ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) — Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin says Chick-fil-A is getting “crucified” for the company president’s stance on gay marriage.

Palin told Fox News that several mayors who have called for the boycott of Chick-fil-A are taking a stance against the First Amendment.

“[C]alling for the boycott … has a chilling effect on our First Amendment rights,” Palin told Fox News. “And the owner of the Chick-fil-A business had merely voiced his personal opinion about supporting traditional definition of marriage, one boy, one girl, falling in love, getting married. And having voiced support for kind of that cornerstone of all civilization and all religions since the beginning of time, he then basically (got) crucified.”

The former Alaska governor called on people to back Dan Cathy, the Chick-fil-A president who said last month that the Atlanta-based company was “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.”

“Somebody who wants to protect our Constitution, all of our constitutional rights, including that freedom of speech, should speak out on behalf of (Cathy), whose business is being harmed by those who are intolerant and are bigoted and are hypocritical because they don’t agree with this man’s personal opinion and the sentiment that he shared and they want to see him shut down and shut out of some communities,” Palin explained to Fox News.

The mayors of Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., have said that the fast-food chain is not welcome in their cities. In New York, City Council Speaker Christie Quinn has asked New York University to evict the city’s only Chick-fil-A location from the campus.

To counter the proposed boycott, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee declared Wednesday “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

“The goal is simple: Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1,” Mike Huckabee said on its Facebook page, which already has more than 600,000 supporters.

Opponents of the company’s stance are planning “Kiss Mor Chiks” for Friday, when they are encouraging people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A stores around the country and kiss each other.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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