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Christine Quinn Starts Petition, Wants Chick-Fil-A Replaced At NYU

Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg announce budget deal on June 25, 2012. (credit: Rich Lamb, WCBS 880)

Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg announce budget deal on June 25, 2012. (credit: Rich Lamb, WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says a fast food chain’s opposition to gay marriage is none of “the government’s business.”

Bloomberg said Friday that he strongly disagrees with the mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco in that regard.

Chick-fil-A’s opposition to gay marriage has touched off a national furor. Gay rights groups have called for a boycott and the three mayors have said Chick-fil-A was not welcome in their cities.

The billionaire businessman-turned-politician called the three “good mayors” but disagrees with them in this case. He says cities should not ask about political beliefs before issuing a permit.

New York City has one Chick-fil-A restaurant. Bloomberg said the company would have to apply for necessary permits if it wanted to open another.

All four mayors support same-sex marriage.

Quinn told WCBS 880 reporter Alex Silverman that a message needs to be sent to the company.

“This type of corporate attitude is going to cost you in dollars and cents,” she said.

The Speaker has circulated an online petition declaring Chick-Fil-A unwelcome in New York until Company President Dan Cathy changes his stance.

WCBS 880 reporter Alex Silverman reports…

“I have to believe that he can open his mind and his heart, and see that he has been wrong,” the Speaker said.

Quinn called on NYU to boot the Chick-Fil-A from its campus.

John Beckman, NYU spokesman, issued the following statement in response to the letter from Speaker Quinn to NYU President John Sexton:

The recent remarks by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy about gay marriage are way out of step with the views of the NYU community on this matter, and with our practices.  The University, as Speaker Quinn notes, is well-known for its strong and long-standing support for the LGBT community, and NYU voluntarily provided partner benefits long before it was legally required.

Currently, the Chick-fil-A outlet is closed for the summer, as is customarily the case, and not scheduled to open before late August.  The Chick-fil-A outlet on our campus is licensed by ARAMARK, the University’s food service vendor (and does not receive any money directly from the University, FYI). 

The issue of Chick-fil-A and its posture towards the LGBT community first arose last year.  NYU has a process in place to deal with issues such as these: they are typically considered by the University Senate, which is made up faculty, student, dean, and administrator representatives.  The University Senate is in the best position to evaluate the center of gravity of our community’s sentiments, and to reflect on how best to balance our principles, such as our commitment to freedom of expression and our commitment to stand firmly in support of the LGBT community on a matter that is clearly settled policy at NYU (to say nothing of New York State law).  The Senate, in turn, makes recommendations to the University administration after deliberating on a matter.

In 2011, the Student Senators Council did take up consideration of a resolution to remove Chick-fil-A from campus based on prior incidents; however, this past spring the Student Senator’s Council ultimately did not seek such a resolution from the full University Senate, explaining in a statement that “to ban any entity from campus for ideological reasons is, in most every case, to limit freedom of expression.”

This summer’s remarks by the president of Chick-fil-A, however, have revived and sharpened the matter.  When the matter first became public, we contacted Chick-fil-A; they indicated the quotes were in some way incorrect, and asked for an opportunity to clarify.  They have not yet responded to our inquiry (apparently in part because of the death of an executive involved in the matter).

The University Administration will ask the University Senate to take up the issue of Chick-fil-A’s status on campus when it reconvenes this fall to make a recommendation on how to proceed.

 

Do you think that Chick-Fil-A should be allowed in New York City? Let us know in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)