A Christian group opposing the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Maine is encouraging its supporters to join a bus trip to the nearest Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant on Wednesday. The trip is part of a national campaign by same-sex marriage opponents to patronize the restaurant chain, whose president and CEO recently expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage.
The Christian Civic League of Maine on Monday sent an email to supporters encouraging them to join a bus trip to a Chick-fil-A location in Peabody, Mass., scheduled for Wednesday and organized by Arthur Langley, a conservative activist from Durham. There are no Chick-fil-A restaurants in Maine.
“We are calling on folks that agree with Mr. Cathy to make their way to Chick-fil-A to show their support for him,” Christian Civic League executive director Carroll Conley said in an interview Tuesday, referring to Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy.
Cathy told a Baptist publication in early July that the Chick-fil-A company supported the biblical definition of marriage as the union between a man and a woman. He followed up those comments during a radio interview, saying, “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.’”
Cathy has said that Chick-fil-A operates on biblical principles and is not open on Sundays.
Cathy’s comments on same-sex marriage caused a stir from both same-sex marriage supporters and opponents.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pledged to try to keep Chick-fil-A from expanding into that city, saying “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times. And Boston Mayor Tom Menino issued a letter telling the restaurant chain it wasn’t welcome in the city.
On the other end of the spectrum, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee put out the call on Facebook for a national Chick-fil-A appreciation day on Aug. 1. In a Facebook message, Huckabee said he was “incensed at the vitriolic assaults” on Chick-fil-A because of Cathy’s comments.
And Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate, quipped at a fundraiser in Texas that she would be stopping at a Chick-fil-A while in the Lone Star State. She later tweeted a photo of her and her husband, Todd, posing with bags from the fast-food restaurant.
As for the trip to Massachusetts, Conley said: “I think it is important for people to do business where it reflects their values.”