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Sacramento, Calif., U.S.A. — Comments from Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy regarding his opinion of natural marriage as one man and one woman expressed during a syndicated radio talk show interview over two weeks ago continue to reverberate as city officials, political activists and media engage in a culture war over re-defining marriage.
Following Cathy’s comments supporting natural marriage, government officials from three cities said they would ban Chick-fil-A from opening restaurants in their municipalities. Demanding a public apology, Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno said that he would deny Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square.
“If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the 1st Ward,” Moreno told the Tribune. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino told the Boston Herald that he would block Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in the “Cradle of Liberty.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuelfollowed suit stating, “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values. They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents.” And the Mayor of the District of Columbia called it “hate chicken.”
“To deny business permits or zoning approvals to Chick-fil-A because a president of a privately owned family business expressed his Biblical view of natural marriage is outrageous,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel (www.LC.org) and National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference board member. “Any city trying to ban Chick-fil-A will not win this battle.”
There is absolutely no evidence that Chick-fil-A has discriminated against anyone,” Staver continued. “The intolerance displayed by these government officials ought to serve as a wakeup call to the majority of Americans who support the commonsense understanding of natural marriage. If given the chance, these intolerant officials would silence anyone who supports natural marriage. They have placed extreme ideology over freedom,” Staver concluded.
“It’s clearly unconstitutional for the city to deny permits based on a person’s opinions,” UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh said. “It opens the city up to criticism and even litigation.”
Rev. Choco DeJesus, Pastor of New Life Covenant Church in Chicago and vice president of the Social Justice Directive for the NHCLC (www.NHCLC.org), was commissioned by Chicago’s Mayor Daley in 2005 to serve on the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals. Rev. DeJesus said, “I was not commissioned to the Zoning Board of Appeals to legislate my own belief system.
As I served on this Board for five years, I was asked to make sure all zoning requirements were met. I had an ethical obligation not to discriminate based on my Christian beliefs. During my tenor on the Board, I had to approve zoning for bars, tattoo parlors and a number of businesses that went against my Christian beliefs and values. There was no room for discrimination against any business that met required zoning laws.”
“Chicago is a diverse city and every community within our city is different,” Rev. DeJesus continued. “I don’t know if the Mayor is in touch with all of the value systems in every community of Chicago. Chick-fil-A would bring 110 new jobs to Chicago. Additionally, Chick-fil-A does not discriminate against their employees or their clientele. As long as Chick-fil-A follows every law and passes all zoning requirements, they should be allowed to build in any city across America.”
Evangelist Billy Graham said he appreciates the Cathy family’s public support for God’s definition of marriage and that he endorses Governor Mike Huckabee’s leadership in encouraging Americans in their nationwide support Chick-fil-A on August 1.
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the nation’s largest Christian Hispanic organization, is the Hispanic Evangelical Association unifying, serving and representing the Hispanic Born Again Community via 40,118 member churches and 16 million constituents by reconciling the vertical and horizontal of the Christian message through the 7 Directives of Life, Family, Great Commission, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth.