Mayor Vince Gray today joined the chorus of people who don’t consider themselves fans of Chick-fil-A, the southern fried chicken purveyor that has made national news by contributing money to organizations that oppose same-sex marriage.
After being initially queried on the topic today by Post reporter Tim Craig this afternoon, Gray said that he did not know enough about the restaurant to make a judgement call. But according to mayoral spokesman Pedro Ribeiro, after Gray was briefed by aides on the restaurant and the controversy surrounding it, he asked, “Why would I want one of those in the District?” In a later tweet, Gray added: “Given my longstanding strong support for LGBT rights & marriage equality, I would not support #hatechicken.”
[Philadelphia] City Councilman Jim Kenney sent a letter to Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy telling him to “take a hike and take your intolerance with you.”…
He is introducing a resolution to “condemn this anti-American attitude of trying to deny civil liberties that every American enjoys.”…
Kenney said individuals who do not support gay marriage should understand there are consequences to their belief.
“If he really, truly believes what he believes, that is his right to do so,” he told Fox News. “But there is often a price to pay for that.”
In a letter to customers that was posted on Twitter and Facebook Thursday, [Hollywood Chick-fil-A] owner Jeremiah Cillpam promised that customers will continue to receive excellent food and service regardless of “belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”
Emphasizing the “independently owned and operated” structure of Chick-Fil-A franchises, Cillpam went on to say that he personally spoke to Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy, who clarified that his controversial comments against gay marriage do not represent every company employee.
More from the letter:
“I know that some of our guests are upset by comments made by Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A Inc. He has made it clear to me those were his personal views, and that his intent was not to speak on behalf of every Chick-fil-A owner. We hope those who are upset will look at their relationship with our restaurant, The Hollywood Chick-fil-A, and allow us to continue to serve them.”
Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show on WOR that it is inappropriate for a government entity “to look at somebody’s political views and decide whether or not they can live in the city, or operate a business in the city, or work for somebody in the city.”…
Bloomberg said Menino, Emanuel and Lee are “really are good mayors” but “trampling on the freedom to marry whoever you want is exactly the same as trampling on your freedom to open a store.”
Richard Socarides, a New York lawyer and former Clinton White House adviser on gay rights who is urging a boycott of Chick-fil-A, said Bloomberg is right.
I won’t ever give my business to a Chick-fil-A, and I know that many LGBTs and our allies will also stay away. But Chick-fil-A has every right to be in business, in the city of Chicago and elsewhere. I would never want their bigotry to keep them from getting a business license…
Chick-fil-A has the right to follow a Bible that authorizes the killing of children who talk back to their parents. They just can’t actually do that. They have a right to oppose same-sex marriage — and I am really glad that they are boasting about it, because many company leaders feel the same way but hide their positions. That means our gay dollars go to haters and we don’t even know it.
We absolutely can’t have a religious or moral litmus test for getting a business license. Because in the past (or a potential future), that would mean some LGBT businesses might not qualify.
As an exercise in sheer political muscle, it’s impressive. But, if you’re a feminist or a gay or any of the other house pets in the Democrat menagerie, you might want to look at Rahm Emanuel’s pirouette, and Menino’s coziness with Islamic homophobia. These guys are about power, and right now your cause happens to coincide with their political advantage. But political winds shift. Once upon a time, Massachusetts burned witches. Now it grills chicken-sandwich homophobes. One day it’ll be something else. Already in Europe, in previously gay-friendly cities like Amsterdam, demographically surging Muslim populations have muted leftie politicians’ commitment to gay rights, feminism, and much else. It’s easy to cheer on the thugs when they’re thuggish in your name. What happens when Emanuel’s political needs change?
Americans talk more about liberty than citizens of other Western nations, but, underneath the rhetorical swagger, liberty bleeds. When Mayor Menino and Alderman Moreno openly threaten to deny business licenses because of ideological apostasy, they’re declaring their unfitness for public office. It’s not about marriage, it’s not about gays, it’s about a basic understanding that a free society requires a decent respect for a wide range of opinion without penalty by the state. In Menino’s Boston, the Freedom Trail is heavy on the Trail, way too light on the Freedom.
Can it really be that in America today a businessman can be labeled a bigot, boycotted and cut off by suppliers because of the crime of being a Christian?…
Hopefully many will respond to Mike Huckabee’s appeal to patronize Chick-fil-A on Aug. 1 as a display of support for traditional Christian values and as a reminder that our Constitution protects religious freedom.
Have we really gotten to the point where being a Christian is considered un-American?
At the Chick-fil-A outlet at the Woodbridge Center mall, most customers seemed more interested in their chicken nuggets rather than the company’s position on marriage.
“What they do is make food,” said Cheryl Alexander, a 51-year-old mother of seven from Essex County who doesn’t agree with the company’s politics. “Whatever happens out there … they donate money? Who cares? I don’t care.”…
“I don’t like what he said about gay people (but) it’s not going to stop me from coming here,” said [Michele] Helfenbaum, 36, who lives in Staten Island. “I’m definitely not going to boycott it. I’m here for the food.”
Stopped by Chick-fil-A in The Woodlands to support a great business. http://t.co/sFGXVBrq
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) July 28, 2012