Christine Quinn stood by her call for Chick-Fil-A to quit New York over its leader’s anti-gay stance — but said she wouldn’t seek to legally block the chain.
“I don’t want businesses that hold discriminatory views and feelings, but I don’t have any legal recourse or reason to block this company,” the City Council Speaker told reporters Tuesday.
Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy proclaimed his gay-marriage views in a recent radio spot, igniting a national controversy as officials in several cities declared the chain unwelcome.
“We are asking Mr. Cathy to reconsider, open up his mind and really overcome his homophobia and stop investing his money in efforts to limit the rights of LGBT Americans,” Quinn added.
On Saturday, Quinn wrote to NYU President John Sexton asking the school to boot the Chick-Fil-A location from its campus — the only one in the city.
She told the Daily News editorial board Tuesday that she waited to do so until after NYU’s controversial expansion had cleared the Council because she didn’t “want there to be any misimpression that there was any connection.”
The 2013 mayoral contender said she used official Council letterhead for her Saturday missive because she thought “it would be ridiculous if I wrote on personal stationery to the president of the university.”
NYU spokesman John Beckman said Cathy’s comments “are out of step with NYU’s views on this matter,” and that the school’s University Senate would reexamine in the fall whether to keep the chicken shop on campus.
Quinn’s advocacy on the issue must be done delicately: she is gay and has long been a passionate defender of gay rights, but is also trying to position herself as a pro-business candidate in the mayoral race.
Other mayoral hopefuls said Tuesday that city government should not get involved in blocking Chick-Fil-A from selling chicken sandwiches.
“The power of office can’t be used to prevent the company from doing business. I could see myself picketing and saying, ‘Don’t buy here,’ but not using governmental powers to shut it down,” said former Controller Bill Thompson.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio took similar stands.