New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is among the country’s most high-profile advocates for gay marriage, even officiating a few himself. But now he’s also become one of the most stalwart supporters of Chick-fil-A.
Or, rather, of its free speech rights. Bloomberg has said that he'd never heard of the chain before the controversy over Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's support for the “biblical definition of the family unit.”
But as protesters take to the chicken restaurants Friday to protest, with same-sex “kiss-ins” planned across the country, Bloomberg again defended Chick-fil-A’s right to believe whatever it wants.
The mayor reiterated his stance from last week: that threats from several other mayors to try to block Chick-fil-A from opening in their cities were “inappropriate.”
On Friday, he again said that trying to push out the chain “isn’t the right thing to do and it isn’t what America stands for.” Mayors from Boston, Chicago, San Francisco,Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles have expressed their displeasure with Chick-fil-A as Cathy’s comments continue to spark shows of support and dissent.
“Those people who don’t like [Chick-fil-A] don’t understand their rights were protected by people who took a difficult position in the past and stood by it,” Bloomberg said. “They stood up so everybody else would be free.”
Using “a litmus test for the personal views of somebody when they want to do something in the commercial world” is a dangerous way to run government, Bloomberg said.
He emphasized, however, that defending Cathy’s ability to voice his belief doesn’t equate to believing it himself.
“I don’t agree with this guy,” Bloomberg said.