Hollywood Chick-fil-A Addresses Controversy (Sort Of) + 3 Cities Oppose The Chain
The game of chicken continues: In response to Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy explicitly confirming what we all already have known for some time -- that the company is staunchly against gay marriage -- the owner of the Hollywood Chick-fil-A, Jeremiah Cillpam, released a public letter yesterday stating that his location "never and will never discriminate based upon sexual orientation or religious beliefs" in its hiring practices. He also asks that customers judge the Hollywood store based on its customer service and hospitality. And not, impliedly, on the fact that the company actively supports a number of anti-gay rights organizations. Without agreeing or disagreeing with Cathy, Cillpam states:
Guzzle & Nosh Chick-fil-A's Hollywood location
I know that some of our guests are upset by comments made by Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A Inc. He has made it clear to me those were his personal views, and that his intent was not to speak on behalf of every Chick-fil-A owner. We hope those who are upset will look at their relationship with our restaurant, The Hollywood Chick-fil-A, and allow us to continue to serve them. If you have not been a Chick-fil-A customer, I would like to extend the invitation to you to visit and experience our restaurant, and hope that you will judge us on our hospitality and service to you.
Cillpam's letter echoes both the (non) answer he gave on the eve of the store's grand opening when asked about the controversy over the company's position on gay rights, as well as a letter that the owner of a Chick-fil-A in Chicago posted on Wednesday that similarly invites the public to experience the store's hospitality firsthand. The owner there also specifically asks Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to visit the location; Mayor Emanuel, like the mayor of Boston, publicly opposes Chick-fil-A's expansion in his city.
And, as The Los Angeles Times reports, San Francisco mayor Edwin M. Lee too has fired a warning shot of sorts against the chain, tweeting "Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer."
Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee's August 1 Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day has gained a (predictable) fan in Rick Santorum. Explaining his support, Santorum posted on his Facebook page that "militant gay groups are now boycotting the restaurant chain ... And they are issuing hate-filled attacks" on the company's founding family.
For their part, the militant gay groups are planning a national kiss-in that will take place at all Chick-fil-A locations on August 3.
Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.