New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have a bone to pick with jumbo-sized sodas, but he has no qualms with Chick-fil-A.
While his fellow mayors in San Francisco, Chicago and Boston have shunned the chicken sandwich chain from their cities for anti-gay marriage comments its CEO made this week, Bloomberg said Friday that a similar ban in New York City is “not going to happen.” There is only Chick-fil-A location open in New York City and it is on the New York University campus.
“I disagree with them really strongly on this one,” Bloomberg said on the John Gambling radio show. ”You can’t have a test for what the owners’ personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city. You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs before you issue a permit. That’s just not government’s job.”
“This is just a bad idea and it’s not going to happen in New York City,” Bloomberg added.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was the first mayor to come out against Chick-fil-a after the restaurant’s CEO Dan Cathy said this month that he was “guilty as charged” for supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
Menino wrote a scathing letter to Cathy last Friday urging him to keep his restaurant out of Boston.
“I was angry to learn on the heels of your prejudiced statements about your search for a site to locate in Boston,” Menino wrote. “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.”
Menino clarified his remarks on Thursday, noting that while he use the “bully pulpit” to discourage Chick-fil-A from coming to Boston, he would not deny the restaurant the necessary city permits to open in the city.
Days after Menino’s harshly-worded letter Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel levied his own criticism at the restaurant, saying he does not believe Cathy’s comments “reflects who we are as a city.”
“Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values,” Emanuel said Wednesday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values.”
San Francisco became the third city to turn a cold shoulder on Chick-fil-A when Mayor Edwin Lee tweeted his distaste for the company’s anti-gay stance on Thursday.
#ChickFilA doesn’t share San Francisco’s values & strong commitment to equality for everyone,” Lee tweeted, adding in a subsequent tweet, “Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”
Bloomberg’s break from his fellow big-city mayors on the Chick-fil-A controversy is his second surprising swerve this week. The New York mayor backed Republican Scott Brown in the much-watched and hotly contested Massachusetts Senate race and will host a fundraiser for Brown in New York on Aug. 15, as Politico first reported.
Brown is a fierce opponent of gun control, a stance that is in stark contrast to Bloomberg, who has pushed for strict gun control both within New York City and nationally. There is one area of gun control where the two overlap: they both oppose concealed carry reciprocity, which would allow people with a concealed carry permit in one state to carry in all states.