The fallout from Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's statement that he supports the biblical definition of marriage is continuing, with the company behind "The Muppets" being the latest to sever its partnership with the fast-food chain.
The Jim Henson Company announced on Friday that it would no longer partner with Chick-fil-A as it embraces "diversity" and "inclusiveness." Its CEO, Lisa Henson, personally supports gay marriage. That means no more toys from the Muppets company for the restaurant's kid's meals.
A day earlier, the mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino, vowed to block Chick-fil-A's proposed location in his city.
Menino told the Boston Herald that "you can't have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against the population. We're an open city."
The backlash to the popular chicken restaurant comes after Cathy's comments to the Biblical Recorder that they support "the biblical definition of the family unit."
He also stated on "The Ken Coleman Show," "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. 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."
Amid the ongoing debate, the Los Angeles Times weighed in, saying people have a right to boycott Chick-fil-A but drew the line at violating free speech.
"It was the freedom to express politically unpopular views and to oppose such views that the Founding Fathers fought to establish," the LA Times wrote in an editorial Tuesday, while noting that it disagrees with Cathy's stance.
"As both a private citizen and a prominent public figure, Menino is welcome to abstain from fried chicken sandwiches and urge others to do likewise. It's a different matter if he attempts to trample the free-speech rights of others by using the power of his office to fight against a business license for Chick-fil-A."
Menino's threat to block the restaurant from getting a license to open in the city may be justified if the fast-food chain refused service to gay customers, the LA Times noted. But "there's no evidence that any such thing has occurred."
Chick-fil-A issued a statement last week saying its "culture and service tradition" is "to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."
It also stated, "Our mission is to create raving fans; we plan to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the political arena."
Meanwhile, Cathy, a Christian, is trusting that free speech still reigns in the U.S.
"We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."
Amid protests, many are expressing their support to Chick-fil-A. Mike Huckabee, former GOP presidential candidate, has asked the public to support the restaurant on Aug. 1.
"No one is being asked to make signs, speeches, or openly demonstrate," said Huckabee. "The goal is simple: Let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1.
"Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we're considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant. This effort is not being launched by the Chick Fil-A company and no one from the company or family is involved in proposing or promoting it."