New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has come out to defend the Atlanta-based fast food restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A, which – due to the promotion of its owner’s Christian and anti gay values – has been involved in a national controversy that has prompted the mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco (Thomas Menino, Rahm Emanuel and Edwin Lee respectively) to ban the store in their districts.
But New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg – who doesn’t have a problem telling New Yorkers how much soda they are allowed to drink – has come in defense of Chick-Fil-A’s ideology and right to run a business in New York as, "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."
In doing so, Bloomberg has departed from his colleagues from other major American cities who either sent open letters to the company to protest “discrimination” (Menino) or told the company their values “didn’t align” with those of their towns (Emanuel). The New York City major, who in the past has been supportive of LGBT rights and even has participated in the city’s Gay Pride parade, has sided this time with the likes of Fox News talk show host and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
Chick-Fil-A’s anti gay backlash started when it was known that in 2011 the company was co-sponsoring a marriage conference along with the Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI), an organization that had filed an amicus brief against the trial ruling striking down Proposition 8 in California. As a result, students at several colleges and universities formed grassroots efforts to ban or remove the company's restaurants from their campuses
And though defenders of Chick-Fil-A claim the company hasn’t stated they are opposed to marriage equality, on June 16 the company’s COO – Dan Cathy – made the following statement: "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'. 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.