Over the last week, mayors throughout the country have been lining up against Chick-fil-A locating in their cities because Dan Cathy, the company’s president, proclaimed his opposition to same-sex marriage. But there seems to be at least one place where politicians will welcome the franchise with open arms.
With 66 restaurants in his home state, Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham on Monday that Cathy’s position is consistent with his constituents’ views on the issue and that the mayors’ reactions are “the most overt unacceptable curtailments of individual freedom” he could imagine.
“People in Alabama basically admire a company that respects traditional religious views and doesn’t open on Sunday,” Sessions said. “I’m going to tell you — you know, I think people respect that. I think these mayors and their complaints and attacks represent one of the most overt unacceptable curtailments of individual freedom I can imagine. It wouldn’t last 15 minutes in a court of law. The idea that you’re not going to allow business to operate in your city because you don’t agree with the owner’s personal views on a matter that is consistent with 3,000 years of Judeo-Christian heritage — I mean, give me a break. I’m just flabbergasted that they would say that, frankly.”
Sessions said public criticism is one thing, but that mayors denying the business an opportunity to locate in their cities isn’t justifiable.
“It’s a first-rate company, but the point is, which I think you’ve raised is, if a mayor doesn’t agree with what the businessman says, he can and should criticize it if he chooses,” Sessions said. “But to deny them a business license is a stunning overreach and just cannot be justified.”