Thousands show up to "Eat mor Chikin" after controversy

Published: Aug. 1, 2012 at 10:35 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2012 at 10:35 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE,NC (WBTV/AP) - Chick-fil-A supporters are eating at the chicken chain's restaurants as the company continues to be criticized for an executive taking a public position against same-sex marriage.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared Wednesday "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."

A spokeswoman for the Rev. Billy Graham says the 93-year-old evangelist ate a Chick-fil-A lunch, including a chicken sandwich and waffle fries, at his North Carolina home.

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press last month that the Atlanta-based company was "guilty as charged" for backing "the biblical definition of a family." Gay rights groups and others answered with calls for boycotts.

WBTV went to the Chick-Fil-a on South Blvd Wednesday. It was packed at lunchtime. People waited patiently to be served. Supporters say they had to come and support the restaurant.

"I'm not trying to take the human rights away from them or mistreat them," Chick-Fil-A supporter Phillip Demsey said. "I just don't think they deserve the right to be married."

People from the gay and lesbian community say this battle has less to do with what Cathy said and everything to do with how Chick-Fil-A spends the money.

"That the company has donated millions of dollars to organizations," QNotes Editor Matt Comer said. "That support anti-gay causes which is doing an act of harm to gay and lesbian people."

Opponents of Cathy's stance have planned "Kiss Mor Chiks" for Friday, asking people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A locations and kiss each other.

Chick-Fil-A did release a statement about this appreciation day. It says the restaurant chain didn't create this appreciate day but goes on to read: "We appreciate all of our customers and are glad to serve them at any time. Our goal is simple: provide great food, genuine hospitality and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-Fil-A."

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