Jacob Meister is Governing Board President of The Civil Rights Agenda, a Chicago LGBT rights advocacy group, a lawyer, and former Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Illinois. He ran for the Senate seat that President Obama occupied and the former Governor Rod Blagojevich was sent to jail for trying to sell.
Meister and TCRA filed several human rights complaints with the Illinois Department of Human Rights Thursday, alleging that the Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A restaurant chain’s “intolerant corporate culture” violates Illinois law and a provision in the state’s Human Rights Act.
“In our current high speed media and social media environment, Chick-fil-A has announced and caused to be published, to hundreds of millions of people, that LGBT people are unacceptable and objectionable. They have made it clear the lives of LGBT individuals are unacceptable to them and that same-gender families are unwelcome at Chick-fil-A.”
TCRA began working with [North Side Ald. Proco “Joe”] Moreno in February, when he asked Martinez and Meister to examine the company’s discriminatory policies. In discussions with Chick-fil-A, TCRA recommended changes to the company’s policy so that it’s in line with the Human Rights Act, but as time went on, those talks fizzled until they completely stalled after Cathy’s comments, according to TCRA.
“When we began working with Chick-fil-A I thought this would be a quiet matter; working with them to adopt anti-discrimination policy and diversity training,” said Meister, “I had no idea the depth and conviction of their bigotry.”
Well the local Chick-fil-A people must be real monsters, right? Wrong.
Have a look at a portion of this interview with Lauren Silich, the owner of Chicago’s only Chick-fil-A.
WCT: Okay, so you’re not going to answer the gay marriage question, but do you consider yourself a friend of the LGBT community?
Lauren Silich: Absolutely.
WCT: Do you consider yourself a supporter of LGBT rights?
Lauren Silich: Absolutely. Without a doubt. I really believe, quite honestly, that we all, everyone who is a citizen of the United States, deserves to have the same freedoms. I believe that if we have healthy homes and love for our kids, and we’re raising kids or no kids or whatever, if we all just… my answer to that question is yes. I am a huge supporter. I’m a Chicagoan, I have friends in the gay community, and I know that love exists anywhere.
When I opened this restaurant, I knew that the CEO, that the family was very conservative. And just like they have a right to believe what they believe, so do I and so do you and so does everybody else.
WCT: Have you taken a hit financially from this controversy?
Lauren Silich: We haven’t. We’re actually up. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know what to expect. So it’s been interesting to see, but we are up.
WCT: Is there anything you want to add?
Lauren Silich: I would just challenge anybody who is super passionate about it to come into the restaurant and ask for me. I’m always here. Come in and just talk to me about it. If at the end of the conversation, you decide not to come in here and spend your money, I think that’s fine… I would just challenge the LGBT community to get to know me and be well-rounded about all the things that Chick-fil-A does and then make a decision. If that decision means not coming here or never going to a Chick-fil-A again, I have to support that. That’s America. That’s our right
It seems pretty obvious that you have a guy here in Meister who is like a gay, white clone of Barack Obama (had he never got into politics) doing community organizing Chicago-style. which means trying to hold-up companies for their special interests. Jessie Jackson would be so proud. Also, Meister has a history of filling complaints that don’t hold up very well to even cursory investigation.
I do recommend that you read the complaint, it’s really quite comical. The problem is that it’s Chicago so there’s probably someone who would take their patently weak arguments seriously.
H/T: Jim Hoft