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While hundreds of thousands partook in Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin repeated her support for the fast-food chain.

In a Fox News interview, the 2008 V.P. nominee defended Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s decision to publicly express anti-gay marriage views.

Moreover, she called backlash against Chick-fil-A an affront to free speech.

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“Well, that calling for the boycott is a real – has a chilling effect on our 1st Amendment rights,” Palin told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.

“And the owner of the Chick-fil-A business had merely voiced his personal opinion about supporting traditional definition of marriage.”

“One boy, one girl, falling in love, getting married.”

“Having voiced support for kind of that cornerstone of all civilization and all religions since the beginning of time, he then basically [is] getting crucified.”

Whichever side you’re on in the gay marriage debate, Sarah Palin’s interpretation of the 1st Amendment is interesting to say the least.

Dan Cathy certainly can express his opinions, but as the head of a popular company, has to expect repercussions from such statements.

People who disagree are also free to say and do what they want. Would Palin call boycotts of a pro-gay marriage restaurant an affront to free speech?

How is criticizing something one dislikes – for any reason – and deciding to not give it money akin to crucifying Cathy? Is he dead? Or in jail?

Cities trying to ban the store is a different story, but as far as private citizens go, isn’t boycotting Chick-fil-A basically the same as mobilizing support for a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day – the 1st Amendment at its finest?

We digress. If you missed it, Cathy sparked controversy last month when he responded to a question about his anti-gay marriage views.

He told an interviewer that he was “guilty as charged.”

“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,” Cathy said.

These comments have drawn angry responses from a number of politicians and public figures, including calls to boycott the business, sever partnerships and even block Chick-fil-A’s expansion into various cities.

Conservatives quickly rallied around the restaurant, with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee organizing a “Chick-fil-A Apprectiation Day” that gained grassroots momentum and a few high-profile backers on the right.

Palin also went to bat for the restaurant last month, sending out a picture of her and her husband, Todd, “supporting a great business.”

What’s your opinion on the Chick-fil-A controversy?