NEW YORK — The Democratic mayor of New York City, who has publicly expressed his support for homosexual “marriage,” said in a press conference on Tuesday that he won’t be eating at a new Chick-fil-A restaurant to open in Queens and won’t encourage city residents to frequent the business either because he objects to the owner’s statements in support of biblical marriage.
“What the ownership of Chick-fil-A has said is wrong,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “I’m certainly not going to patronize them, and I wouldn’t urge any other New Yorker to patronize them. But they do have a legal right [to open a new location in the city].”
Shouting “love wins,” de Blasio officiated two same-sex ceremonies last year on the steps of City Hall following the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges and also marched in the city’s pride parade. He has been outspoken about his support for homosexual and transgender causes throughout his tenure as mayor; however, some find his opposition to Chick-fil-A to be lopsided.
“We await de Blasio’s moral judgments on the Hasidic Jews whose support he courts—and whose cash his campaign happily pockets. Motivated as [Chick-fil-a] is by their faith, Orthodox Jewish organizations have also been opposed to, and outspoken about, same-sex marriage,” wrote the New York Daily News in response to de Blasio’s remarks. “Will de Blasio call for a boycott of more businesses, or is he morally chicken?”
The mayor’s remarks follow a call from Councilman Danny Dromm, the founder of the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee and the organizer of the Queens pride festival, to boycott the location.
“Chick-fil-A is anti-LGBT,” Dromm said in a statement. “This group imparts a strong anti-LGBT message by forcing their employees and volunteers to adhere to a policy that prohibits same-sex love. It is outrageous that Chick-fil-A is quietly spreading its message of hate by funding these types of organizations.”
“I hope that the Queens Center mall will reconsider giving a company so deeply invovled in anti-gay discrimination a lease on their property,” he continued. “Believers in equality should boycott these purveyors of hate.”
As previously reported, in 2012, owner Dan Cathy told Baptist Press that he is “very much supporting 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,” he said. “We give God thanks for that.”
According to the Washington Post, Cathy had also stated on a radio broadcast that he believed that the promotion of homosexual “marriage” was evoking the wrath of God upon America.
Following initial uproar about the matter, including assertions that the company donates to organizations that oppose same-sex “marriage,” Chick-fil-a issued a statement outlining that it had never sought to donate to groups that speak against homosexuality, and that “[g]oing forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
In a document entitled “Who We Are,” the company also noted that “[t]here are many diverse viewpoints and opinions among those associated with Chick-fil-A,” and that “[i]f someone in Chick-fil-A offers a personal viewpoint, they do not presume to speak for everyone.”
The company also outlined its donor practices, noting that its charitable outreaches are focused in three areas: “Creating educational opportunities for our team members and youth across America,” “Food donations for those serving or those in need,” and “Developing youth and family/marriage enrichment programs and supporting our communities.”
“For many months now, Chick-fil-A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized,” it stated, referring to the hostility it has received from pro-homosexual groups that have rejected the fast food restaurant by claiming that it gives donations to organizations that oppose same-sex “marriage.”
“Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. … Our intent is not to support political or social agendas,” Chick-fil-A further clarified, noting that the company’s giving has always been focused on positive charities and outreaches, but not necessarily any particular social issue, such as homosexuality.
Dromm said this week that his specific opposition is to Chick-fil-A’s donations to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, but the company said that the donations are “specifically to provide free summer sports camps for hundreds of young students in urban environments throughout the nation.”
Chick-fil-A says that it looks forward to serving “existing and new customers great food with remarkable service.”
“We look forward to opening our first restaurant in Queens and serving all of our customers delicious food in an environment of genuine hospitality,” it stated.