While Wednesday was supposed to mark “National Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” and thousands of customers thronged the outlets across the country, Friday has been unofficially named “National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A.” The national outcry over the fast food chain has dominated media sources for the last several weeks after Chick-Fil-A president, Dan Cathy, said this about same sex marriage in June:
I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.
Cathy also stated that Chick-Fil-A is a company which prides itself on its “traditional family values.” Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee had stated last month that August 1 should serve as an unofficial day to support the chain and Cathy’s stance on gay marriage.
The Los Angeles Times confirms that Wednesday’s sales at Chick-Fil-A restaurants across the country hit record highs as customers thronged stores and even took pictures of themselves at the fast food chain to prove their support for the franchise.
Many proponents of Dan Cathy’s message have somehow aligned the recent boycott of the fast food chain with an attack on the COO’s free speech. Supporters on Wednesday felt that the man was being punished for speaking his mind and retaining his belief system, positioning the company and Cathy as victims in the situation. As one patron on Wednesday told the L.A. Times, “That man — just like you or I — has a right to say, ‘This is what I believe’ and not be punished for it.’
On the other end of the spectrum, LGBT organizers and demonstrators have pushed to raise awareness about same sex discrimination and have been pushing for more people to boycott the restaurant. Vlogger Molly Cox points out why the LGBT community and allies are so up in arms about one of the many companies that has been public about their feelings towards gay marriage and equality. She points out that every purchase made at a Chick-Fil-A supports a company that then proceeds to fund candidates and policies that push for stripping the rights of the LGBT community.
Now activists trying to spread awareness have named Friday “National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-Fil-A”. CNN reports that demonstrators plan to show up outside of these famous restaurants and kiss. Afterwards photos and videos of the protests are meant to go up across the internet to spread a message of inclusion.
The Los Angeles Times notes that GLAAD has backed the push for the “National Same-Sex Kiss Day” which will keep the LGBT struggle in the limelight, and highlight the ongoing struggle for equal marriage rights. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has also encouraged patrons to eat at KFC instead.
Although Dan Cathy has not publicly come out and changed his stance on the issue, and neither have any of his supporters it appears, Chick-fil-A public relations personality Don Perry said this about the recent controversy, as quoted on CNN:
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. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
Although the public relations department claims that debates about the intentions of Chick-Fil-A will remain distanced from political outcomes, the company will probably still fund candidates that push for policies that reflect the company’s belief system.
Photo Credit: Flickr J. Reed