Chick-Fil-A protest spikes sales for Md. business

Hamil R. Harris Hamil R. Harris Crowds of patrons line up inside and outside of the Chick-fil-A restaurant in Landover. … Continued

Hamil R. Harris

Hamil R. Harris

Crowds of patrons line up inside and outside of the Chick-fil-A restaurant in Landover.

It was the lunch hour and a long line of cars snaked around the Chick-Fil-A restaurant at the Boulevard Capital Centre and inside the Landover restaurant a manager was needed to direct people to five different lines packed in front of the counter.

Since opening in 2003, this Prince George’s County Chick-Fil-A has earned national recognition for its sales, but on Wednesday people came to the restaurant to satisfy their political appetite as well as their hunger in the wake of a firestorm sparked by the chicken giants owner that was offended members of the gay community.

“The protest against Chick-Fil-A is the very reason I am here today,” said Darin Anderson, 40, a government worker from Anne Arundel County. “More and more you see people protesting against things that used to be fundamental in America.”

Brandon Small, 29, a sales manager for a Largo firm, said, “This protest just seems like another form a religious persecution. The owner of Chick-Fil-A wasn’t talking against gay people he was expressing his own views.”

Hamil R. Harris

Hamil R. Harris

Brandon Small, 29, a Christian salesman, stops by Chick-fil-A for lunch. He calls protest, ” a new form of persecution against Christians.”

In a comments published in the Baptist Press on July 16, Chick-Fil-A’s President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Cathy reportedly said that his company is very supportive of family in terms of “the biblical definition of the family unit.” He went onto say, “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

Following Cathy’s comments, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino sent a letter to Chick-Fil-A official urging them to reconsider putting a store in a popular Boston location and other big city mayors weighed in including D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray who said that the restaurant wasn’t welcomed in the District.

On Friday, gay activists plan to stage a “Kiss-In” at a number of chick-Fil-A stores across the country and locally, from Landover to Rockville, people are sounding off on a issue that has divided people along political and religious lines.

Marta Silva said while she came to Landover to pick up a birth certificate for her child, she decided to eat at Chick-Fil-A to show her support.

“We decided to go over to the restaurant because it is not about what I believe but about what God says,” said Silva, who lives in Rockville. “This is not about gay people. We need to support all of God’s children, but we are to rest on the truth of the Lord.”

The firestorm over Chick-Fil-A has boosted sales at the Landover restaurant, said Keith Singletary, who owns the store and another store in Capitol Heights, Md., which is near the Washington, D.C., line.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received,” said Singletary, adding since the news broke, “We have seen an increase,” in terms of business.

Singletary declined to comment about the company’s president’s position on same-sex marriage.

“Our focus is very simple: We are just trying to serve a very good sandwich in a hospitable environment,” he said

Among those waiting in line to grab was Dan Goff.

“I think that it is ridiculous to think that the opinions of one man should be the basis of a protest against the entire company,” Goff said. “The mayor of Boston needs to get real.”

But Vanessa Bowling, spokesman for Equality Maryland , said, “It is definitely hurtful to see that there are people who disagree with the love that you share for someone and trying to get the legal rights that come along with marriage.”

Bowling said while Equality Maryland has endorsed any campaign against Chick-Fil-A the group also has benefited from the furor. Activists on the Internet have asked that $6.50, about the cost of a Chick-Fil-A meal, be donated to local groups.“We have gotten a lot of response.”

Bowling said the focus of the organization is the November election where people will go to the polls and vote on whether or not to endorse the Maryland Marriage Equality Act.

“Hopefully in Maryland the majority of people will speak and say that Maryland does support Marriage equality” Bowling said.

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  • alessandrareflections

    Conservatives need to support CFA and to boycott:

    Oreos (Nabisco, earlier this summer, put them in a bag featuring a cookie with a multicolored gay-pride stuffing)
    Cheerios, Pillsbury pastries and Green Giant vegetables (owner General Mills is opposing a Minnesota constitutional amendment that would outlaw gay marriage).
    JC Penney, which has put pictures of gay dads in its catalogs and uses Ellen Degeneres as its spokeswoman

  • loved1

    Mr. Cathy’s expressed views are in line with the majority of Americans as evidenced by the failure of gay marriage to make it pass voters in even the most liberal states. Obama supported his view until his campaign determined that he could earn more donations by making a different calculation.

    Attempts by politicians to hinder and impede Chik-fil-A’s business because of the owner’s religious views were probably the breaking point for many people who share that interpretation of the bible. All of the politicians who made statements about stopping Chik Fil A expansion in their locales should check with their attorneys general about a little thing called the first amendment and apologize.

  • cricket44

    So what we’ve learned is that many, many people are ignorant about what “freedom of speech” actually means and what Christianity is all about.

    Yippee skippee, dumb and angry won the day.

  • loved1

    The 1st amendment says that the government does not have the right to abridge the freedom of speech or free exercise of religion. When government officials around the country expressed their intent to take punitive action against a company because of its owner’s exercise of both they showed that they were willing to violate the 1st amendment. Whether or not you like it, people get it.

  • cthulu48

    I want to argue that this bullying of gays by chick-Fil-A is morally wrong in the sense that they don’t need to donate 2 million bucks a year to anti-gay organizations. You don’t have to pay anyone to make a gay person’s life difficutl. You can publicly express opinoins, of course… But you outnumber gays by 1000 to 1, right? Why the donations, and the need to publicly rally the straight troops to the chicken restaurant in a show of solidarity when gays are already mocked and vilified on a daily basis? It’s a sales pitch, and everyone has bought it, thinking this is about protest. It’s about chicken only, and they are victimizing these gay folks and ganging up on them when they have no intention of beefing with you. I just don’t like the 2 mil a year donations that they call “charity”. You can express opinions, but this seems awfully inhumane and judgmental behavior for Christians. Why do you need to pay to keep gays down? They are down already, due to the mumbers. It’s bullying an already bullied community and exploiting people’s religion to sell more chicken, and gays are the collateral damage. I feel like I’m watching a witch trial. But, these Christians won’t debate rationally, so why bother….

  • Vote Yes Scotland 2014

    White meat bigots

  • BadDayComing

    Sales are up, up, up!

  • FGSDFGASDFG

    For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow For he’s a jolly good fellow (pause), and so say all of us And so say all of us, and so say all of us For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow For he’s a jolly good fellow (pause), and so say all of us!

  • FGSDFGASDFG

    For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow For he’s a jolly good fellow (pause), and so say all of us And so say all of us, and so say all of us For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow For he’s a jolly good fellow (pause), and so say all of us!

  • monkey_poo_in_the_zoo

    Intolerant demagogue. See, not everyone is a barking seal at the circus. They have a right to have their own valid opinions that MAY counter yours! Did an ad hominem attack convey your point, or diminish it? Intolerance from the “We demand” faction…Kiss. Kiss. Buh-bye.

  • rich_m

    Americans are getting first hand preview of Obama’s big government in action. Any individual or private company disagreeing with progressive policy will be ridiculed by national media and banned from marketplace in disgrace. Tolerance of progressive mandates are not enough. Absolute endorsement of every aspect of progressive policy is requirement for all.

  • gbooksdc

    Tolerance is the biggest argument that the gay rights movement, as a minority, have going for them. They’re displaying a colossal intolerance here. They fail to understand that people with no particular animus towards gays simply feel that their faith commands them that homosexual marriage is not sanctioned by God. They want others to see their point of view, but they cannot see the other side and accept it for what it is. If you believe that God does not sanction homosexual marriage, then ipso facto you hate gays.

    Americans support tolerance. That is why gay marriage will ultimately win out. But they gay rights advocates need to understand that not all opposition to gay marriage is based on hatred of gays. If they force people to choose between gay rights and intolerance towards the religious/Christian community on one hand, and intolerance towards gays and embracing the religious/Christian community on the other (with tasty chicken to boot), they will lose. I support equal rights and gay marriage, I know too many decent, loving gays to be otherwise, but I have way more Christian friends than gay friends. And my Christian friends are not hateful people.

    Sooner or later, we as a nation, have to learn to agree to disagree, without demonizing those who disagree with us.

  • Mark Bo

    Pluck Chick fil a!

  • Dave

    There is a big difference between right and wrong. This whole experience has proved once again who is on the right and who isn’t. The left is full of hatred while we just happily go support a restaurant. They call for our deaths while we wish them a nice day. They demand we conform with their views while we just follow the law. It’s always the same. In times like these the masks are ripped off and we see them for who they are. After all, “even the devil disguises himself as an angel of light.” Remember that in November!

  • Goldeneye

    This brouhaha about Chick-fil-A has become yelpingly hilarious. What gays and lesbians, being married or not, do in their bedrooms is no one’s business. As for my part, I won’t boycott Chick-fil-A because they serve much more delectable sandwiches than the Golden Arches and similar outlets.do.