Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino's July 20 letter to the president of Chick-Fil-A has become an internet sensation, drawing thousands of comments on a Boston Facebook page.
It all started when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press this month that his company is ‘‘guilty as charged’’ in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family. Menino later said he would block the chain from opening in Boston because of Cathy's opposition to gay marriage.
A Boston city official confirmed the authenticity of the letter Wednesday evening.
Here is Menino's letter to Cathy:
To Mr. Cathy,
In recent days, you said Chick-fil-A opposes same-sex marriage and said the generation that supports it has an "arrogant attitude.''
Now -- incredibly -- your company says you are backing out of the same-sex marriage debate. I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston.
You called supporters of gay marriage "prideful.'' Here in Boston, to borrow your own words, we are "guilty as charged.'' We are indeed full of pride for our support of same sex marriage and our work to expand freedom to all people. We are proud that our state and our city have led the way for the country on equal marriage rights.
I was angry to learn on the heels of your prejudiced statements about your search for a site to locate in Boston. There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it. When Massachusetts became the first state in the country to recognize equal marriage rights, I personally stood on City Hall Plaza to greet same sex couples coming here to be married. It would be an insult to them and to our city's long history of expanding freedom to have a Chick-fil-A across the street from that spot.
Thomas M. Menino
Mayor, City of Boston