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Hollywood Chick-fil-A Owner on Anti-Gay Comments: 'Those Were His Personal Views'

Photo via Chick-fil-A on Facebook.
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The nationwide backlash from Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's controversial comments regarding homosexuality and same-sex marriage has been particularly strong in Los Angeles and especially in the entertainment industry. Celebrities, like The Office's Ed Helms, have denounced the Georgia-based fast food chain's comments, and the Jim Henson Company publicly severed all ties with Chick-fil-A. Now, the company is feeling the heat from the actual neighborhood of Hollywood.

Jeremiah Cillpam, the owner of the Chick-fil-A Hollywood location on the corner of Sunset and Highland, issued a letter on Facebook today attempting to create some distance between him and the company. He writes:

We strive to ensure that every guest receives amazing food and service regardless of belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender... I know that some of our guests are upset by comments made by Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A Inc. He has made it clear to me those were his personal views, and that his intent was not to speak on behalf of every Chick-fil-A owner. We hope those who are upset will look at their relationship with our restaurant, The Hollywood Chick-fil-A, and allow us to continue to serve them.

The Huffington Post reports that Cillpam,
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who lost one of his own today, has had a long relationship with Cathy, which began in 2002 when the then 20-year-old Cillpam was personally invited to a Cathy family dinner as well as Chick-fil-A's annual franchisee meeting. HuffPo adds that Cillpam is a leader at Young Life, a Christian youth ministry that prohibits gays and lesbians from serving as staff or volunteers. The young North Carolinian businessman has yet to explicitly outline his stance on same-sex rights, but we're wagering it's probably in line with the staunchly anti-gay views of his company and ministry.

Is Cillpam's letter a genuine olive branch to a neighborhood that's long been hostile to his company's anti-gay outlook? Or is it a cynical move to placate protestors into putting down the signs and picking up the chicken strips? Let us know in the comments section!