Chick-fil-A Controversy Comes Home To Roost in LB: Long Lines at ELB Location For Aug. 1 "Appreciation Day"...While LB Resident Launches Online Petition Urging Mayor Foster To Oppose Nat'l Company President's Stance On Same-Sex Marriage


(August 2, 2012) -- Long lines were visible at the Chick fil A location in East Long Beach for Aug. 1 "Appreciation Day," an event urged nationally by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, while a Long Beach resident last month launched an online petition urging Mayor Bob Foster to speak out against the company following comments by its national president supporting traditional marriage and opposing same-sex marriage. (See and the Washington, D.C. based [includes audio]).

Third-party created video has appeared on YouTube by someone calling himself "truthininfoguy" showing crowds of supportive customers at the Chick fil A location in ELB's Towne Center (7681 E. Carson St.) on August 1. To view it [third party content], click video icon below.

Meanwhile, an online petition has been launched by Long Beach resident Crystal Tomaino, urging Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster to speak out against Chick fil A, citing the company's financial support for groups that support traditional marriage and oppose same-sex marriage. The petition, which appeared at least eight days ago [in July] states in part: "The mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, stood proud for equality when he announced publicly that he would not allow Chick-Fil-A to do business in his city, stating valiantly, 'There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it." Mayor Foster, I urge you to do the same. Stand proud for your citizens and let Chick-Fil-A know that they will not have any support from this city.'

As of August 2, the petition had received roughly 130 signers. To view the petition's full text [third party content], click here.

In a related development, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a supporter of same sex marriage, dissented from Boston Mayor Menino's stance, telling his NYC radio audience: "It's inappropriate for a city government, or a state government, or the federal government to look at somebody’s political views and decide whether or not they can live in the city, or operate a business in the city, or work for somebody in the city."

When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a statement supporting an Alderman who indicated he'd seek to prevent Chick fil A from opening a second Chicago area location, an attorney for ACLU's Illinois branch warned that it would raise constitutional issues ("viewpoint discrimination") if a city used its powers to ban a business based on the viewpoint of its ownership. (Coverage, click here).

Like NYC Mayor Bloomberg, LB Mayor Foster is an outspoken supporter of same sex marriage and the Long Beach City Council has unanimously voted to support litigation to overturn CA's voter-enacted (November 2008) Proposition 8. Long Beach has a large LGBT population and the city's second largest annual event is its Gay Pride Parade.

In November 2008, Proposition 8 (a petition initiated state constitutional amendment to reverse a CA Supreme Court ruling that made same sex marriage a state constitutional right) carried statewide by roughly 52.24% to 47.76% but failed in Long Beach by roughly the reverse margin (47.5% yes, 52.5% no).

State Proposition 8 in LB Council districts

The Chick-fil-A ELB Towne Center location is operated by John Howard, who is a member of the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

Chick-fil-A, based in Atlanta, provided with the following statement on behalf of the company nationally:

Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.

The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.

On the morning of August 2, carried a piece in its Out in the 562 section by Phillip Zonkel titled, "Hungry for obesity, heart disease and a side order of homophobia" which indicated that on Friday (Aug. 3) "supporters of Previous Entry same-sex marriage plan protests - including "kiss-ins" - at Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide. Pucker up!!!"

UPDATE: 8:35 a.m. "National Same Sex Kiss Day" organizers have a Facebook page at:

UPDATE: 11:00 a.m. LB Gay/Lesbian Center Pres/CEO Says Chick-fil-A Controversy Is a Free Speech Issue: "Supporters Had Their Right Earlier This Week, Today Is Our Turn," Urges Support For "Kiss-In" Today

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