World

Plans by Chick-fil-A to open an outpost in gay-friendly Palm Springs, Calif. sparked intense backlash from angry residents looking keep out the famously devout the company once known for donating to anti-LGBTQ causes.

Matt Robinson, a Palm Springs resident, posted an image on his Facebook account earlier this week showing a sign in front of a small shopping center.

“PROJECT UNDER CONSIDERATION,” read the sign posted in front of 5200 Ramon Road, where Chick-fil-A plans to set up a 5,635 square-foot location with a three-lane drive thru as well as an indoor and outdoor seating area.

Robinson’s post generated more than 460 comments — the overwhelming majority of them negative.

“I prefer my chicken without the side of homophobia,” wrote Facebook user Brown Aneka.

Byron Winward, another Facebook user, said Chick-fil-A was showing “a lot of nerve” to locate one of its restaurants in an area where “11 out of 10 people are queer.”

“As a straight ally I will have to pass,” commented Peggy Killion, who vowed: “I won’t spend one dime there.”

The backlash prompted the Palm Springs Mayor Jeffrey Bernstein, to write a note of his own on Facebook.

Bernstein said that while the critical comments “have been heard and noted,” he pointed out that Palm Springs “does welcome new businesses and economic development.”

“Any concerns about a particular business should not be generalized,” he wrote.

Bernstein said that Chick-fil-A’s plans to move into Palm Springs are “currently on hold” while “the new tenant and the shopping center owner finalize lease terms.”

Calls to the manager of the property at 5200 Ramon Road went unanswered.

The Post has sought comment from Chick-fil-A.

Palm Springs’ chicken kerfuffle comes on the heels of a former opinion editor for the New York Times revealing that colleagues at Gray Lady shamed him for saying he loved the spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A, with an HR rep claiming that owners of the fast-food chain hate gay people.

Adam Rubenstein, a New York City-based journalist who was hired in 2019 to work in the opinion section as a research assistant for columnists, said other Times staffers started snapping their fingers” at him to show their displeasure.

Palm Springs, which is about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, has one of the nation’s largest gay and lesbian communities.

Chick-fil-A, the successful Atlanta-based fast food chain, has been the frequent target of liberals who point out that the company’s chief executive publicly expressed his opposition to gay marriage.

The company’s charitable arm has also donated millions of dollars to groups who have lobbied against same-sex unions.

In 2017 and 2018, the Chick-fil-A Foundation gave $2.4 million to the Missouri-based Fellowship of Christian Athletes for sports camps for underserved youth and $165,000 to the Salvation Army to buy Christmas gifts for needy children.

In 2019, Chick-fil-A said it would no longer contribute to those organizations. In 2012, then-Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy said in several interviews that he didnt support gay marriage.

In more recent interviews, Cathy the son of Chick-fil-As founder reiterated his personal beliefs but said he treats all customers with respect.

In 2019, city-owned airports in San Antonio, Texas, and Buffalo, NY, deliberately excluded Chick-fil-A from concession contracts due to the company’s past stance on LGBTQ issues.

A year later, Chick-fil-A announced that it was no longer seeking to open a restaurant in the San Antonio airport despite the fact that the city eventually relented.

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