Thousands Flock to Chick-fil-A's Defense

Gay-marriage foes, backers throng restaurants

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 2, 2012 1:59 AM CDT | Updated Aug 2, 2012 5:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Chick-fil-A had a busy day yesterday. Across the country, crowds of gay marriage opponents—and supporters—converged on the chain's more than 1,600 locations for "Chick fil-A Appreciation Day," reports the Los Angeles Times. Huge lines grew outside many restaurants, while gay rights advocates held signs urging people to eat elsewhere. Some protesters and counter-protesters dressed as Superman or held 8-foot crosses, while some wily gay rights advocates joined the long lines only to order water once inside the restaurants.

"OK, leftists, go crazy," tweeted Rick Santorum after joining the appreciation day, called by Mike Huckabee. Elsewhere, Wendy's ordered a North Carolina franchisee to take down "We Stand With Chick-fil-A" signs at dozens of locations, while New Hampshire's sole Chick-fil-A operator announced that his restaurant will sponsor the state's gay pride festival despite chain president Dan Cathy's anti-gay marriage stance, which started the whole circus. Gay rights advocates plan a kiss-in tomorrow at the chain, whose executives seem to want to go back to focusing on chicken. "Our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena," the company said in a statement on its website.

A Chick-fil-A worker cheers at a Mississippi restaurant.   (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Stan Carroll)
Jessie Snow shows the back of the jacket she wore while waiting in line with family members to order nothing but water at a Chick-fil-A in Alabama.   (AP Photo/The Huntsville Times, Glenn Baeske)
Customers gather by the hundreds outside the Chick-fil-A restaurant in Gilbert, Arizona.   (AP Photo/Matt York)
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