Chick-fil-A supporters send message, eat chicken (+video)
Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country were packed with supporters Wednesday for 'Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.' In the wake of CEO Dan Cathy's views against gay marriage, and the subsequent boycott from gay-rights advocates, eating a Chick-fil-A sandwich has become a polarizing political statement.
(Page 2 of 2)
The response has been overwhelming, both from those who agree with the company’s views and people who see it as a defense of free speech and the right to do business. Conservative leaders, including onetime presidential hopeful Rick Santorum and Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick, have shown their support, as has the conservative Super PAC Citizens United. Some 633,000 Facebook users pledged to attend the event, and Chick-fil-A has dominated Twitter throughout the day.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
“If you believe that Christians should be able to express a biblical world view w/out fear of reprisal or demonization eat at #ChickFilA 2day,” tweeted Mark A. Moore Sr., under the Twitter handle @BishopMMoore. “Truly awesome to see all the Americans lining up today to support our core values & say no to the leftist attacks on our heritage #chickfila,” tweeted @ProudAmerican82.
The other side, though, may just be getting warmed up. In addition to the boycott, and declarations of nonsupport by left wing political leaders like Rahm Emmanuel and Boston mayor Thomas Menino (who added fuel to the First Amendment fire by suggesting that Chick fil-A was no longer welcome in his city), Chick-fil-A has been dropped by the Muppets. The Jim Henson Company ended its ties with the restaurant in the wake of the controversy and donated the money it received from the partnership to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). And gay rights advocates are planning a counter protest for Friday called “Kiss Mor Chiks,” encouraging same sex-couples to go to the chain’s restaurants and kiss each other.
Chick-Fil-A, meanwhile, is trying to stay out of it. “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” the company said in a press release soon after the controversy began. “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
The company also downplayed Wednesday's huge show of support: “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was not created by Chick-fil-A,” Executive Vice President Steve Robinson wrote in an e-mailed statement. “We appreciate all of our customers and are glad to serve them at any time.”
The company wouldn’t say if the spiked interest in the company had helped sales. “As a privately held company, Chick-fil-A does not comment publicly about our sales figures,” company spokesperson Hannah Wagner wrote via e-mail.
Meanwhile, down in Jacksonville Beach, my brother waited 15 minutes in line for his chicken sandwich. When members of our family get hungry for something specific, it’s hard to convince us otherwise. “I don’t agree with them, but I feel like it’s food, and it’s good food, so I’m going to eat it regardless,” he says.