On the heels of Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's controversial public comments against same-sex marriage, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino fired off a letter to Cathy, urging him to abandon plans to expand the fast food chain to his city.
"In recent days you said Chick-fil-A opposes same-sex marriage and said the generation that supports it has 'an arrogant attitude,'" Menino wrote in a letter dated July 20 and published online Wednesday. "Now—incredibly—your company says you are backing out of the same-sex marriage debate. I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston."
"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 said in a recent radio interview. "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."
In an interview with the Baptist Press published last week, Cathy doubled down on his stance against same-sex unions.
"Guilty as charged," Cathy said. "We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
[Related: Chick-fil-A president slams gay marriage]
"We know that it might not be popular with everyone," he added, "but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."
All 1,608 of Chick-fil-A's restaurants are closed on Sundays, a day of rest for most Christians.
"Here in Boston, to borrow your own words, we are 'guilty as charged,'" Menino continued. "We are indeed full of pride for our support of same sex marriage and our work to expand freedom to all people."
Earlier this year, students at Northeastern University protested a proposal to put a Chick-fil-A on its Boston campus because of the company's history of supporting anti-gay organizations. The school abandoned its plan.
Meanwhile, Chicago's alderman Joe Moreno is joining in the anti-Chick-fil-A fray, saying that if the company does not come up with an anti-discrimination policy, he'll block plans to put a restaurant in his district.
Chick-fil-A does have at least one prominent political backer: Rick Santorum. In a message on his Facebook page, the former presidential candidate called for Americans to join him in the "fight for traditional families and eat chicken at the same time."
Santorum is promoting Chick-fil-A appreciation day on Aug. 1, when supporters are urged to eat at a Chick-fil-A. "It is sad that liberal groups call for tolerance yet they are vicious in their intolerance when someone disagrees with them," Santorum wrote.