Sole NH Chick-fil-A franchisee to sponsor gay pride festival

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Amid ongoing debate over fast food chain Chick-fil-A’s position on gay marriage, the manager of the only Chick-fil-A in New Hampshire has decided to sponsor the New Hampshire Pride Fest, an August 11 celebration of gay rights.

In a hasty phone conversation with The Daily Caller, Chick-fil-A manager Anthony Picolia confirmed that his franchise will sponsor the festival.

In a longer statement sent out by Pride Fest 2012 organizers, Picolia explained that his decision to sponsor the event stemmed from his personal experiences with the gay community.

“Chick-fil-A at Pheasant Lane Mall has gay employees and serves gay customers with honor, dignity and respect,” Picolia said. “We also don’t discriminate in giving back to the Nashua community, donating to a wide variety of causes. I would challenge people to come have a conversation with me before they make assumptions or boycott my restaurant.”

Chick-fil-A has come under fire since president Dan Cathy stated explicitly what many already suspected: that the national chain, founded on Biblical principles, supports traditional marriage.

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy told Baptist Press on July 16. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

The company has stated that it does not discriminate.

While the LGBT community boycotts, conservatives stage appreciation days and a few cities attempt to keep the chain outside their borders, the franchise and the gay community in New Hampshire have united under the rainbow flag.

“This sponsorship is just another example of how great New Hampshire is to the LGBT community,” said Pride Fest organizer Tara Powell in a statement. “We are looking forward to having a great Pride Fest, and are very excited to have Chick-Fil-A involved.”

Same-sex marriage is legal in New Hampshire.

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