Chick-fil-A controversy: Long Beach Councilman Daryl Supernaw criticized for supporting anti-LGBTQ business

The Long Beach LGBTQ Center has accused 4th District Councilman Daryl Supernaw of “homophobia and incitement towards The Center and the LGBTQ community” for supporting the opening of the new Chick-fil-A location at the Traffic Circle, which is part of Supernaw’s district. Photo: Stephanie Thai/Q Voice News.

UPDATE: Long Beach Councilman defends supporting Chick-fil-A

UPDATE: Long Beach City Councilman Daryl Supernaw sent Q Voice News an email saying, “We may not be issuing a statement today.”

LONG BEACH — The Long Beach LGBTQ Center has accused 4th District Councilman Daryl Supernaw of “homophobia and incitement towards The Center and the LGBTQ community” for supporting the opening of the new Chick-fil-A location at the Traffic Circle, which is part of Supernaw’s district.

CHICK-FIL-A = ANTI-LGBTQ

For more than five years, members of the LGBTQ community have boycotted Chick-fil-A ever since CEO Dan Cathy publicly said he opposes marriage equality and tax records revealed more than $1 million had been funneled to anti-LGBTQ activist organizations through the company’s private foundation.

SUPERNAW IGNORED CONCERNS

Porter Gilberg, the Center’s executive director, called out the councilman in an open letter that was emailed Tuesday night to several media outlets and city officials. Gilberg previously had asked Supernaw and Mayor Robert Garcia to publicly take a stand refuse any support for the greasy spoon, but Supernaw didn’t respond, which lead Gilberg to send the open letter, Gilberg said in an interview with Q Voice News. Garcia didn’t make a public statement, but during an August Twitter forum said he does not eat at the business due to its lack of support for LGBTQ equality.

In his remarks, Porter denounced Supernaw for congratulating Chick-fil-A in his community newsletter and publicizing the grand opening on Facebook with a photo of him eating a chicken sandwich. Gilberg also criticized Supernaw for ignoring emails from the Center and his constituents that raised concerns about Chick-fil-A before it opened at the Traffic Circle.

‘ACTIONS REEK OF HOMOPHOBIA’

“The openness with which you have ignored feedback from your constituents and The Center demonstrates a blatant disregard for LGBTQ people,” Gilberg said. “That you would prioritize the grand opening of a business with a longstanding history of discrimination over the concerns of your own community is shameful. Your actions reek of homophobia and incitement towards The Center and the LGBTQ community.”

When contacted by Q Voice News, Supernaw refused to answer any questions and said he would release a statement “soon.”

NOBODY SAID ANYTHING

The city’s Planning Commission approved the Traffic Circle development with the Chick-fil-A location, site of the former Hooman Toyota auto dealership, in January 2016. Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBTQ controversy wasn’t mentioned by anyone from the public or commissioners during the meeting.

Chick-fil-A also has locations in Cerritos, Lakewood, Torrance as well as the Long Beach Towne Center.

Staff Writer Phillip Zonkel contributed to this report.

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About the author

Stephanie Thai

Hailing from San Francisco, Stephanie Thai is a Southern Californian transplant. She spends her time writing, reading, and eating wherever she can, though not in that order. On her downtime, Thai takes 12-hour cat naps, hikes urban trails, and frequents travel websites to entertain her expensive hobby of traveling the globe.