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Chicago Chick-fil-A owner wants to meet with Mayor Emanuel

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The owner of Chicago's only Chick-fil-A restaurant is inviting Mayor Rahm Emanuel to meet with her in light of the controversial statements made by the president of the fast-food chain.

Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, denounced same sex marriage saying, it's "inviting God's judgment on our nation."

In response, Alderman Joe Moreno said he'd block construction of a new Logan Square Chick-fil-A, joining other public officials across the country threatening similar action.

"When we look at zoning, when we look at businesses in our ward, we have to look at the responsible actors," Moreno said Wednesday.

"Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago values," Emanuel said, also on Wednesday. "And if you're going to be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect the Chicago values."

Lauren Silich owns the Chick-fil-A restaurant just off the Magnificant Mile. She opened it last year. On Thursday, she extended an offer to the mayor.

"I'd love to serve him and just introduce him to my staff and the brand and let him get to know us," Silich told ABC7.

Silich says she has hired several gay and lesbian employees and donated to LGBT groups.

"My husband is a Chicago police officer. We're a city worker family. Just trying to run a great restaurant," she said.

This food fight could end up in the courts.

The Chicago Republican party says it will file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and Attorney General Lisa Madigan over the Chick-fil-A controversy.

"There are general anti-discrimination statutes in the state of Illinois," said Chris Cleveland Vice Chair, Chicago Republican Party. "There's federal case law that suggests that you cannot deny a government service based on political considerations."

And now, the village of Lombard has designated August 1st "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."

"We just opened a new Chick-fil-A in Lombard a little over three months ago. They've been a great corporate citizen. They're drawing new people into Lombard," said Peter Breen, Lombard Village trustee.

A spokesperson for the mayor declined to say whether he'll meet with Silich, who incidentally says the controversy has not hurt her business at all. She says customers on all sides of the debate have been wanting to talk to her, and she's been happy to sit down with them.

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