The mayor of Washington, DC said Chick-fil-A is not welcome in his city — and vowed to block any expansion plans for the company he accused of peddling “hate chicken.”
Mayor Vincent Gray, a Democrat, denounced the Atlanta-based company on his Twitter account. He also affirmed his “longstanding strong support for LGBT rights and marriage equality.”
Officials in at least a half dozen American cities have vowed to strong arm Chick-fil-A after the company’s president said he supports the traditional view of marriage – meaning the union of one man and one woman. It’s a view held by many Americans — and until recently — even President Obama.
The president has since stated he “evolved” on the issue and now supports same-sex marriage.
A Chick-fil-A spokesman says the company has “biblically based principles” but will no longer participate in the debate over same-sex marriage.
The Philadelphia City Council will consider a resolution condemning Chick-fil-A for what one city leader called “anti-American” attitudes that promote “hatred, bigotry and discrimination.”
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.”
“My effort is to allow people to understand that in certain segments of corporate America there are folks who are using their dollars to promote hatred, bigotry and discrimination,” Kenney told Fox News.
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.”
San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee tweeted his outrage over Chick-fil-A’s support of traditional marriage: “”Very disappointed #ChickFilA doesn’t share San Francisco values & strong commitment to equality for everyone.”
He also warned the company not to do business in the Bay Area.
“Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer,” he tweeted.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement saying “Chick fil A values are not Chicago values.” And an alderman vowed to block construction of a second restaurant in the city.
However, there is no evidence that Chick-fil-A has denied service to any homosexual. And the groups that Chick-fil-A supports are well-known Christian ministries – not anti-gay hate groups, as critics have alleged.
Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee has launched a nationwide effort to show support for the besieged family-owned company – declaring August 1st as “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”
The company has received massive support from conservatives including Billy Graham, Rick Santorum and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Columnist Michelle Malkin criticized elected officials for trying to put the family-friendly restaurant out of business.
“When an elected public official wields the club of government against a Christian business in the name of ‘tolerance,’ it’s not harmless kid stuff,” she wrote. “It’s chilling.”
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he strongly disagrees with the mayors and said the fast food chain’s support of traditional marriage is none of “the government’s business.”
Bloomberg, who supports gay marriage, said cities should not ask about political beliefs before issuing a permit.
With reporting from Associated Press