ATLANTA, GA: The mayors of Chicago and Boston have vowed to block efforts to open Chick-fil-A restaurants in their cities following the company’s president publicly affirmed his support of the traditional definition of marriage. In response, Christians across the country are mobilizing efforts to support Chick-fil-A (a privately owned company) .
Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy sparked a firestorm of protest from gay rights advocates and supporters with recent statements that some say are anti-gay. When asked by Baptist press if his company was in favor of traditional marriage he responded, “Guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
Chick-fil-A does not discriminate based on sexual orientation. They do not have a litmus test for their customers or their employees. All are welcome to eat or work at his franchises. These were Cathy’s privately held beliefs that were being discussed but that didn’t stop the incessant screeching and affected outrage of the liberal block from being bandied about.
Chicago Alderman Proco Moreno responded by announcing he would not allow construction of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in his district. He said, “If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the First Ward.” He added, “Because of this man’s ignorance, I will now be denying Chick-fil-A’s permit to open a restaurant in the First Ward.” Alderman Moreno called Cathy’s comments “bigoted” and “homophobic.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed his support of the alderman’s actions when he told the Chicago Tribune, “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values. They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents.”
Boston Mayor Tom Menino also announced that Chick-fil-A was not welcomed in his city. “You can’t have a business in the City of Boston that discriminates against a population,” he told the Boston Globe. “We’re an open city. We’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”
But normally left-leaning papers like the Boston Globe and LA Times took exception with the mayors’ actions. The Los Angeles Times condemned the decision, calling it far more troubling than Chick-fil-A’s support of traditional marriage: “Public officials have a responsibility to carry out their ministerial tasks fairly and evenhandedly – and to uphold the principle of free speech – whether or not they like a business executive’s social or political stances.”
The Boston Globe asked “which part of the First Amendment does Menino not understand? A business owner’s political or religious beliefs should not be a test for the worthiness of his or her application for a business license.”
Fox News Channel host and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has become proactive by declaring August 1st as Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. “Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday, August 1,” said Huckabee. He added, “The militant homosexual advocates have launched an all out assault on Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A. The attempts to hurt or destroy Chick-fil-A are nothing short of economic bullying.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, was particularly disturbed by the actions of Boston’s mayor. “This is really outrageous when you see this is the train that follows same sex marriage,” Perkins told Fox News. “This idea of the loss of religious freedom – the freedom of speech — and it’s on perfect display in Boston with the intolerance of this mayor.”
Perkins noted that Americans have overwhelmingly endorsed the traditional definition of marriage – 32 times in 32 states. “Chick-fil-A is in the mainstream,” he said. “The mayor of Boston is in the minority.”
“It’s about forcing Americans who do not agree with this agenda to comply and if a business dare step outside of the PC lines they will be attacked just as we are seeing Chick-fil-A being attacked,” Perkins added.