A Chick-fil-A logo is seen on a take out bag at one of its restaurants on July 28, 2012 in Bethesda, Maryland. Chick-fil-A, with more than 1,600 outlets mainly in the southern United States, has become the target of gay rights activists and their allies after president Dan Cathy came out against same-sex marriage last week.
UPDATED: 11:19 a.m. Thursday
: The Atlanta-based chain
hasn’t released sales figures from the supporter-driven appreciation day Wednesday another statement released Thursday morning marketing executive vice president Steve Robinson confirmed record sales had been achieved.
Overnight and early Thursday, there were many reports about brisk business and long lines inside and outside restaurants as well as possibly breaking records in sales including megachurch pastor Rick Warren’s tweet sent Wednesday night:
In July, Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press his company backed “the biblical definition of the family unit.” His comment sparked criticism among individuals and groups who support gay marriage and prompted some mayors to announce plans to block the Atlanta-based company’s expansion plans in their cities.
Cathy’s comments about the definition of marriage have prompted some consumers to embrace the company (known for its chicken sandwiches and for putting faith before the bottomline by closing on Sundays) more boldy, while others, such as D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray to label the company discriminatory or even “hate chicken.”
Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee declared today “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” a call to action for fans of the chicken chain and supporters of Cathy’s stance.
The furorhas prompted debate about individual religious and free speech rights, the role of commerce on social issues and whether stances taken by governmental leaders could translate into suppressing the activities of others whose positions they find objectionable.
View Photo Gallery: Mike Huckabee urged conservatives to support Chick-fil-A outlets on Wednesday in support of the ownership’s stand against same-sex marriage. Traffic increased, two days ahead of a call by the chain’s opponents for a boycott.
“Opponents of the company’s stance are planning ‘Kiss Mor Chiks’ for Friday, when they are encouraging people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country and kiss each other,” the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
According to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the issue isn’t just about marriage. A fact sheet posted on GLAAD’s Web site Wednesday morning cited past actions attributed to the company. It reads, in part:
Throughout the day, the appreciation day gained momentum, with Chick-fil-A supporters and critics standing in lines to dine or organizing counter protests Wednesday and later in the week.
Your Take: Have you taken a stand on Chick-fil-A’s marriage controversy? Did you take up Mike Huckabee’s case or are you more likely to stay away from the sandwich shop in protest? Is the gay rights cause now a food fight? Will you continue to eat at Chick-fil-A?
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