Nunnelee said he was moved to pen the letter after what he called a “vicious smear campaign” against the restaurant.

“The criticism they have received has been appalling,” Nunnelee said. “Elected officials that are now threatening to block new Chick-fil-A restaurants in their cities are acting in a manner that is un-American. Demanding ideological conformity in order to be allowed to run your business is a dangerous precedent. It is like something that would happen in Soviet Russia.”