Lawmaker bombarded with anti-gay hate mail for criticizing Chick-Fil-A

Councilman Paul D. López

Councilman Paul D. López

Councilman Paul D. López

Councilman Paul D. López

Think Progress reports that a member of the Denver city council has received threatening mail after he voted to postpone the approval of a new Chick-fil-A restaurant at the Denver International Airport.

Councilman Paul D. López is one of several lawmakers who cited opposition to the chicken chain’s previous charitable contributions to anti-gay groups, but he clarified that his main motivation for delaying the contract is because Chick-fil-A, which is run by militant Christians, isn’t open on Sundays, which could pose problems for an airport location.

Nevertheless, López was quite vocal about his worries about Chick-fil-A’s charitable donations and the company’s touted stance again same-sex marriage. His comments have now resulted in a significant backlash. He told Think Progress:

“They say, ‘You are attacking Christian people, and you’re anti-Christian.’ They say, ‘It’s the Bible that you have to obey.’ And then they go on using expletives, and threatening violence… Authorities have been notified.”

He also told Think Progress that scurrilous headlines, which wrongly reported that the Denver council had already blocked Chick-fil-A altogether, helped foster the prolific hate mail:

“It is [Chick-fil-A’s] First Amendment right to say whatever they want to say [about same-sex marriage]. And we’re not going to deny a contract based on that. But our criticism and discussion is a First Amendment right, too. When there are headlines saying we’re denying or persecuting a company because it’s Christian, that’s false. They want to do business with a public entity that includes members of the LGBT community, and although it does bother me that this billion dollar corporation has actively and financially opposed the community and undermined the community’s equal rights, that’s not the basis for questioning the [contract] itself.”

López pointed out that he’s heard rumors that the airport will waive its usual policy requiring that businesses be open seven days a week, so he’s expecting the contract will, in fact, soon be approved.

“At the end of the day, Chick-fil-A will probably be in [Denver International Airport],” he said.

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