must be much better at recruiting because Chici-Fil-A has 1,000's of gay employees happy to serve anyone who comes in.

Pratical Guy  

Posted: August 2nd, 2012 1:06 PM

@ Fake Dan Cathy. Parroting george comment. I rest my case.

Dan Cathy  

Posted: August 2nd, 2012 12:44 PM

Cathy describes Chick Fil A as a restaurant that's open to all but will target its marketing and entertainment to the heterosexual community. The restaurant will offer chicken, feature heterosexual events and specials. They also made an effort to recruit a heterosexual staff.


Posted: August 2nd, 2012 12:26 PM

link to articlw


Posted: August 2nd, 2012 12:25 PM

@j wondering - you're right - 2008 article: Gotowko describes Velvet Rope as a restaurant/lounge, that's open to all but will target its marketing and entertainment to the gay community. The restaurant will offer karaoke, feature lesbian and gay DJs, musicians and impersonators. They also made an effort to recruit a gay staff.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: August 2nd, 2012 12:24 PM

just wondering, Velvet Rope indicated they like to keep their business to the gay and other choices instead of straight customers. Gay businesses in Boy's Town like to hire gay employees. Gay's like to know their money is going to a gay. It's good that gay's know that Chick-Fil-A does not discriminate with their hiring practices.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: August 2nd, 2012 12:18 PM

David Hammond, thank you for posting to show that Chick-Fil-A does not discriminate with their hiring practices and the thousands of gay's working for Chick-Fil-A, demonstrates that Chick-Fil-A does not discriminate against gay's. A Chick-Fil-A would be a good addition in Oak Park. People in Oak Park have to travel either to 30 East Chicago Avenue in Chicago or out to 717 E. Butterfield Road in Lombard.

just wondering  

Posted: August 2nd, 2012 12:05 PM

I wonder whether the same people complaining about Chick-fil-A (which does not discriminate against employees) also complained when The Velvet Rope in Oak Park announced they preferred hiring gay employees when they first opened, until they were informed that would be a discriminatory hiring practice.

David Hammond  

Posted: August 2nd, 2012 11:11 AM

Gay Chick-fil-A workers talk to HuffPo: Brief

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: August 1st, 2012 10:22 PM

Thank you for the locations of Chick-Fil-A. I was checking on google and all that was showing was complaining about letting the owners have their own beliefs. Nothing dangerous or harmful to gay's, just that they believe in what the majority believes, and that doesn't make them bad people, and being gay doesn't make being gay bad either. So be gay, straight and all of the rest of your sexual choices and learn to get along.

Chick-Fil-A Locations  

Posted: August 1st, 2012 9:49 PM

717 E Butterfield Rd Lombard, IL 60148 / 30 E Chicago Ave Chicago, IL 60611 / 301 E Loop Rd Wheaton, IL 60189 / 935 E Golf Rd Schaumburg, IL 60173

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: August 1st, 2012 7:49 PM

I would like to try a Chick-Fil-A, does anyone know where a location is?

Politicians from Anywhere  

Posted: August 1st, 2012 7:47 PM

Politicians. 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.

Kathleen Wrobel from Oak Park  

Posted: August 1st, 2012 7:42 PM

Mares "Does Chick-fil-A have a place in Oak Park?" Last time I checked this was still a free country. Chick-fil-A serves the best chicken sandwich around. I would love for one to open up around here. It would be very successful. If you don't want to eat there, don't. Pretty simple." Couldn't have said it better myself Mares. Chick-fil-A is a wonderful place ... headed up by intelligent and caring staff.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: August 1st, 2012 1:10 PM

Info, why does anyone need to either eat at Chic-fil-a or not today? Let everyone know where a Chic-fil-a is located at.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: August 1st, 2012 1:08 PM

Being married is between a man and woman, so to support a marriage to the same sex, you will need to change the definition of marriage. Gay use to mean happy, now it means being a homosexual, and it only took people to start getting use to the word gay, meaning homosexual. The marriage between same sex isn't an easy change. Get the meaning changed, otherwise find some other name for it.


Posted: August 1st, 2012 11:33 AM

Today is support Chic-fil-a day. If you are in support of them, visit a store today and eat there. If you do not support the co, then eat somewhere else.


Posted: August 1st, 2012 11:19 AM

What is the point of this article? This does not need to be a story since Chick-Fil-A has shown no plans to open on Lake Street.

Ken from Oak Park  

Posted: August 1st, 2012 11:00 AM

I support gay marriage. I support the right of others, including business owners and CEOs to have a contrary opinion. Government has no business sticking its nose into this one by restricting Chick-fil-A. It's a slippery slope.


Posted: August 1st, 2012 10:09 AM

I would love to see some of you during the Civil Right's days. How long did it take you to get over blacks being allowed in the front of the bus?


Posted: August 1st, 2012 9:42 AM

Oak Park - where diversity of opinion is great, as long as it is the "right" kind of diverse opinion. Is the statement from the Chik-Fil-A owner inconsistent with the law in Illinois? If not, how is this even an issue?


Posted: August 1st, 2012 9:14 AM

and so, "Sara from chicago and evanston" - no concern, you, your husband, and will feel right at home with the many "closed minded people" like yourselves in OP. So, c'mon down and join the crowd!


Posted: August 1st, 2012 9:12 AM

My favorite Oak Park line: "tolerance for thee, but not for me!" Perhaps it's not true that the majority of OP Lib's act and feel this way, but at least a large minority do. There are far too many Liberal "Haters" in OP and they are proud of it. "Unfortunately," it's very, very sad.


Posted: August 1st, 2012 9:10 AM

It's called an un-educated opinion. Do you also support the KKK's beliefs then? I don't care what type of oil they use, I agree with Gary it's not all that.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: August 1st, 2012 12:35 AM

Gary Gary Gary, and Bruce DeViller, well said, and it would be nice if the gay's I know would be a little less discriminating against things they don't like.

Bruce DeViller from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 31st, 2012 11:25 PM

This piece is not even thinly veiled to be more than something that was manufactured solely to stir the pot. (and by "stir the pot" I mean to generate clicks and traffic). This topic might (strong emphasis on "might") warrant a valid use of column space if Chik-Fil-A was publicly considering coming to Oak Park. Before dismissing businesses that may or may not want to set up shop here, consider what benefit the village reaps from when they do open their doors - in terms of tax revenue, employment opportunities, and a thriving business district. If Chik-Fil-A (or Lettuce Entertain You, or Tilted Kilt, or In-N-Out, for that matter) wants to open a franchise location here, and would re-employ everyone who is out of work or under-employed since the Velvet Rope was torched, how strong an argument can any villager make? "What do we want?: Empty storefronts!" "When do we want them?: Now!" Stop it. I'll stop looking at and clicking on WJ advertisers before I'll not patronize a restaurant in OP that hasn't violated any labor laws.

Gary Gary Gary  

Posted: July 31st, 2012 10:34 PM

Its not bigoted to think its a choice..its called an opinion. My sisters gay and I dont believe in homosexuality.Somehow that makes me a bigot. Ironically I have plenty of straight family and friends and they dont think Im a bigot if I dont believe in something they do or how they live. I grew up here, there is no chain restaurant that uses peanut oil and has great customer service here.The chicken is good admit it or not.


Posted: July 31st, 2012 9:27 PM

Coke vs. Pepsi is a preference. Sexual orientation is not. Kind of a bigoted statement. And the chicken's not all that great. In the land of Chicago there's much better food choices. If you're stuck in the south, with crappy food I can understand but it's just the same fried BS.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: July 31st, 2012 5:00 PM

REally? Do you have a preference


Posted: July 31st, 2012 4:52 PM

REally Q? It's a preference to be Gay? Please spew more from the fount of knowledge you feel is a brain.


Posted: July 30th, 2012 8:28 PM

"Does Chick-fil-A have a place in Oak Park?" Last time I checked this was still a free country. Chick-fil-A serves the best chicken sandwich around. I would love for one to open up around here. It would be very successful. If you don't want to eat there, don't. Pretty simple.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: July 30th, 2012 6:50 PM

Chick-fil-A will sell products to anyone regardless of their sexual preference. If they didn't, that would be discrimination. They will hire people regardless of their sexual preference because if they didn't, that would be discrimination. The owners are entitled to practice their religion and follow it. Gay's need to let others enjoy their own sexual preference. Be Straight, Be Gay, Be Happy, And Enjoy Chick-fil-A. You can't expect the entire World to be gay. It's only a preference.

sara from chicago and evanston  

Posted: July 30th, 2012 5:07 PM

I grew up in the what many consider to be the vary liberal city of evanston and my husband and I and looking to buy a home and we want somewhere that might be what we grew up with but more "in the mid of it all". I think we might think twice if oak park gave a permit to such closed minded people. There is always more then one kind of family.

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