On Sundays, Chick-fil-A closes its door to respect the Sabbath – the day God gave mankind to rest after a long week. The assembly line of chicken sandwiches stops its engines and customers take the day off from consuming the famous Chick-fil-A sauce. Along the Bible Belt, where a majority of the Atlanta-based fried chicken restaurants are located, the organization not only feeds the area’s God-fearing demographic but feeds into it, too.
It all started a few months ago when a group of NYU students did some digging into the Chick-fil-A on campus that sold hundreds of sandwiches a day to kids in the dorms. And what they did find? Two million dollars going into the hands of anti-gay organizations like Focus on the Family, a group that is heavily against same-sex marriage. Protests proliferated outside of Weinstein Hall, the location of the only Chick-fil-A in New York, as students called for an end to their tuition dollars subsidizing the chicken purveyor. Soon after, the Student Senate ruled that it would not get involved in the situations cleaning its hands of any future controversy.
It turned out that, besides the respect of the Sabbath, Chick-fil-A was a practicing Christian business, upholding the views of the church and installing them as business credos. The President of the establishment, Dan Cathy, did not step away from these accusations of hate-mongering homophobia a few backs back… he re-affirmed them: “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.’
As nationwide revocation of Chick-fil-A spreads, Mayor Bloomberg has come out to defend the organization’s ideology and right to run a business in New York. But, if that’s the case, that whole ‘soda ban’ now seems just a little ridiculous.
On his morning radio show yesterday, the civil libertarian/businessman side of Bloomberg took charge in the defense of Chick-fil-A: “It’s inappropriate for a city government, a state government, or the federal government to look at somebody’s political views and decide whether or not they can live in the city, or operate a business in the city, or work for somebody in the city.”
His argument hits that gray void between what constitutes a private business and what demands a government intrusion. Does Chick-fil-A have the right to hate on homosexuals’ ability to get married as an operating enterprise? And, further more, what gives the government the right to say no to such a business? Let’s look to other mayors and see how they’re reacting:
In Boston, Mayor Thomas Menino summarized his emotions towards the situation in an open-ended letter to Chick-fil-A that has gone viral on the Interwebs. In it, he writes, “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.” Damn.
In Chicago, former Obama hothead Rahm Emanuel reiterated Menino’s stance and supported a ban on a plan to build a Chic-fil-A in one of the city’s districts. His reason: “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago’s values.”
And, in San Francisco, Mayor Edwin Lee warned the organization to pump its brakes outside of the city’s borders:
Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.
— Edwin Lee (@mayoredlee) July 26, 2012
To give credit to the other side, it’s comforting to know that the major voices behind Chick-fil-A just so happen to be former Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. The notorious Santorum tweeted yesterday that, hey, if his son enjoyed the food, why the hell does it matter if the organization believes in the “biblical definition of marriage”:
With two of my boys, Enjoying chick-in-strips and an awesome peach shake at Chick-fil-A. See you here next Wednesday!
— Rick Santorum (@RickSantorum) July 25, 2012
Not gonna lie, Hozziner: it sucks to be on the wrong side of the argumentative aisle. Especially when you’re sitting next to this guy.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 28, 2012