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Supporters crowd into Chick-fil-A chains across Triangle

Posted August 1, 2012

SKY 5 flies over Chick-fil-A in Smithfield on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012.
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— Customers were lining up Wednesday at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the Triangle in a show of support for the company president’s stance on gay marriage.

The rush was in response to a social media invitation exhorting people to rally behind Dan Cathy, the president and chief operating officer, by eating at the popular fast-food chain for “national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

Cathy told the Baptist Press last month that the Atlanta-based company was "guilty as charged" for backing "the biblical definition of a family." That unleashed a torrent of criticism from gay rights groups and others, who have called for boycotts and efforts to block the chain from opening new stores. Chick-Fil-A Your photos: Crowds line up for Chick-fil-A

But on Wednesday, crowds of supporters swelled at Chick-fil-A restaurants in Garner, Cary, Apex, Smithfield, Raleigh, Rocky Mount, Fayetteville and other locations.

“I just came home from Chick Fil-A in Garner at White Oak Shopping Center,” Debbie Lancaster said in an email to WRAL. “They were packed. The owner was there helping along with everyone else.”

She said the restaurant had a double line of cars wrapped around it.

“Looks like they are getting a lot of support today,” Lancaster said.

Gary Melton was at the Chick-fil-A in Knightdale, where customers were packing in.

"Overwhelming support for Christian-based company," he said in an email. "Restaurants are backed up out the doors and parking lots."

Chick-fil-A Supporters crowd into Chick-fil-A chains across Triangle

In many locations, including the Chick-fil-A on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh, lines of vehicles overflowed from the restaurant parking lots onto major roadways.

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.

Despite the outpouring of support, the company released a statement that steered away from the controversy, saying it wants to refocus on food and service.

"Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena," Steve Robinson, executive vice president of marketing, said in the statement. "Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A."

Robinson also said the franchise maintains a culture of respect for people "regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."

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 the restaurants and kiss each other.

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  • Mon Account Aug 9, 2012

    Anyone still buying atrocious amounts of chicken? Everyone I know who boycotted is still boycotting.

  • Bewitched Aug 3, 2012

    I just want my chicken sandwich waaahhhhhhhhhh!

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Aug 3, 2012

    kidsrn said, “I do believe that marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman...and I respect your right to disagree with me and have your own beliefs.”

    So, you voted against the Constitutional Amendment that outlaws gay marriage?

    No, I think your definition of “respect” means that you’ll still vote against them at every turn, but you’re kind enough to not enforce your Bible’s commands to do “really bad things” to gays. (Notice that the moderators won’t even let me list what you’re commanded to do to gays...and rightly so...it’s horrific.)

  • New Creature Aug 2, 2012

    Bigots, Thumpers, Hypocrites

    Sounds like hate to me. I'm so glad that it doesn't matter what mankind thinks of me. That does not make me who I am. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.

  • Mon Account Aug 2, 2012

    "Here is the bottom line. Some people support gaysand some don`t, but it is a free country and anyone can support who they want.

    My issue is with the liberals always claiming it`s a hate thing when people don`t agree with them, and the hypocrisy of the gay community that most of them will support Obama even though he only decided 3 months ago that being gay is ok. Everyone new he was against gaay marriage from the time he was running for his first term."-jimminycrickets

    My issue is when I'm called 'the f word' by people who don't agree with me, then I'm told it's not a hate thing.

    It goes beyond some people disagreeing with my wanting the same rights they have. I've been verbally (and hatefully) attacked for even bringing it up.

    So, I won't claim it is ALWAYS a hate thing but when it's directed at you, you'll definitely know when it is a hate thing. And it more often is than isn't.

  • jimminycrickets Aug 2, 2012

    Here is the bottom line. Some people support gaysand some don`t, but it is a free country and anyone can support who they want.

    My issue is with the liberals always claiming it`s a hate thing when people don`t agree with them, and the hypocrisy of the gay community that most of them will support Obama even though he only decided 3 months ago that being gay is ok. Everyone new he was against gaay marriage from the time he was running for his first term.

  • Mon Account Aug 2, 2012

    "If every consumer delved into the financials of the companies they "support" with their $, they would be shocked that almost every American company financially supports SOMETHING or SOMEONE that would cause this type of controversy, regardless of your beliefs. Who cares?..." - lucasyn

    I care.

    Because we live in a very privileged society where we can make such choices in our consuming. Many people on this planet don't get that luxury. But in America it's very difficult to find a company that 100% supports what you believe in, but some are better than others.

    It's about what level of commitment you have to your values, and which values are more important. And, as you implied, some don't give a rat's behind.

  • Bewitched Aug 2, 2012

    "If every consumer delved into the financials of the companies they "support" with their $, they would be shocked that almost every American company financially supports SOMETHING or SOMEONE that would cause this type of controversy, regardless of your beliefs. Who cares?... - lucasyn"

    EXACTLY. And, I just want my occasional chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A, dagnabbit! ;P

  • Mon Account Aug 2, 2012

    "They flocked there for free speech, the same as you have on this blog. You can call me conservative, you are the liberal one."
    sunshine10581

    Did you speak to everyone of them? How about check messages on this board? Some went to support his stance, too. You know, against the sinful, disgusting, liberal, loony, god-hating folks. Or whatever label suited their bigotry. For those who actually went for 1st amendment rights- good for you.

  • Mon Account Aug 2, 2012

    For those who want to show support for companies that support gay causes (or just to feel a little better), here's almost 200 to pick from:

    http://americansfortruth.com/2008/07/10/hrcs-195-100-percent-pro-homosexual-corporations/#more-2152

    And a little about some of their leaders:
    http://www.policymic.com/articles/12108/11-business-leaders-that-put-anti-gay-companies-like-chick-fil-a-to-shame

    For those who stand proudly with your chicken for anti-gay reasons... you may find a few companies to stop supporting there, I mean, to be consistent with your viewpoint.

    And a little more info on some of those who stand along with Chick-Fil-A (gotta love the Salvation Army one... wow):

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/10810/you-would-never-believe-which-anti-gay-companies-you-support-with-your-money

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