by: Essex Porter Updated:
SEATTLE - The fast-food chain owned by a family that vocally opposes same-sex marriage is planning to open a restaurant in Seattle, a city that overwhelmingly approved marriage equality.
Chick-fil-A attracted protests last summer, after company President Dave Cherry told a radio show, "I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about."
Planning documents show Chick-fil-A is preparing to file an application to build an outlet at Northeast Northgate Way and Roosevelt Way Northeast.
"I'm stunned," said state Sen. Ed Murray. Murray would become Seattle's first openly gay mayor if his challenge to incumbent Mike McGinn is successful.
"If they want to be in Seattle, they have to obey the civil rights laws that protect our citizens, civil rights laws that I passed," Murray said.
Neither Murray nor McGinn wants to see Chick-fil-A in Seattle, but neither would try to use mayoral powers to block it.
"We'll process the application according to the rules," McGinn said. "The land-use code doesn't have a provision about bigotry of owners."
"Simply having a mayor being able to say this business can be here and this business can't, I don't think that is a democratic process," said Murray.
Whoever is elected mayor may not have much leverage. The planning department says Chick-fil-A may likely not need to ask for any special zoning to build on the Northgate area site. And approval may not require a public hearing.