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Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day
August 2, 2012 permalink
Dan Cathy, owner of the Chick-fil-A fast food chain, recently supported traditional (opposite-sex) marriage. Boston Mayor Thomas M Menino expressed his wish that Chick-Fil-A would not open a restaurant in his city. Political figures in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York chimed in with similar sentiments. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee fought back, declaring yesterday to be Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. The restaurants were overwhelmed with supportive customers.
Chick-fil-A Has 'Record-Setting' Sales on Appreciation Day
Chick-fil-A posted "record-setting" sales on Wednesday as thousands of people swarmed the chicken chain for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day after the chain's chief made anti-gay comments.
"While we don't release exact sales numbers, we can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day," Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A's executive vice president of marketing, said in a statement.
At least one location had to close early after nearly selling out of chicken. At others, lines snaked around buildings and patrons waited upwards of two hours to snag their chicken sandwiches and show their support for Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy's comments supporting traditional marriage.
"We are very grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout of loyal Chick-fil-A customers on August 1 at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country," Robinson said. "We congratulate local Chick-fil-A Owner/Operators and their team members for striving to serve each and every customer with genuine hospitality."
At the Chick-fil-A in Augusta, Georgia, about 150 miles from the franchise's Atlanta headquarters, the lunch line wait was hours long. And after a day of lines that snaked around the building, the restaurant had to turn away part of the dinner crowd, closing two hours early due to low supplies.
Lillian Huber, the Augusta Chick-fil-A's marketing director, told ABC News that employees began directing customers to another location around 8 p.m. so the store would have enough food left to open the next morning.
With no Chick-fil-A locations in Maine, Auburn, Maine resident Arthur Langley organized a caravan to cart supporters to the nearest location two hours away. Langley said he and 14 friends and supporters drove the two hours and "happily" waited a "very very long time" to "demonstrate their support for what they believe was very important values in our society."
Langley said the Chick-fil-A in a food court in Peabody, Massachusetts was "swamped with people" and felt like a family reunion.
"It was people you really don't know but you know they're family so you treat them politely and nicely," he said.
Mike Huckabee, who created the Appreciation Day movement on Facebook, said on his radio show yesterday that he was "giddy" about outcome.
"People are voting with their feet today," Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, said. "I guess you could also say they are voting with their faces, they are stuffing them with chicken sandwiches, those lovely Chicken sandwiches from Chick-fil-A."
In Fayettville, Ga., CEO Cathy greeted customers waiting in line at the drive-thru and thanked them for their support. One Chick-fil-A goer tweeted this photo of Cathy:
The CEO has not spoken publically or agreed to any more interviews following the backlash over comments he made to the Baptist Press supporting "the biblical definition of the family unit."
"We are very much supportive of the family," Cathy said. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives."
After an outpouring of support for Cathy and his company during Wednesday's Appreciation Day, gay activists are taking to the streets, or rather the Chick-fil-A parking lots, around the country for National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A on Friday to protest the chicken chain's opposition to the LGBTQ community.
Same-sex couples are being urged to take photos and videos of themselves kissing outside of Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide.
About 11,000 have said on Facebook that they will attend the event. The Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day event had about 55 times that many Facebook attendees.
Although the restaurant chain has become a rallying cry for people on both sides of the marriage debate, Chick-fil-A has aimed to stay out of the politics and controversy stemming from its CEO's comments.
"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," Robinson said in a statement. "We understand from news reports that Friday may present yet another opportunity for us to serve with genuine hospitality, superior service and great food."
Source: ABC News
Opponents struck back by vandalizing Chick-fil-A. photo. A national kiss-off protest against Chick-fil-A fell flat.
Chicken lips are scarce
Great gay kiss-off lays a gigantic egg
This was billed as the greatest protest since Occupy Wall Street. Thousands of scantily clad gay men and lesbians said they’d lock lips in a coast-to-coast red-hot make-out session.
They were to blast anti-gay-marriage comments made by Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy. But gays preferred staying home to watch “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
Tumbleweeds could have rolled through the Paramus Park Mall in New Jersey yesterday as a symbol for the lack of stamina in the national kissing campaign.
From Georgia to California, protests drew yawns, not saliva.
Even in Atlanta, the home of Chick-fil-A, only two dozen kissers showed up. And there was a similar lack of necking in Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.
At NYU, 20 people weren’t allowed in the dorm that hosts the city’s only Chick-fil-A. Just three pairs of guys kissed on the street.
In Jersey, I only found eight kissers — and two weren’t even bi!
Giggling like overaged cheerleaders, Jessi Friechter, 42, and Claudia Campagna, 51, stared into each other’s eyes. And in full view of the Chik-fil-A neon sign, the coworkers pecked each other on the cheek — handing me an iPhone to record the event.
“My husband would love this,” teased Friechter.
Nearby, an older gent who refused to give his name was freaking out.
“That’s disgusting! That’s not why I came here,” he said.
“Why don’t they go to Sbarro and do that? Why don’t they go to Subway?”
So much for the kiss-fest. It couldn’t even draw New York’s Lesbian-in-Chief Christine Quinn, who wants to boot Chick-fil-A from the city.
This aged mall of dwindling splendor, where brow threading competes with bedazzlers, was supposed to be swarmed by thousands of folks protesting Cathy’s comments: “We are very much supportive of the family — the Biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives.”
But there wasn’t enough gay outrage to draw more than one person who was actually gay.
She was Laura Fram, 34, a gay Republican vegetarian, who said Chick-fil-A was “hateful and hurtful.”
But her main problem was that she had no one to kiss.
“If you find someone for me to kiss, I’d be willing — but only a woman,” Fram said before running to pick up her daughter.
One disappointed by the smooch fiasco was Curtis Sliwa. The radio talker and Guardian Angel has been urging people to come out and eat.
“I was here to realize every male fantasy — watching lesbians kiss,” he said. “Now I get to buy a spicy chicken sandwich and waffle fries.
You’re not the only one.
Source: New York Post
Addendum: Chick-fil-A ends its funding of traditional marriage (but Dan Cathy has denied making policy changes to get a restaurant in Chicago).
Chick-fil-A no longer will fund traditional-marriage groups
Chick-fil-A stopped funding traditional-marriage groups in an effort to open a new Chicago restaurant, but the company initially kept quiet about the decision, prompting gay rights groups to speculate that the company feared a backlash from conservative customers.
The Christian-rooted fast food restaurant agreed to stop funding groups such as Focus on the Family that oppose same-sex marriage in a meeting with the Chicago politician who had been blocking the company’s move there. Chick-fil-A wrote a letter to Alderman Joe Moreno affirming this, according to his spokesman, Matt Bailey, but the company initially wouldn’t allow his office to release the letter to the public. Three weeks later they relented.
“There was concern from them,” said Anthony Martinez, executive director for the Civil Rights Agenda, the Illinois lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender group that negotiated with both Chick-fil-A and the alderman to stop funding for so-called anti-gay groups. “They really didn’t want to announce it, really, but, of course, the alderman needed to clarify why he was changing his stance on them opening a restaurant within his ward.”
Chick-fil-A did not returns requests for comment, and has previously said it will not discuss the issue with the media.
Mr. Martinez said Chick-fil-A told the alderman they will no longer fund groups that support traditional marriage through their charity arm, the WinShape Foundation, and will instead use that money toward educational programs and food donations.
“The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas,” Chick-fil-A wrote in the letter.
Chick-fil-A also sent an internal memo called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are” stating the company will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender.”
Mr. Moreno called it a win for gay rights.
“Prior to today, Chick-fil-A had a poor record when it came to acknowledging equal rights for all of our citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation,” he said. “But today, we have a new path: For the first time, Chick-fil-A has changed their practices and promised the workplace protections that all of our citizens deserve. Instead of being a company that openly promotes discrimination, Chick-fil-A has vowed to move forward.”
This could also help in other areas, such as Boston and San Francisco, where politicians vowed to oppose new Chick-fil-A restaurants.
The Civil Rights Agenda was also happy with the move, but said more needs to be done.
“We’re very pleased with this move,” Mr. Martinez said. “We think it is a big step forward.”
The group would also like to see Chick-fil-A include an anti-discrimination policy in the company’s employee handbook. He said companies in many states are still allowed to discriminate against gay and transgender people, so a company policy would help prevent that.
“In the state of Illinois, it is part of the law,” Mr. Martinez said. “But in many parts of the South, sexual orientation is not protected. There are over 20 states still that you can be fired for being gay, and there are over 30 states that you can be fired for being transgender. A lot of people don’t know that.”
The restaurant’s decision comes less than two months after Chick-fil-A sparked a nationwide controversy when President Dan Cathy told a Christian news outlet that he supported traditional marriage. Gay advocacy groups took that to mean that he was anti-gay. They also pointed to the company’s funding for groups that oppose same-sex marriage. Many called for a Chick-fil-A boycott, while others joined in a gay “kiss-in” at the restaurants. Some politicians, including Mr. Moreno, said the restaurant was not welcome in their communities.
But religious supporters fought back, turning out for “Chick-fil-Appreciation Day,” which happened to be the most successful day of business in company history.
Source: Washington Times