News24

Gay marriage foes swamp Chick-fil-A

2012-08-02 09:09

Atlanta - Thousands of people across the United States heeded the call of two former Republican US presidential candidates to eat at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday to show support for the chain restaurant as it weathers criticism for its president's public opposition to gay marriage.

Business was so brisk at some of the privately owned chain's more than 1 600 locations that employees directed traffic in parking lots, lines remained long well past the lunch hour, and managers spoke of record sales.

"I don't believe in same-sex marriage. It's wrong," said Patricia Shelton, aged 53, after visiting a Chick-fil-A in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a state where voters approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage earlier this year.

"We've got to take a stand," Shelton said.

Chick-fil-A, known for its chicken sandwiches and waffle fries and for being closed on Sundays, came under fire after its president, Dan Cathy, told an online religious newspaper that he supports "the biblical definition of the family unit" and that supporters of gay marriage were "arrogant".

Conservative former presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum said those who agreed with Cathy should send a message about "traditional values" by eating a meal on what they dubbed "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day".

Bible-believing Christians


Gay marriage supporters have pushed for a boycott of the chain and are seeking to block new Chick-fil-A outlets from opening. The mayors of Chicago and Boston have spoken out against the company, and same-sex couples around the country plan a kiss-in at Chick-fil-A restaurants on Friday.

While some patrons said they visited the chain on Wednesday simply because they like the food, others at busier-than-usual locations from suburban Philadelphia to cities across the Southeast said they came to support Cathy's stance and his right to voice it.

"We're Bible-believing Christians," said Bethany Hill, aged 35, at a Chick-fil-A in Trevose, Pennsylvania. "We're thankful that he decided to stand up."

"You should have the right to say your opinion without being penalised," said Lillian Somers, aged 78, at a Chick-fil-A in Birmingham, Alabama. "I am tired of people trying to force their beliefs on me and people being blasted for Christian beliefs."

The general manager of New Hampshire's only Chick-fil-A franchise reacted to the controversy by becoming a sponsor of the state's gay pride festival slated for 11 August.

The restaurant in a Nashua shopping mall "has gay employees and serves gay customers with honour, dignity and respect", general manager Anthony Picolia said in a statement released by the organisers of New Hampshire Pride Fest.

Quality over politics


"I would challenge people to come have a conversation with me before they make assumptions or boycott my restaurant," he said.

In Chick-fil-A's corporate hometown of Atlanta, 42-year-old government worker Hackwin Devoe said he "does not find Biblical support" for gay marriage but does not oppose it.

He said one of the things that makes the United States a great nation is that Americans respect one another for their opinions.

For him, the quality of Chick-fil-A's product outweighs its president's politics.

"As long as the service and quality of the food continues to be good, I'm fine with that," said Devoe.

Comments
  • ebon.geist - 2012-08-02 09:57

    "He said one of the things that makes the United States a great nation is that Americans respect one another for their opinions." If this were indeed true, then gay marriage would be legal across America. Refusing to recognise the right of gay couples to marry demonstrates an absolute lack of respect for their opinions. Allowing gay marriages in no way disrespects the opinions of people who are opposed to it, because you are not forcing those people to enter into gay marriages. Mutual respect for each other means accepting the people for who they are even if you disagree with their opinion, and allowing them to make their own life choices instead of trying to impose your viewpoint on them. The problem is not Dan Cathy's opinion that gay marriage is wrong. It is that he is taking active steps to oppose it, effectively prevent other people from being able to do something that has absolutely no effect on him.

      devon.meredith.31 - 2012-08-02 10:17

      Don't know much about the story other then what I have read in the article so excuse my ignorance if there are additional facts to this particular story that are not recorded in the article. What active steps has he taken? All I can gather is that he expressed an opinion. This then seems to be followed up by: "Gay marriage supporters have pushed for a boycott of the chain and are seeking to block new Chick-fil-A outlets from opening. The mayors of Chicago and Boston have spoken out against the company, and same-sex couples around the country plan a kiss-in at Chick-fil-A restaurants on Friday." - seems to be an active step against one person expressing their opinion. Can't see any indication that it was an official policy statement of the business so why is every business being boycotted?

      Hermann - 2012-08-02 10:28

      Are only gays allowed to have opinions? There is no tolerance. Gays demand unconditional recognitions, they demand acceptance of their manner of life, but deny those who do not agree the right to air their views. So my conclusion is that tolerance has become a one way street - only gay opinions may be heard, opposing or rejection opinions are evil. I regard homosexuality as unnatural, but I grant the unnatural their right to be unnatural as it does nor effect my straight life style in any manner. However, I do insist that the unnatural grant me my right to air my opinions as they demand from me to respect theirs.

      ebon.geist - 2012-08-02 10:29

      Try looking at related links on this page: http://www.news24.com/World/News/US-chicken-chain-in-gay-marriage-row-20120727.

      devon.meredith.31 - 2012-08-02 10:38

      Will do. Thanks

  • arm.witmens - 2012-08-02 09:58

    LOL - Americans. So the president of this fast food outlet doesnt believe in gay marriage, now they gay community wants to boycot his chain of outlets? How stupid is that. As the last guy said, what has one person's point of view have to do with the quality and the price of what he sells? Go to KFC then if you feel the chicken tastes anti gay. With that attitude, i suspect a lot of people will sit without electricity, cellphones, houses, water, internet etc. etc. Silly really

      ebon.geist - 2012-08-02 10:13

      It isn't so much the fact that he doesn't believe in gay marriage so much that he actively opposes it by: 1) Encouraging support for politicians who would block gay marriage; 2) Funding organisations that seek to block gay marriage. It is one thing to have an opinion on the matter. It is quite another to interfere in an issue that affects someone else, but really has nothing to do with you.

      devon.meredith.31 - 2012-08-02 10:25

      @ebon.geist "It isn't so much the fact that he doesn't believe in gay marriage so much that he actively opposes it by: 1) Encouraging support for politicians who would block gay marriage; 2) Funding organisations that seek to block gay marriage. " Where is there any indication that he supports any politicians? Did he state that in the particular online newspaper interview? How much has he funded, or the company? Is this also contained in the interview?

      arm.witmens - 2012-08-02 10:34

      Go to the huffington post and read the article there. They have a properly written piece with interviews from the gay employees as well. The fact that each one of these stores are independantly owned seemed to have escaped the gay community, and they are now taking this to a almost infantile level. As i said, if we choose to boycott stores or products because the person who owns the patent or trademark or franchise, we will be living in a cold, dark place.

  • charlie.elford.5 - 2012-08-02 10:01

    "I am tired of people trying to force their beliefs on me and people being blasted for Christian beliefs." I'm tired of "Real men follow Jesus" stickers in my face and churches taking up space that could be used for building something useful like schools. Who cares? There's no other group on this planet who forces their beliefs onto others, such as religious ziots.

  • kevin.kramer111 - 2012-08-02 10:03

    Gives added impetus to the name Chick-Fil-A...

      arm.witmens - 2012-08-02 10:12

      lol

  • DamnTheMan - 2012-08-02 11:22

    Xian speak tolerance but then spew hate. Pathetic. I think xians need to be persecuted again so they know how it feels , atheists don't go to church to irritate xians but the xians feel they can do what they please. The only time they can force there opinion is when there is proof of god , otherwise its just man made like the new Mormon buy bull or the Scientology books. Tolerance of intolerance is intolerable. Damn the man.

      arm.witmens - 2012-08-02 11:31

      "Xian speak tolerance but then spew hate" - "I think xians need to be persecuted again". - Very tolerant of you there. Damn the intolerant for hating intolerable xtians.

  • pages:
  • 1