Calls for boycott and ‘buycott’ sound in Chick-fil-A controversy

“I love fried chicken sandwiches at Chick-fil-A. The problem is, I have a lot of gay friends, and I love them too,” said Hilah Johnson on her online YouTube channel, on which she posts biweekly videos about cooking.

“So, I figured out how to make my very own, even-better than Chick-fil-A’s fried-chicken sandwich, and I call them Chick-fil-Gay, ’cause it’ll make you happy,” she says.

The flap over fried-chicken sandwiches erupted in response to Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-fil-A, who said he is against gay marriage for religious reasons.

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While some reactions, like Johnson’s, were tongue-in-beak, others with more political clout brought down symbolic hammers. The mayors of Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco issued statements urging Chick-fil-A not do business in their cities.

In Philadelphia, Councilman Jim Kenney introduced a resolution that suggested Chick-fil-A “take a hike.” He has since said, on NPR’s “Tell Me More,” that he simply wanted Philadelphians to know where their food dollars are going. Nothing has come to light that suggests Chick-fil-A discriminates against customers or employees.

To offset calls to boycott the fast-food chain, some conservative groups — including the Independence Hall Tea Party and the African-American group Project 21 — are calling for a “buy-cott,” urging people to go out of their way to patronize Chick-fil-A.

“This gentleman has an opinion, and he’s permitted to express it. I don’t think it’s extreme,” said Teri Adams, president of the Independence Hall Tea Party. “I think that it’s outrageous that government officials would come out against a private business owner — someone not in government — for their opinion.”

While former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee called for a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” Adams is urging customers to eat at the restaurant for the entire month of August.

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