Supporters of Chick-fil-A appear to be heeding the call to join a nationwide eat-in as the company faces the fallout over an executive’s comments about gay marriage.
There were reports of crowds lining up at Chick-fil-A locations in Bucks and Delaware counties beginning around lunchtime on Wednesday.
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.” His comments unleashed a torrent of criticism from gay rights groups and others, including Philadelphia City Councilman Jim Kenney (D), who have called for boycotts and efforts to block the chain from opening new stores.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared Wednesday national “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”
The Independence Hall Tea Party Association chimed in Tuesday with a call for supporters to back the company with a month-long ‘BuyCott’ beginning Aug. 1.
In a letter last week to Chick-fil-A’s Cathy, Kenny wrote: “As a fellow American and an elected member of Philadelphia City Council; I am entitled to express my opinion as well. So please -- take a hike and take your intolerance with you. There is no place for this type of hate in our great City of Brotherly and Sisterly Affection.”
A statement posted Tuesday on the Chick-fil-A website says in part: "The Chick-fil-A culture and 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. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."