NEW YORK CITY New York City may be one of the more liberal cities in America, but more than 80 percent of voters there believe public officials should neither prevent Chick-fil-A from opening new franchises nor discourage citizens from visiting it, a new poll shows.
The Quinnipiac University survey of 1,298 New York City voters showed that by an 82-12 percent margin, the city's voters don't think that the Chick-fil-A president's stance on marriage should "have an impact on their ability to obtain government permits to do business." Similarly, by an 83-11 margin, voters don't believe elected officials should "try to publicly discourage people from patronizing Chick-fil-A because of the owner's opinions on same-sex marriage."
"New Yorkers may disagree with what you say, but they defend your right to sell chicken," Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.
A full 69 percent of the city's voters, the survey showed, had heard or read about the Chick-fil-A controversy, in which company president said that he supported the biblical definition of marriage.
Although New York City's mayor stayed out of the debate, other mayors did not.
The mayors of Boston and Chicago initially threatened to block new Chick-fil-A restaurants in their cities, with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel saying, "Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago values." In a tweet, Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray called the restaurant's food "hate chicken" and said its "support of bigotry is an embarrassment." San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee tweeted, "Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer." Philadelphia Councilman James Kenney told NPR that Cathy's comments amounted to "hate speech."
The survey was conducted Aug. 8-12.