The Starting Line — Fighting the ‘Homosexual Agenda’ at Chick-fil-A in San Diego

The national Chick-fil-A controversy rolled into the San Diego media headlights yesterday as thousands of people lined up to buy deep fried chicken sandwiches at local outlets. Some felt they were making a statement (incorrectly, as it turns out) in support of the first amendment, as some big-city mayors have publicly stated that Chick-fil-A would not be welcome to set up shop in their cities. Others joined the lines at the fast food outlets because of religious beliefs. And still others were motivated by deeper feelings of animosity towards homosexuals; feelings that most of us would describe as outright bigotry.

The UT San Diego’s TV star Roger Hedgecock, coming off of an on-air love-fest with publisher Doug Manchester (don’t worry, it was very manly fawning), aired taped interviews with customers from the restaurant’s midway district location. He went on to describe the Chick-fil-A ‘Customer Appreciation Day’ as part of the battle against the ‘homosexual agenda’, warning that ‘they’ were trying to take over.

One group staying mostly silent on the issue are the gay, lesbian and bisexual employees who happen to work at Chick-fil-A restaurants. One gay employee who works at the company’s Atlanta , Georgia headquarters anonymously told the Huffington Post that he is getting it from both sides.

 “On the one hand, there is the customer who came in and said he supported Dan Cathy and then “continues to say something truly homophobic, e.g. ‘I’m so glad you don’t support the queers, I can eat in peace,'” the employee, who is 23 and has worked for Chick-fil-A since he was 16, wrote in an email. On the other hand, he continued, “I was yelled at for being a god-loving, conservative, homophobic Christian while walking some food out to a guest in a mall dining room.”

 While conservative commentators have said that the current turmoil is all about comments made by the company’s president, Dan Cathy denouncing same sex marriage, they generally ignore the $5 million that Chick-fil-A has donated to groups like Family Research Council and Exodus International. The Family Research Council is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, while Exodus International is a Christian Ministry that has long endorsed ex-gay therapy, a controversial practice of “curing” gay people that mainstream mental health organizations have disavowed.

And a letter to the editor in today’s printed version of UT-San Diego from Lakeside resident Chapulina Ramos quite appropriately questions why publisher Doug Manchester’s minions on the editorial board (who sought to tar boycott proponents with the term ‘thugishness”) have failed to denounce religious entities that seek to impose their own beliefs on others, as lawsuits seeking to deny women reproductive health care under the Affordable Care Act are seeking to impose.

Meanwhile, the protest that spawned yesterday’s counter-protest is still slated for this Friday. Same-sex ‘Kiss-Ins’ are scheduled for Chick-fil-A locations nationally; the San Diego event is slated for the restaurant at 3570 Sports Arena Boulevard San Diego, CA starting at 5pm. A simultaneous Kiss-In is planned in Oceanside at the Chick-fil-A Quarry Creek location, 3475 Marron Rd.

DeMaio’s got the dough, Filner’s got the hired gun… The race for San Diego’s top spot continues to generate headlines, as financial reports for the period ending in June showed City Councilman Carl DeMaio raising far more funds than Congressman Bob Filner in the first few weeks following the primary. Veteran GOP spinmeister Tom Shepard, who’s guided three successful mayoral campaigns for Republican candidates, starting with Roger Hedgecock and most recently Jerry Sanders, made waves yesterday as the media learned that he was joining the Filner campaign.

Tea Party activist Brian Brady of Solana Beach actually broke the news several days ago, writing in the local conserv blog SDRostra that the move was likely to happen after he noticed a series of Facebook postings by Shepard:

 Watch Tom Shepard, Fletcher’s campaign consultant.  In the past seven days, he’s linked three stories on his Facebook wall:  one about the ‘decline of the California Republican Party,’ one about Carl DeMaio’s ‘flip-flops,’ and one about San Jose and San Diego being ‘islands of sanity’ for voting for pension reform.  Shepard is telling us the message the Filner/Fletcher campaign intends to use.”

  Nathan Fletcher has, by the way, not endorsed Filner in the Mayoral contest.

DeMaio’s campaign manager Ryan Clumpner, released a statement saying, “Our next mayor will be chosen by voters, not a bitter political consultant.

Fidel sends a secret code message to Filner – “Hire Tom Shepard”

We’re not quite so sure who’s the bitter one here: Shepard’s brush with the law nearly two decades ago (He pled guilty to a misdemeanor conspiracy charge stemming from activities on behalf of the Hedgecock campaign) suddenly became newsworthy again, and a prominent DeMaio supporter sought to remind people that Shepard was, gasp, a Democrat three decades ago when he served as Mayor of Del Mar.

 And, speaking of bitter, here’s a comment at SDRostra by ‘The Mole’ regarding the Mayoral contest:

Now the question is, “Can Carl DeMaio and his energetic allies continue to drive the issues?” If so, he will probably win. Wisconsinshows what can happen if there is no let up. If not, then the almost grandfatherly socialist Patron [Filner] glides into the mayors office to continue building a lovely “Havana by the Pacific”.

San Diego school administrators get pay raises, teachers not happy…  Employees for the San Diego Unified School District received their first paycheck for the 2012-13 school year yesterday. Teachers, who were originally slated to see a 2.7% increase in pay for the restoration of furlough days and another 2% increase negotiated with the district last year, are looking at an additional 14 furlough days this year should Gov. Brown’s tax increase initiative fail to gain voter approval in November.  Members of the activist teachers group, the Breakfast Club Action Group, were quick to point out that administrators and classified staff for San Diego Schools actually got a pay raise in their checks yesterday, saying, “Unlike us, they didn’t fall for the District’s “Layoffs versus Concessions” trap.”

San Diego Unified, according to Breakfast Group’s blog, was the beneficiary of a nearly $800 thousand windfall recently as it was disclosed that one of their healthcare providers, American Specialty Health, failed to meet the provisions of the Affordable Healthcare Act that require a set percentage of premiums collected on actual patient care. They’re saying that their estimate of $783,090, which was either refunded or will be deducted from next year’s premiums paid by SDUSD, should be used to bring back teachers who were not covered by the settlement that their union (SDEA) and the district.

Repeat after me: There is no climate change, it’s just a liberal conspiracy… Nearly 220 counties in a dozen drought-stricken states joined the government’s list of natural disaster areas yesterday.  This means that more than half of all U.S. counties – 1,584 in 32 states – have been designated primary disaster areas this growing season, as the result of a drought that’s considered the worst in decades.

The US Department of Agriculture says that nearly half of the nation’s corn crop is rated as poor to very poor, 37% percent of the soybeans are also classified that way and nearly three-quarters of U.S. cattle acreage is in drought-affected areas. The potential financial fallout in the nation’s midsection appears to be intensifying, amid concerns about the prospects of a disastrous harvest season triggering another recession.

Third Party candidate finds a way to get coverage in the mainstream media… Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and her running mate were arrested yesterday as party supporters staged a protest Wednesday against Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored mortgage lender, over housing foreclosures. Stein and her running mate, Philadelphia activist Cheri Honkala, were among five people arrested as they staged a sit-in when they were denied access to the office building housing the financial instution.

Quit your whining, already… Finally, a story ripped from the website of the (satirical) Onion for those of you who have been online complaining about coverage of the Summer Olympic Games:

NBC On Olympics Coverage: ‘Sorry We Didn’t Alter The Laws Of Space And Time To Accommodate People’s Schedules’

THE ONION NEW YORK—Responding to widespread criticism of its decision to air coverage of Olympic events on a six-hour time delay, NBC issued an apology Tuesday to American viewers, saying it was really, really sorry for failing to alter the governing laws of space and time to accommodate everyone’s precious schedules.

“We at NBC would like to sincerely apologize for not doing something so simple as to modify the physical properties of the known universe so that you could go home and watch the women’s 100-meter backstroke live,” chief digital officer Vivian Schiller said in response to widespread criticism on social media, adding that the network would “get one of our theoretical physicists right on that for you.” “On second thought, we really should have considered manipulating the invariant properties of the space-time continuum while we were still in the planning stages of our coverage, and, boy, it sure was silly of us not to.” Schiller noted that if viewers continue to be dissatisfied with the network’s coverage, they can feel free to switch over to an alternate plane of reality wherein temporal events and the subjective experience of said events may be shifted at will.

Tweet of the Day:

 Jeremy Bingaman (@iowaradioguy

I hear the lines are so long at Chick fil-A today that the company is considering hating black people too.

Feed yourself:  North Park’s Sea Rocket Bistro will be hosting a showing this evening of the documentary Just Do It tonight.  It’s a film about environmental activists and how they put their lives on the line to achieve results that make a difference. A ‘mix and mingle’ hour starts at 7pm, and the film screening itself will begin around 8pm.

On This Day:  In 1776 members of the Continental Congress began adding their signatures to the Declaration of Independence. In 1962 Robert Zimmerman legally changed his name to Bob Dylan. In 1983 the U.S. House of Representatives approved a law that designated the third Monday of January would be a federal holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The law was signed by President Reagan on November 2.

Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmer’s Markets: Carmel Valley (Canyon Crest Academy 5951 Village Center Loop Road) 3:30 – 7:00 pm, Chula Vista(Downtown, Center St. & Third Ave.) 3 –7 pm, Linda Vista  (6900 Linda Vista Road Between Comstock & Ulric) 2 – 7 pm, North Park (CVSPharmacy parking lot 3151 University & 32nd St.) 3 – 7 pm, Oceanside Market & Faire (Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101) 9 am – 1 pm,Oceanside Sunset (Tremont & Pier View Way) 5 –9 pm, San Carlos (Pershing Middle School 8204 San Carlos Drive) 4 – 7 pm, SDSU Farmers’ Market (Campanile Walkway btw Hepner Hall & Love Library) 10 – 3 pm, University Town Center  (Genesee Ave. at UTC Westfield Shopping Plaza) 3 – 7 pm.

I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas toDougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org    Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.


Doug Porter

Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35 year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He's won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
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  1. avatar says

    I tend to vote with my wallet and personally boycott businesses I deem counterintuitive to my long term economic interests, but CFA is not one of them. I’m going to eat there regardless of religious belief or lack thereof , irrespective of politically correct trends, but mostly because I like the chicken sammitches & cole slaw, dammit.

    • avatar says

      Meanwhile I boycott them not because of any reaction to the homophobic/religion-pushing philosophy of their owners, but because I ate there once and thought the food sucked. About the only good thing I got out of the experience was several fistfuls of swiped Tabasco packets to put on more edible fare elsewhere. Though if I weren’t already avoiding the chain due to their failure to peddle edible failure, I probably would start due to the recent ruckus.

      Hell, I avoid In-n-Out because of the Bible verses on packaging, and from what I hear the crap they sell is actually for the most part digestible.

  2. avatarjim says

    “Others joined the lines at the fast food outlets because of religious beliefs. And still others were motivated by deeper feelings of animosity towards homosexuals; feelings that most of us would describe as outright bigotry”

    Why do people arguing for gay marriage think its because of religious issues or of hatred? I know quite a number of growing people who are sick and tired of this issue. Im not religious but I agree with mr chick filet. These gay gestapo like tactics are going to backfire horribly. There’s one thing this article has right is that the actual gays arent doing or saying much. They typical bleeding heart liberal are people without no kids. And theres no trying to explain what its like to see life through a childs eyes they just dont enderstand. The gays know this issue is being driven simply because its an election year nothing more. My child is 5 and if she grows up to be gay fine I want it to be her choice. Gay marraige is not a rated ‘G’ subject matter. It will never be just ask Disney:) Now you guys might be ready for a matrix like 24 hr Merovingian orgy, the most of us arent. Well maybe 1 night a week lol. The gay friends I have wish both sides would just stfu. According to who does the survey gays make up 1-2 % of the US population. That figure alone should put in perspective how arrogantly audacious this issue is. Gays are being persecuted all over the world “there are no gays in iran” , Jamaica, Nigeria and many other countries are killing gays in horrible ways. And u guys fall lockstep in line with Obama drum beat while he spends this country into oblivion. Meanwhile the Dink liberals stay busy pissing off people who normally could give a crap either way.

    • avatarAndy Cohen says

      The reason people attribute the opposition to gay marriage as bigots or religious zealots is because their entire reasoning for being against gay marriage is based on religious arguments. Every reason they trot out is directly linked to their own religious beliefs and their interpretation of the Bible. And they’re labeled as bigots because the leaders of the opposition often cite the desire to go so far as outlaw homosexuality altogether, and possibly even imprison gay people just for being gay. They treat gays exactly like blacks were treated in the deep South: Like they’re somehow subhuman garbage, and their existence should be disavowed altogether.

      In short, their pastors and their churches tell them explicitly to hate gay people, so they hate gay people. Look no further than Chick-fil-a President Cathy’s argument–it’s strictly based on his religious beliefs.

      Not very Christ-like if you ask me.

      • avatarRB says

        The reason the opposition to gay marriage comes from religious people is that marriage is a historically, culturally, ethnically, and a morally based union. The government should recognize the civil union portion of a legal union, for both same sex and opposite sex unions, not marriage. Government sponsored marriage is a violation of the notion of the separation of church and state.

        The real villain in this debate is the government. If anyone is violating the rights of gays in their civil unions by laws and regulations, it is big government with its massive tax laws and oppressive regulations.

        It is interesting that the side on the left always attacks the Bible and Christian values and ignores the Koran and Muslim values. Recently the Mayor of Chicago, a Democrat, came out and ask Mr Cathy and his business to stay out of Chicago.
        But while this political mayor un-welcomed Cathy for his views on gay marriage, he at the same time welcomed Rev. Farrakhan to the city. Farrakhan and Cathy have the same position on gay marriage.

        • avatarPhilly Joe Swendoza says

          An important overlooked fact. Marriage in antiqity was for most people a short lived arrangement intended to insure the transfer of property in case of death, which occured at a very young age for most. It was, quite frankly, a defense against their neighbors, especially the better off, who tended to live longer & thus in a position to sieze the unclaimed or unprotected property of the dead. It did not become a “sacrament” until the passing of many years & many cultures. To wed, if you will, our current meaning of marriage to a higher morality than simple justice & fairness can only lead us to Chick-Fil-A chicken fat.

          • avatarRB says

            Marriage was not estate planning. While many elements such as property transfer occurred as the result of the union, the primary reason for religious control is the propagation of the religion through marriage and the birth of new members within the religious organization. When my mother (Lutheran) married my father (Catholic) as recently as 1950, she was required to raise the children as Catholic and my father was required to marry in the Catholic church.

            Marriage is a religious concept adopted by the state, when their was no separation of church and state.

            • avatarPhilly Joe Swendoza says


              I view this Chick-Fil-A controversy as not about religion, but about marriage, specifically the “Biblical Definition” of marriage. Let’s stipulate that “marriage” existed before Christianity. So where does Christianity come in? Is it not possible that marriage as a sacrament grew out of the need to record it in writing for strictly secular purposes? After all, the Church for centuries was the most convenient & reliable place to get something put into writing. Remember also that when we speak of property transfer during the Dark Ages, we must include people as property.

              But when a legal document turned into a sacrament & by whose hand is really beside the point. The very concept of a “Biblical Definition” of marriage is extremely problematic. Let’s start with the simple fact that Jesus never spoke of sex, marriage, incest, etc., although the Bible is full of this stuff. Jesus led by example. He saved Mary Magdalene & made her his second in command. Never married.

              BTW, I consider myself to be an”Originalist Christian,” meaning I embrace the words, teachings & actions of Jesus for strictly secular guidance. I believe that his message was lead a righteous life & your spiritual needs & obligations would take care of themselves. He was a great rabbi, not a god. But you don’t need to be a god to be a great historical figure. And you don’t need to be religious to know that Chick-Fil-A propaganda & food are both bad for you.

    • avatarHolly says


      Are you serious? Groups like the Family Research Council which Chick-fil-a funds actually lobby to support bills like Uganda’s “kill gay” bill. This isn’t about gay marriage. This is about the ongoing social and cultural persecution of the LGBTQ community around the world. Boycotting Chick-fil-a and other anti-gay corporations is one piece of a larger movement that calls for the liberation of all oppressed people. This is a worldwide struggle, not just a one-day protest, and it involves people taking action against bigotry.

      Meanwhile, you are saying you support anti-gay policies and that gay people just aren’t doing anything. Wondering who the oppressor is? Take some time to really think what attitude you are pushing. Want to really support those being killed? Those denied housing, jobs, medication, love? Listen to them when they speak out and become an ally.

      See some of you all on the ground today!

    • avatarGoatskull says

      ” They typical bleeding heart liberal are people without no kids.”

      Holly crap did you make it past the 3rd grade? OK in knowing what your trying to say, how do you know whether or not the typical “bleeding heart liberal” has kids or not? Nearly all bleeding heart liberals I know are straight, still married to their first spouse and have children.

    • avatarGoatskull says

      You need a lot more than an edit button. I hope your five year old child will be going through a good school system because her dad has the vocabulary and cognitive ability of a five year old.

  3. avatarPhilly Joe Swendoza says

    Yesterday I noticed the front page photo on the Duke of Manchester’s U-T San Diego. It struck me not just because it was a shot of the Chick-Fil-A buycott, but because it seemed a departure from the usual fare. It seems more & more, the featured photo is of a warrior or an athlete, like some pantheon of heroes beckoning us ever onward & upward into the realm of the gods & the 1%. Almost encouraging to see the U-T goose the chicken once in while rather than spanking the money monkey. Bottom line: I defy anybody to find the “Biblical Definition” of marriage in the words of Jesus.

  4. avatarFormer SD-er says

    I remember Hedgecock. He tried to push “no gas Thursdays,” figuring that if no one bought gas on those days, it would force petroleum companies to lower prices due to their suffering. Roger forgot that people have to gas up their cars at some point, so it just meant higher sales the other 6 days of the week.

    Now the gays are “taking over.” Really? A mass conversion is underway, worse than the Mormons converting dead folks?

    He has been very successful with so little understanding of anything, that he may even be competition for George W. Bush.


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