The Jim Henson Company has announced it will no longer allow Chick-fil-A to use its toys after the company’s president spoke out publicly in favor of traditional marriage. Meanwhile, supporters of the restaurant chain believe the attacks are being orchestrated by militant homosexual activists.
Chick-fil-A had been offering Jim Henson “Creature Shop” toys in its kids meals, but will no longer do so, according to a statement posted on The Jim Henson Company Facebook page.
“The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with then on any future endeavors,” the statement read.
CEO Lisa Henson instructed the company to donate the payment they received from Chick-fil-A to the gay rights organization GLAAD.
The move comes after Boston’s mayor vowed to block the Atlanta-based company from opening a restaurant in his city.
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” Mayor Thomas Menino told the Boston Globe. “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”
Except, that is, when it comes to Chick-fil-A.
The restaurant chain, which is privately owned, stirred controversy last week when company president Dan Cathy told Baptist Press they are “guilty as charged” in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family.”
The company has more than 1,600 stores nationwide – but only two in Massachusetts. They are reportedly trying to open a store in Boston near the famed Freedom Trail.
Mayor Menino said he will do everything in his power to stop the business from opening.
“If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult – unless they open up their policies,” he told the Boston Herald. “That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said the actions taken by Boston’s mayor should not be surprising.
“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.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Christians across the country are defending the company – many posting messages of support on Chick-fil-A’s Facebook page.
Fox News Channel host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said the company has come under attack from militant homosexuals and is being “smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left.”
“The militant homosexual advocates have launched an all out assault on Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A,” he said. “The attempts to hurt or destroy Chick-fil-A are nothing short of economic bullying.”
Huckabee is calling for a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on Aug. 1.
“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,” Huckabee said.
With reporting from the Associated Press.