Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day Rallies Supporters in Wake of Gay Marriage Firestorm

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An unofficial Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day brought hundreds of thousands of fast food lovers out to the support the embattled restaurant, which has endured serious criticism resulting from its ownership's gay marriage stance.

Supporters converged on its locations on Wednesday after former GOP presidential hopeful and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee declared it to be Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day called on people to show support a great business.

Tea Party groups, conservative activists and countless ordinary patrons flocked to the chain, which has been under fire since chief executive Dan Cathy recently stated that he and his company were against gay marriage.

The comments drew strong reactions, with customers pledging to boycott the chain and some mayors - most notably Boston's Tom Menino and Chicago's Rahm Emanuel - proclaiming they would not allow Chick-fil-A in their cities.

Interestingly, many came out to support the restaurant and Cathy's religious beliefs, even if they say they are less than religious themselves.

"I'm not getting myself involved in the issue of gay marriage and all that, I'm not getting involved in a religious debate," Gwilym McGrew said.

"I'm getting involved in the government and the media basically putting their thumb on a businessperson for his religious beliefs."

Mark Almlie said he'd never even had Chick-fil-A food, but drove in Wednesday to support "people that stand up for what they believe in."

"I'm not against gay rights by any means, but I think this guy is getting a bad rap," Ed Vatter added. "Plus, the food's pretty good."

Some customers said they waited in line over an hour, and were told it would take about even longer before they were able to order their food.

They were unswayed.

"That man - just like you or I - has a right to say, 'This is what I believe' and not be punished for it," Karen Kenney told the L.A. Times.

In all, it was an overwhelming response to the backlash of recent weeks, which saw protests outside restaurants and calls to boycott the chain.

Actor Ed Helms was among the first to boycott Chick-fil-A over the issue; many other stars and regular people alike have urged the same.

What do you think of efforts to boycott Chick-fil-A?

 

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A lot of people could careless about his opinion or the freedom of speech part of it but more about how the money they spend there goes to antigay groups that fight gay marriage. I personally don't care if he is against it, because that's just him, it doesn't reflect the whole company. It doesnt mean every store and employees believe the same thing. I would though like to see money I spend put into groups that feed people, help the poor, ect. Rather than a hate filled group. I used to eat there a lot, but I don't support anti-gay groups and by spending money there your basically supporting it. That is most peoples problem with this, not just because he voiced his opinion. I actually would rather thank him for letting everyone know how he feels and what he donates to, I wish others would do the same so I know what the money I spend goes to. Ill be buying more kraft mac and cheese myself :)

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It is sad when elected officals do not want to improve their cities' economies. If Chick-fil-A wanted to build a restuarant in Boston or Chicago, Chick-fil-A would invest a ton of money into their community. Lets just see what they would invest: land to build on, building permits, business licenses, construction and architecture and thats just to open it. Now, ongoing revenue lost by these cities: Wages of 30-40 people, business taxes, income taxes, etc. That is a lot of revenue lost and that is just the beginning. Emanuel and Menino need to read the constitution and that first amendment mentions freedom of speech-key word here is FREEDOM. A lot of soldiers died for it.

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What happen to Freedom of Speech? I personally think that Chick fil A has that right to voice there opinion...I also is against gay marriages..That lifestyle was created by the Devil.....So I say to hell with Gay Marriages...

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Every American citizen has the right to their personal beliefs and that includes the founder of Chic-fil-A! Heather, one thing you must not have understood before adding your opinion here is that Dan Cathy did not make his comment regarding his beliefs on behalf of the company and he said it to a Christian newspaper! The haters who want tolerance for their beliefs, yet hypocritically deny the beliefs of others, picked out that one comment of the interview and ran with it! You also need to use a spell checker ;-)

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The Restaurant is worth Billions. I will go out on a limb and say the man is smart. Those who won't go there probably would not go anyway and who cares. Personally- I would never watch another George Clooney film or buy another Carrie Underwood CD. Let's see who blinks first. Gay rights activist- you are really showing the world arent you. We straight people we just don't go to a place of business but you protest. God- get a life.

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I will go there 3 times a week just as I always do. Everybody has an opinion and Celebrites are no more entitled to an opinion than anyone else. All these actors/singers jumping on the gay marriage bandwagon just to stay in the good graces of the entertainment industry. What people are possibly missing is that chick-Fil-a is a southern based restaurant and the views of establishments are of importance to people in this day and age. We have no interest much less desire to negotiate our beleifs in order to keep restless ones happy.

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He man is entitled to his opinion, as i am entitled to mine. He can feel how he wants, i just dont think that opinion should be brought into business. Thats not being a smart businessman. Businesses need to be nuetral about everything. I didnt go there and probably wont again just because he has decided to make it the companys stance.

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