Chicago LGBT activists call for another protest at local Chick-fil-A

Members of the Gay Liberation Network, a local direct-action LGBT rights group, and other LGBT activists have called for a third protest outside of the River North Chick-fil-A — this time on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 4:30 p.m.

“As our movement against Anita Bryant showed a generation ago, even very entrenched bigots can be defeated by smart and effective use of boycotts, demonstrations and other direct mobilizations of LGBTI’s and our allies,” said Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation, the group which initiated next Wednesday’s protest, in a media release Friday.

About a handful of protesters stood outside of the same Chick-fil-A location, 30 E. Chicago Ave., Aug. 1, as hundreds of thousands of the restaurant’s supporters flocked to locations across the country for what was dubbed “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” Some at the gathering noted that the small turnout was due to little organization and that planning a second protest would draw a larger number of demonstrators. A kiss-in demonstration was also held Friday night, drawing a bigger crowd.

The protests come as the fallout against the Atlanta-based fast food restaurant continues. Almost two weeks ago, Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno (1st Ward) said he would block plans for a standalone Chick-fil-A in his ward. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel came out in support of Moreno shortly after the announcement, but has since backpedaled after critics called the ban a violation of the restaurant’s First Amendment rights.

Complaints alleging violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act have also been filed on both sides of the issue. The Chicago Republican Party called for Attorney General Lisa Madigan to investigate Moreno’s ban Aug. 1, alleging that he — and possibly Emanuel — also violated First Amendment rights. The next day, LGBT rights advocates at The Civil Rights Agenda filed their own complaint with Illinois Department of Human Rights, alleging that Chick-fil-A’s “intolerant corporate culture” violates Illinois law and a provision in the state’s Human Rights Act.

For mor information about the protest, visit the Facebook event page.

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