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Franklin Graham blasts NYC mayor for advocating Chick-fil-A boycott

A Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant in Atlanta in a July 2012 file photo.
A Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant in Atlanta in a July 2012 file photo. AP

Evangelist Franklin Graham lashed out at New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for implying New Yorkers should boycott Chick-fil-A, a fast-food chain with management known for conservative values.

De Blasio’s remarks came as a response to the Georgia-based chain’s plans to open a fourth New York location in Queens Center Mall, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

“What the ownership of Chick-fil-A has said is wrong,” de Blasio said last week, according to AJC. “I’m certainly not going to patronize them and I wouldn’t urge any other New Yorker to patronize them. But they do have a legal right.”

Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy has remarked that he is opposed to same-sex marriage, drawing criticism from LGBT rights advocates.

“Can you imagine a city where a popular, successful business is singled out and attacked by the mayor who calls for a boycott – all because the business owners let it be known that they operate by Christian principles and believe in God’s definition of marriage?” Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, said in a Facebook post.

“They just opened a new store in New York and Mayor De Blasio took the gloves off and came after them, calling for a boycott. Doesn’t this sound like bullying, intolerance, and discrimination? All because someone won’t roll over to the LGBT agenda.”

Graham himself has called for a boycott of companies with values he doesn’t agree with. Last summer, he pulled his two ministries’ accounts from Wells Fargo and urged other Christians to do the same after the bank aired a commercial featuring a same-sex couple.

And last month, Graham also took to Facebook to call PayPal a “hypocrite” for canceling its plans to expand into Charlotte because it opposes House Bill 2, North Carolina’s controversial new LGBT law that mandates transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate.

A check of the websites of Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Boone-based Samaritan’s Purse Wednesday show the two still list PayPal as a payment method for donations.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta