Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) repeated her support for fast-food chain Chick-fil-A and its president on Tuesday.
In an interview on Fox News, Palin defended Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's decision to publicly express his anti-gay marriage views and claimed that the resulting backlash against the company was an affront to free speech.
"Well, that calling for the boycott is a real -- has a chilling effect on our 1st Amendment rights," Palin told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. "And the owner of the Chick-fil-A business had merely voiced his personal opinion about supporting traditional definition of marriage, one boy, one girl, falling in love, getting married. And having voiced support for kind of that cornerstone of all civilization and all religions since the beginning of time, he then basically [is] getting crucified."
Palin continued, charging that President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden had expressed similar views until they made a shift to appease gay voters.
"I'm speaking up for him and his 1st Amendment rights and anybody else who would wish to express their not anti-gay people sentiment, but their support of traditional marriage, which President Obama and Joe Biden, they both supported the exact same thing until just a few months ago, when Obama had to flip-flop to shore up the homosexual voter base," she said.
Cathy touched off the controversy last month when he responded to a question about his anti-gay marriage views by telling an interviewer that he was "guilty as charged."
"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about," Cathy continued.
These comments have drawn angry responses from a number of politicians and public figures, including calls to boycott the business, sever partnerships and even block Chick-fil-A's expansion into various cities.
While Chick-fil-A's brand approval has tanked amid the dispute, people on both sides of the political spectrum have claimed that efforts to deny the business permits for new restaurants based on Cathy's comments alone are problematic.
Conservatives have quickly rallied around the restaurant, with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) organizing a "Chick-fil-A Apprectiation Day" that has gained momentum and a few high-profile backers on the right.
Palin also went to bat for the restaurant last month, sending out a picture of her and her husband, Todd, supporting the "great business."
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