(Photo: Reuters/Eric Thayer)
The owner of a Chicago Chick-fil-A franchise has asked Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to visit the restaurant after he said the fast food franchise was no longer welcome in his city due to the corporation's strong support of traditional marriage.
"I would like to invite Mayor Emanuel into my restaurant to meet me, my husband Steve, and my management staff," Lauren Silich said on Facebook post.
"Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values," Mayor Emanuel previously said over the chain food's decision to support biblical marriage.
The Loyola Water Tower Chicago branch of the fast food restaurant has defended itself, however, insisting they create a lot of jobs for the community, have deep Chicago roots and deserve to be shown the same level of respect as all other businesses.
"We are a family of deep Chicago roots – my husband and I both came from city worker families (teachers, police, laborers) and Steve is a city worker," Silich continued, noting that her restaurant has supported Chicago hospitals, schools, churches and even LGBT groups.
"We alone created 97 jobs this past year and our passion is building leaders for future generations, regardless of sexual orientation or beliefs," the statement notes. "We are not a corporation – we are real people and taxpayers as each Chick-fil-A franchise is independently owned and operated."
On Monday, Emanuel said that he has no regrets over his anti- Chick-fil-A comments.
"And the simple reason is, when it comes to values, there's a policy as it relates to gay marriage. The values of our city are ones that welcome and recognize that, and I will continue to fight for that," the Chicago mayor expressed in an interview.
However, Mat Staver, president of the Liberty Counsel, has said that there is no way the city has any legitimate right to actually ban the fast food restaurant.
"No city can ban Chick-fil-A because the president has his own view regarding marriage – a view that his held by much of the American public," Staver shared with Fox News.
"To discriminate against Mr. Cathy because of his biblical view and then to extrapolate that to Chick-fil-A is illegal. It would be unconstitutional and certainly any city trying to do so would not win that battle," he said of Dan Cathy, the Chick-fil-A president, who has publicly expressed support for traditional marriage despite opposition by gay activist groups.
"I imagine Chick-fil-A's values are not Rahm Emanuel's values, but I'm sure the values of Chick-fil-A resonate with a majority of people in Chicago," Staver added.