Chick-fil-A 'Kiss In' Eat Mor Chikin gay marriage equal rights - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Gay rights activists host Chick-fil-A 'Kiss In'

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(AP Photo/Northwest Florida Daily News, Nick Tomecek). Gay marriage supporters, from left, Emmie Hesley, Cathy Dear and Amy Paffenroth hold signs in front of a Chick-fil-A in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Northwest Florida Daily News, Nick Tomecek). Gay marriage supporters, from left, Emmie Hesley, Cathy Dear and Amy Paffenroth hold signs in front of a Chick-fil-A in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

ATLANTA (WBTV/AP) - Gay rights activists and other supporters of marriage equality planned a national "Kiss In" at Chick-fil-A restaurants Friday to protest the fast-food chain owners' opposition to same-sex unions.

Participants are encouraged to come to the fast-food chains and kiss a fellow demonstrator of the same sex. One organizer, Carly McGehee of Dallas, said she hopes the event helps gay youths "who feel isolated and are victims of bullying."

While organized protests are being planned for big cities like Atlanta, New York and Chicago, we wanted to know what about Charlotte.

The editor of Charlotte's gay newspaper, QNotes, Matt Comer says he hasn't heard of an organized Kiss-In at a Charlotte Chick-Fil-A.  He explains why.

"We have the Democratic National Convention going on,"  Comer said.  "A lot of people are working and organizing for that and in a few weeks we are having our big gay and lesbian Pride festival that will happen downtown.  Things like that may make a bigger difference than a single one night protest at Chic Fil-A."

"Without question, Dan Cathy has every right to voice his opinions and beliefs," Herndon Graddick, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said in a statement.

"But he should meet and get to know the people that he's speaking out against - the people who are harmed by his company's multi-million dollar donations to anti-gay hate groups working to hurt everyday LGBT Americans and break apart loving families," Graddick said.

"LGBT" is an abbreviation for "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender."

The gatherings come two days after hundreds of thousands of customers, many of them conservative Christians, recognized "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" at more than 1,600 locations.

The company said in a statement the turnout Wednesday made for "an unprecedented day," although it says it doesn't release exact sales numbers.

"The Chick-fil-A culture and 66-year-old service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect - regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender," the statement said.

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy stirred the controversy when he told a religious publication last month that the company was "guilty as charged" for backing "the biblical definition of a family."

In a later radio interview, Cathy said: "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.'"

The Southern Baptist Cathy family has long been known for using biblical principles to operate its business, including never opening the company's stores on Sundays.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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