As you are aware, I have contacted your office multiple times and met with your staff to discuss concerns raised by one of your constituents regarding a Chick-fil-A opening in your district. For reference, I am attaching both emails (
attachments 1 and 2
Since you have been previously made aware of Chick-fil-A's longstanding history of hostility, ignorance, and bigotry towards the LGBTQ community it has come as quite a shock that you would issue a statement of congratulations to this corporation in your newsletter. Further, you chose to publicize your attendance at their grand opening on Facebook with an image of you eating one of their sandwiches.
The openness with which you have ignored feedback from your constituents and The Center demonstrates a blatant disregard for LGBTQ people. 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.
Your demeanor towards LGBTQ people, through this thinly veiled dog whistle, fuels the very people who regularly threaten LGBTQ people and institutions like our Center every day. I cannot begin to describe the pain we hear from youth kicked out of their homes, elders separated from their partners in care facilities, and victims of violent hate crimes in Long Beach who turn to The Center for support.
Through your actions, you have sent a message that you do not care about LGBTQ people, our safety, or our value to the community of Long Beach. Your actions demonstrate an allegiance to a homophobic corporation over the constituency you are supposed to represent. We are fortunate that the small-mindedness you have demonstrated is not representative of the majority of our elected leadership or our community as a whole.
I hope you will consider these concerns prior to your participation in any future city-wide LGBTQ events. Your presence will ring hallow for many.
At a minimum, the community of Long Beach deserves an apology for your disregard for our LGBTQ residents.
I am available at your convenience to discuss these concerns and potential remedies for the harm you have attempted to cause.