LAS VEGAS, August 7, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Mitt Romney’s decision not to condemn mayors threatening to deny Chick-fil-A the right to do business was a missed opportunity and may cost him votes in November, a growing chorus of social conservatives warn.

Last Friday in Las Vegas, when a reporter asked the Republican presidential nominee about the controversy over Chick-fil-A and charges about a diplomat’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, he replied, “Those are not things that are part of my campaign.” 

After company president Dan Cathy said he supported Biblical marriage, homosexual organizations called for a boycott, and several prominent Democratic mayors threatened to withhold permits for the Christian business to operate in their cities. The fast food chain broke sales records during the August 1 “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” called by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Christian radio talk show host Bryan Fischer asked, “Well, governor, exactly what was not a part of your campaign? The part about natural marriage? The part about freedom of religion? The part about freedom of speech? The part about freedom of entrepreneurship? What? If you will not publicly stand for those values, what will you stand for?” These questions were echoed by talk show host Mark Levin.

“Social conservatives have to make up their mind whether they should just simply stay at home, or go out there and vote for Romney,” Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said. “I’m astonished that he couldn’t even come to grips with the question. Leaving gays out of it, do we want the chief executives, the mayors of large cities trying to intimidate, using the power of government against private enterprises whose politics they disagree with? I think it’s a pretty simple issue.”

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Several conservative writers confessed to being flummoxed by Romney’s absence, calling it a “missed opportunity.”

“I don’t understand why Mitt Romney doesn’t just get his Secret Service detail and take his press corps down to a Chicken-fil-A and show solidarity with these people,” said columnist and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. “It’s instinct. Reagan would have walked right on down there naturally.”

To excite the party’s base, Richard Viguerie, a conservative activist for more than 50 years, has suggested the GOP invite Dan Cathy to address the Republican National Convention. “Republicans should oblige President Obama’s desire to make same-sex marriage a central issue in the November election, and campaign unequivocally as the party of the traditional values Dan Cathy stood for,” Viguerie wrote

Even prominent members of the party’s neoconservative wing, which has little time for social issues and generally supports the homosexual lobby, encouraged Romney to stop at Chick-fil-A. “Didn’t happen,” wrote Bill Kristol.

Some supporters of same-sex “marriage” have defended the beleaguered chicken chain.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a social liberal who considered running against Romney as an independent presidential candidate, said “it’s inappropriate for a city government or a state government or the federal government to look at somebody’s political views and decide whether or not they can live in the city or operate a business in the city or work for somebody in the city.”

Congressman Barney Frank, who recently “married” his boyfriend, agreed, “I don’t think government should discriminate against Chick-fil-A because of the views of the owner.”/ 

Even Antoine Dodson, the flamboyantly homosexual subject of a viral video, has said, “A lot of people from the gay community was [sic] actually telling me not to eat at Chick-fil-A and then you know, I started having these flashbacks, because I started believing like, the gay community — we have went [sic] from being bullied to becoming bullies,” he said. “And I don’t think that that is fair, because I’m like, aren’t we like in America? Like, we have freedom of speech.” 

“I don’t think it’s American,” he said.