Customers lined up at Chick-Fil-A at the Wednesday as part of an organized effort to support the company after its president said that he does not condone gay marriage.
Teens Alessaia Fiucci and Shannon Roberts said they were eating at Chick-Fil-A to support Dan Cathy, who said in an interview earlier this month that he supports the “Biblical definition of the family unit,” adding,
"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about.”
“[I’m here] because I’m a Christian and I love the Lord and the Bible says that this isn’t allowed,” said Fiucci.
“I came here simply to support the president’s right to speak his mind," said Jim Lucas. "And it doesn’t make too much difference if I believe what he believes or not, but I believe he’s got the right to speak out.“
The line for the fast-food chicken extended through the food court at 7 p.m. Wednesday with a couple dozen hungry people.
The effort, called Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, was sparked by former Arkansas governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee.
“Let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1.”
Since the dispute began, politicians on both sides of the debate have taken stances: the mayors of Boston and Chicago have signaled disapproval for the stance, even going so far as to suggest the the chain should not try to open in their cities.
To counter today's show of support, one woman has organized National Same-Sex Kiss Day for this Friday, Aug. 3, when she encourages same-sex couples to kiss at their local Chick-Fil-A.
Kyle Baird said he had two reasons for buying Chick-Fil-A on Wednesday. “I’m a lawyer and I’m Christian and I share the belief about traditional marriage,” he said, “but also, as someone who believes in freedom of speech and freedom of religion, I think it’s appalling what these cities are trying to do. It’s just not their place.”
“I don’t really know much about it, except that he expressed himself, and people see it as being a hate crime,” said Aaron Hemphill, a high school freshman who was eating with his grandfather. “I feel he said what he felt was right.”
At least one customer was not there to make a political or religious statement.
“It’s sad that the food that I enjoy eating has turned political. I don’t think that it should matter,” said Christine Jones. “If I want to eat Chick-Fil-A I should be able to without it meaning anything.”
And she had one more good reason to eat what she wants: “I’m pregnant.”