Chick-Fil-A Food Truck's D.C. Arrival Sparks Gay Rights Quandary

WASHINGTON -- Come for the chicken, stay for the controversy.

On Monday, DCist sent out a tweet exhorting chicken lovers to "rejoice" in the news that a Chick-Fil-A food truck soon will be coming to the nation's capital.

The truck is due to arrive April 9.

Some people -- notably food writer David Hagedorn and Dean Gold, owner of Cleveland Park restaurant Dino -- objected to DCist's tweet on political grounds. Namely, because of the chicken franchise's controversial politics -- the company has donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups.

They voiced their objections on Twitter (and elsewhere on the Internet):

DCist's commenters also had some unkind words, not just about Chick-Fil-A and its political leanings, but about DCist itself:

When did DCist become anti gay and a part of the hater movement! Please retract this post or at least tell the truth! MASSIVE FAIL on your part. I am disgusted at this post. HATE is not part of what DC or America is about. You should know better and you should hang your head in shame!

DCist did not hang its head in shame. On Tuesday, DCist's editor Martin Austermuhle put up a new blog post describing his reasons for reporting on Chick-Fil-A's food truck coming to the District (because it's news) and his surprise when detractors took to the Internet to lambaste DCist for publishing this news. He also engaged in some meta-analysis about how to some people food and politics are inextricably linked while others do not vet the politics of their eating establishments.

Austermuhle then posited that Dean Gold might have been more successful in making the point that "more information on the restaurant's charitable contributions could make people think twice about whether to eat there" had he "not gone on something of an Internet-wide verbal rampage yesterday," painting Austermuhle as "a closeted gay-basher."

The post ends with some great questions:

I am curious—what do you think? Did you know that Chick-fil-A supported anti-gay groups? Does that change your opinion of their food and whether you'll eat there in the future? How much should politics play a role in moving you to eat one place over another?

To which commenters have responded with a mix of new attacks, some genuine (and genuinely interesting) answers to the questions, and a rather foreboding: "Wait till the news breaks that Hitler invented cupcakes."

Photo by Flickr user DerekThomasLA