Philly Councilman Tells Chick-Fil-A CEO To ‘Take A Hike,’ HRC Protests Franchise’s Food Truck In D.C.

KenneyJimPhiladelphia Councilman Jim Kenney isn't having any of Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy's homophobia. In a letter sent to the conservative executive, Kenney told him to "take a hike and take your intolerance with you."

"As an American you are legally entitled to your opinion, regardless of how insensitive and intolerant it may be, but as a fellow American and an elected member of Philadelphia City Council; I am entitled to express my opinion as well," the incensed letter reads. "So please – take a hike and take your intolerance with you. There is no place for this type of hate in our great City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.”

Kenney also said he'll introduce a resolution officially condemning both Cathy and Chick-fil-A.

Kenney's comments come after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed a plan to block a new Chick-fil-A outpost from opening in the Windy City and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino vowed to stop the franchise's expansion there.

DrudgeEmanuelMeanwhile, there's a petition trying to boot Chick-fil-A from the University of Kansas campus. Also, with regard to Emanuel's aforementioned opposition to Cathy and Chick-fil-A, conservative aggregator Matt Drudge currently has the following image and headlines at the top of his influential page.

The pairing implicitly suggests that Emanuel's pro-equality politics are somehow associated with the anti-semitic and racist rhetoric that comes out of Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, which, by the way, is also homophobic. The two stories – one of which is about how NOI activists are joining a campaign to end gun violence – are unrelated, though Drudge would like readers to think otherwise.

Finally, Human Rights Campaign and its allies today picketed outside a Chick-fil-A food truck in Washington D.C. Here's an image from the protest. More on that later.



  1. Dan says

    Why should Chick-Fill-A be denied the right to do business? It is complying with all laws. Certain politicians don’t like the company and the opinions of its leadership, but that shouldn’t bar them from entering the marketplace in these cities. Boycotts are fine but when the government tells you you can’t do business because they don’t like your OPINIONS, that is un-American.

  2. Zell says

    I agree with Dan; I’m boycotting Chick-Fil-A but does the government really have the right to block a business from opening somewhere simply because they disagree with something the COO believes?

  3. Gary Poulsen says

    The Gov. isn’t telling Chick-fil-A that it can’t do business. It’s telling Chick-fil-A to clean up it’s act. Business are subject to certain standards in other areas and they are expected to comply or be denied doing business. This is no different.
    I am tire of this question of question of ‘certain politicians’ taking a stand against the bigotry of Chick. I say bravo. It’s time for someone in government to stand up and defend the gay population.
    We are not going to go back and ride the back of the bus!

  4. Jeff R. says

    Yes, boys, the Government has the right to tell someone they can’t do business because WE elected these people to be in our Government! If you don’t like our Government doing this, then DON’T VOTE FOR THEM NEXT TERM! Why aren’t you happy the our Government is doing the RIGHT THING! Bitches.

  5. Drew Boo says

    Who is being denied a right to do business? No one. We are affirming our right to block anti-gay business from doing business with us. Just like cities that ban big box stores. Chickfila should look into expanding in Uganda, Russia, Iran. Chickfila sells hate. Plenty of cities ban the sale of liquor, why not hate?

  6. Rob says

    @ Dan & Zell – I simply cannot believe this worrying about bad bad government interfereing with what is perceived as the legal rights of businesses. Businesses exist within our society and are expected to be good citizens of our society. There is a very real and very major sea-change in politicians sending the message that anti-gay rhetoric is hate speech every bit as much as racial invective is be hate speech. We should be celebrating that

    Play a little game – image that instead the Chick-fil-A CEO had spoken out against interracial marriage – would you even think that it was OK to let business go on as usual?

  7. Dan2 says

    They have EVERY right to bar them! It invites violence and intolerance. Same reason you wouldn’t allow the KKK to set up shop in your town! These politicians are doing what they deem appropriate for their city.

  8. J. Dredd says

    Im happy cities are doing this, but idk denying a company the chance to do business based on their beliefs sounds kinda wrong.

    If people learn something from chik fil a its that they should NEVER express their opinions.

  9. Mary says

    Dan2, equating opponents of marriage equality with the KKK is not going to help the cause of SSM. SSM was illegal in America everywhere until 2003 when ONE state legalized it due to a court order. As of now it hasn’t been voted in by public referendum in even ONE state. Most people will find your accusation hyteria-based. 2003 wasn’t that long ago. Even Americans under the age of 30 can clearly remember that year. I personally think the anti-Chick-fil-A backlash is going overboard and runs the risk of creating sympathy for that company. Calling for a boycott of this restaurant due to its politics is one thing, but trying to prevent them from opening up new businesses is another. Almost half of all Americans still oppose marriage equality. The level of indigation should be appropriate to the “crime.” As of now SSM is still a controversial poliical issue. Supporters of the ERA in the 1970s’s had far more support than SSM supporters today have – and they ended up losing. If I wanted to be ironic I’d say “let’s not count our chickens before they hatch”….but you get my drift.

  10. Jacoby says

    Yes, private citizens can and should boycott and protest but I’m pretty sure the First Amendment would prevent the government from blocking the restaurant from getting a license due to their CEO’s views. I would not be surprised if Civil Liberties Groups started coming out against the government position shortly, or the politician will backtrack and say he was misunderstood. Just watch.

  11. Gregoire says

    There’s a difference between barring business legally, and pressuring businesses with rhetoric. I’m not signed aboard the first part, but the second I wholeheartedly agree with.

  12. PAUL B. says

    @Mary…”the level of indignation”…blah, blah blah. You’re consistently misdirected, uninformed, ignorant & out of your element.
    Find a gay friend or two and learn something.
    Trying to figure out our “indignation” from your perspective is absurd…and arrogant.
    You’re a self-identified “straight ally” and you’re anything but. I guess you need that ID to make you feel connected. You’re not!

  13. MARY says

    Although my heart tells me that “the gays” are gods children and need love too…I just can’t wrap my head around their sex thing. It’s just gross. I’m evolving slowly, like a lot of my straight friends…but we need more time. Can’t you gays just wait another couple of generations for us to treat you as equals? I mean really… what’s a few more decades, murders, suicides, beatings and legal injustices between friends? We are trying, shouldn’t that be enough?

  14. Mary says

    Whoever this last “Mary” is, why don’t you reveal who you are afterwards if you want to impersonate and joke about someone else’s views? And for the record I’m not a closeted lesbian (although I did once have a lesbian crush on a certain “Dirty Dancing” actress – yes, but it was ONCE, and many years ago.)

    You want to cause a setback for the gay marriage cause. Suit yourself. But don’t say you weren’t warned. Every time I caution against reckless action you keep acting as if I’m asking you to give up. Some people just hear what they want to hear.

  15. Dan says

    @Gregoire — I agree with you. I will boycott this vile company but barring them from doing business when they are in compliance with all applicable laws just because you disagree with the opinions of the leadership is not acceptable in my book. (Imagine if you had a company that was barred from operating in Tennessee because you supported same-sex marriage.)

  16. Jacoby says

    I am surprised that Rahm Emanuel would take such a patently unsupportable constitutional position because politically, it may put Obama in a difficult position. No way Obama can agree with Emanuel from a constitutional standpoint. But if he disagrees, he puts himself in the awkward position of disagreeing with his former chief of staff and of appears to not be fully supporting marriage equality. Emanuel could have and should have simply supported the protests and boycotts without taking the extra step of denying licensing. At this point, if I were Emanuel, I would “clarify” my position or just say I was misquoted. I would absolutely not continue supporting the Alderman’s position.

  17. says

    @Mary: Not sure who the “you” is you’re warning? The politicians and many of those speaking out against Chick-Fil-A are straight people like yourself. What you label as “reckless”, many other straight people see as necessary.

    As for all the hysteria about the government stepping in to violate CFA’s constitutional right to free speech, give me a break. Every politician and citizen has the same right to tell a discrimination-supporting country to take a hike. That’s called an opinion. If Chick-Fil-A doesn’t like that opinion they can fight back and try to open where they’re not wanted.

  18. says

    @Jacoby: Unless Emanuel has elaborated, I don’t know what you think is unconstitutional about the statement he made yesterday? Basically he said that Chick-Fil-A values are not Chicago values. And they aren’t. Just as Chick-Fil-A has said that marriage equality is not their value. Whether an alderman can actually block a business because it works to deprive people of civil rights (unlike pro-equality businesses who aren’t working to deprive anyone of civil rights) is questionable, but until that step is taken we’re talking about speech not action. And I’m not sure why Obama would feel compelled to weigh in at all on what Rahm is doing in Chicago. What would be the point?

  19. Jacoby says

    Ernie: I think Emanuel’s mistake is in saying he backs the Alderman’s plan to prevent Chick-Fil-A from setting up an outpost in Chicago. I agree there is nothing wrong in him saying it does not reflect Chicago’s values. I think the issue is that if the government uses its licensing powers to deny a business a license because views expressed by the CEO are not “acceptable” that is contrary to the First Amendment. I think Obama gets involved because certain segments of the press can see political points being scored against Obama by asking him about it. He either has to take a position against the First Amendment or to oppose his former chief of staff and seem to not fully support gay marriage. Like I said, it is a pretty surprising statement from Emanuel who is normally pretty politically astute. If I were him, I would clarify immediately that he does not support the alderman or say he was misquoted before the issue gets picked up by more media outlets.

  20. andrew says

    In the USA business owners like all citizens have the right to express what some people, myself included, consider insensitive and intolerant remarks. Other people then have the right to agree with those opinions and support their business or disagree with them and withdraw their support from that business. Everyone also has the right to try to get others to support or oppose that business owner. However government officials should do nothing to hinder that business as long as it is in compliance with laws and ordinances. I think that some remarks by mayors and councilmen have actually gained some sympathy for the family of bible thumpers named Cathy.

  21. Armando says

    IF being gay is protected by the laws of Chicago or Boston or Philadelphia then an argument could be made that the statements of Chich Fil A CEO create a hostile environment towards a protected class. A government should not allow business that foster a hostile environment towards some of their citizens into their cities.

  22. andrew says

    @Armando: “If being gay is protected by the laws”. Our laws don’t protect any sexual orientation. Individuals have rights and obligations not categories of people. “Government should not allow business that fosters a hostile environment toward some of their citizens”. You must want some kind of dictatorship. This gay man favors the free exchange of ideas and opinions in a democracy.

  23. Ken says

    I have an idea. Why not allow Chick-Fil-A to open restaraunts in these cities, then donate the tax revenues from these locations to local LGBT charities? To me, that would be an even bigger slap in the face to this bigotted company than banning them.

  24. says

    @Jacoby: The direct quotes from Emanuel (though I could have missed some) didn’t reference denying Chick-Fil-A permits based on their views; the media implied that, as did the Alderman, but I’m not sure Emanuel did. And he certainly doesn’t need to step back from his remarks about Chick-Fil-A’s values. But if this becomes the media debacle you think it will for Emanuel (seems unlikely to me unless CFA starts fighting back instead of running scared), I still don’t see why Obama would weigh in in any specific way on what is essentially a local and unpresidential issue.

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