Hey politicians, leave Chik-Fil-A alone!
That's what the majority of New Yorkers said when asked their thoughts in a new Quinnipiac University poll, the results of which were released Wednesday.
The vast majority of those polled — 82 percent — said they don't think comments Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy made this summer against gay marriage should impact the chain's ability to receive government permits to operate.
And in a different question, 83 percent of the 1,298 people polled said they also disagreed with public officials who try to discourage people from patronizing Chick-fil-A because of Cathy's opinions.
That's in direct contrast to the stand City Council Speaker Christine Quinn made last month, when she asked New York University to close down the only Chick-Fil-A in the city — part of NYU's food court on University Place — due to Cathy's comments.
“We are not going to eat at Chick-fil-A or patronize businesses that do not reflect the diversity and openness of our great city,” read a petition Quinn launched in July, demanding that Cathy “apologize and change his position.”
That same day, Quinn, who is an open lesbian who married her partner this summer, also sent a letter to NYU President John Sexton, asking the school to immediately void their contract with Chick-fil-A.
But according to today's poll, only 10 percent of New Yorkers agreed with Quinn.
“New Yorkers may disagree with what you say, but they defend your right to sell chicken,” quipped Maurice Carroll, Quinnipiac University Polling Institute director.
Quinn later slightly clarified her comments, saying she was criticizing Chick-Fil-A as a private citizen and not as an elected official.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, as well as the mayors of Boston and San Francisco have similarly warned Chick-fil-A to keep out of their cities. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg was one of the lone voices defending the fast-food chain's right to do business.
"Trampling on the freedom to marry whoever you want is exactly the same as trampling on your freedom to open a store," he said at the time.
In addition to Cathy's comments, Chick-fil-A has also donated to many conservative religious organizations, including some that have an anti-gay agenda, or have leaders that have made comments against homosexuality.