While officials in Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia have vowed to block Chick-fil-A franchises from their city limits, officials in Los Angeles have stayed mum on the issue -- probably because the franchise is already in LA, and bringing in good business.
But Cary Brazeman, who's running for LA City Controller in 2013, decided to dive into the controversy with a blog on his personal site on what he thinks about Chick-fil-A as "prospective Los Angeles City official" -- as well as someone who identifies as gay and Jewish.
Namely, he wouldn't. He agrees with New York mayor Michael Bloomberg (an outspoken fan of both gay marriage and fried chicken), who had this to say on his radio show Friday:
It’s inappropriate for a city government, or a state government, or the federal government to look at somebody’s political views and decide whether or not they can live in the city, or operate a business in the city, or work for somebody in the city.
As for whether or not one can lose their gay rights bonafides by eating at a Chick-fil-A franchise? Reasonable people can disagree, according to Brazeman.
His views are safe and middle of the road, which is what we've come to expect from someone seeking office. But Brazeman gets more interesting when he redirects the conversation to these questions:
3. Is Chick-fil-A an equal opportunity employer? Do they hire and treat respectfully openly gay people, non-Christians, and people of varying ethnicities?
4. Company management boasts that key executives all are married to their first wives. Does this mean the company doesn't hire divorced people?
5. What about promotions? Can you rise through the ranks at Chick-fil-A if you are any of the above?
6. What about ownership and franchise opportunities? Are some people not eligible based on personal or religious characteristics?
Brazeman writes that he visited both of LA's Chick-fil-A franchises (Hollywood and South LA) to get some answers, although he really didn't have to travel far to learn the company line on the issue; headquarters released an official statement vowing to treat every person with honor and respect, regardless of things like sexual orientation or gender.
Locally, Hollywood franchise owner Jeremiah Cillpam issued a more personal memo last week, in which he said he has never made a hiring decision on any of the 150 jobs his business provides based on sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
Still, Brazeman raises some good points. If the top Chick-fil-A executives are all married to their first wives, does that mean the company has a corporate structure in which only men rise to the top? For more answers on that, we'll be watching one lawsuit very closely.
Brenda Honeycutt, a former employee in Georgia, claims she was unfairly terminated from Chick-fil-A based on her gender. The suit alleges that Jeff Howard, the owner and operator of a Duluth, Ga. franchise, fired Honeycutt so she could be a "stay at home mother."