Boston Mayor Angered Over Food Franchise Head’s Anti-Gay Stance; NOM Cheers
Boston's mayor says he will ban Chick-fil-A from opening in the city after the fast-food chain's president denounced gay marriage earlier this week.
The Boston Herald reported that Mayor Thomas Menino promises to block Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in Boston because of the anti-gay marriage comments that Dan Cathy, the company's president, made in an interview.
"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,'" Cathy said. "And I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about."
Mayor Menino wasn't pleased with Cathy's remarks and said Chick-fil-A is not welcome in the city.
"Chick-fil-A doesn't belong in Boston. 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," Menino told the 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."
After Cathy made his initial statements he told the Baptist Press that he is "guilty as charged" when it comes to his views on marriage equality.
"We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that," Cathy told the publication.
Officials from the restaurant chain released a statement and said the business follows biblically based values, such has being closed on Sundays.
"The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect - regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender," the statement reads. "Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."
The statement has not satisfied Menino, who says he plans on writing a letter to the fast food company's headquarters, which is based in Atlanta.
"If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult - unless they open up their policies," he warned.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a group that is bent on outlawing same-sex marriage throughout the country and urges companies to take a natural stance on LGBT issues, applauded Cathy's remarks in a blog post that had the headline "President of Chick-Fil-A Proud to Stand for Biblical and Family Values."
Although many took to social media websites like FaceBook and Twitter to slam Cathy for his remarks (including "The Office" actor Ed Helms), CNN points out that many of its online readers supported the businessman and "his right to say and believe what he wants."
"We shouldn't be surprised that an organization that sticks to its Christian principles would have issues with gay marriage," one reader says. "We can't get into this mentality of thinking that everybody who is against gay marriage is homophobic in some way, shape or form," the added.
"I'm gay. I don't care. If I ceased buying products from companies that did things I didn't like, then I'd be Amish," another online user wrote. "I don't make political choices when I eat out (though, for the record, I actually don't like CFA's food or any fast food for that matter). I go out to eat to fill my belly."
Chick-fil-A has been criticized for its anti-gay views in the past. In March, a number of students from colleges around the nation protested the restaurant from coming to their campuses. In 2009, it was reported that the company donated $2 million to anti-gay groups, including Focus on the Family, Exodus International and Family Research Council.
Northeastern University, located in Boston, was one of the schools that voted to block Chick-fil-A from coming to its campus. But New York University students failed to have the college's officials remove the restaurant from its campus, which happens to be the only Chick-fil-A in Manhattan.