Chicago alderman: Chick-fil-A promised me in writing they'll stop giving to anti-gay-marriage groups

I’d like to think they took my advice and made a totally empty promise knowing that there’s not much he can do to punish them if they break it. But I don’t. I assume this is on the level, and further assume that it’s a business decision driven not so much by their desire to open a new franchise in Chicago as their desire to forfeit their status as a national political lightning rod.

Still depressing to see them cave, though, and I say that as someone who supports gay marriage. Letting this cretin bully them into withholding money from their favorite political causes as a condition of doing business sets a terrible precedent. But oh well. Note to red-staters: Feel free to start making zoning permits contingent on local liberal business-owners taking a solemn vow not to give money to the left anymore.

As a result of the negotiations, Mr. Moreno received a letter signed by John E. Featherston Jr., a senior director of real estate for Chick-fil-A, stating, “The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.”

Mr. Moreno said in an interview Wednesday that he believes the company will stop “using money to fund groups that have antigay causes. They have committed in writing they will not do that.”

He said company executives showed him records of its charitable giving for the year that does not include groups such as Focus on the Family, Exodus International or other groups that oppose marriage equality or have fought against the expansion of gay rights…

Chick-fil-A, which has more than $4 billion in annual sales, issued a statement on Wednesday that echoed one it produced in July, saying that “going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

Between 2008 and 2010, Chick-fil-A’s foundation gave more than $3 million to groups opposed to same-sex marriage. Denying someone a permit due to his opinions is blatant viewpoint discrimination and violates the First Amendment, but as I said, I think Chick-fil-A simply wants off this political merry-go-round. If they sued, they’d probably win, but it might take years to resolve and in the meantime they’d be on the hot seat every time a new skirmish over SSM broke out. I think they just want to be done with this. If the Cathy family wants to continue to donate to social conservative groups, they’ll find another outlet than the WinShape Foundation.

Exit question: Where do you suppose Moreno comes down on this issue?