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Are You Joining in Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day?

Or are you boycotting the chicken chain because of the company owner's beliefs on same-sex marriage?

Chick-fil-A is a fast food restaurant known for its whole chicken breast sandwiches, waffle fries, and homemade cole slaw.

Today it's going to be known as the center of a minor political storm when a lot of people go out of their way to buy lunch or dinner there as a show of solidarity with the embattled chicken chain. Or for those who oppose the chicken retailer's political stances, it'll be a day of boycotts and possible protests.

Wednesday, August 1, is "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," so says former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He's hoping that tea partiers, and other First Amendment stalwarts will put their money where their opinions are and buy up Chick-Fil-A items today.

There are two Chick-fil-A stores near the Land O' Lakes area: one on Bruce B Downs Boulevard in New Tampa and Little Road in Trinity. Many of 1,615 franchises in 39 states are located in malls, although there are some free-standing stores in New Jersey.

The tempest began several weeks ago when Chick-fil-A executive Dan Cathy said in a radio interview that he supports the concept of traditional marriage, versus same-sex marriage. Gay rights groups, activists, and supporters have been attacking Cathy and the chicken chain, even to the point where some politicians, like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, have been trying to stop Chick-fil-A from opening franchises in their cities.

Tea partiers have taken up the Chick-fil-A banner, and Huckabee—who ran for the Republican nomination for president four years ago— jumped on the bandwagon with the Appreciation Day.

The idea is to make an effort to patronize Chick-fil-A stores today, as a show of support for Cathy and his company's right to express what they say is a dissenting opinion.

Over the years, Chick-fil-A has drawn attention from various groups hostile to the privately-held company's Christian beliefs. The Atlanta-based family-owned firm, for example, has never allowed its stores to be open on Sunday. That was the idea of company founder Truett Cathy, the firm says on their website, when he opened the first store in 1946.

The concept of being closed on Sunday was practical as well as spiritual: they wanted employees to "have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so," Chick-fil-A says.

So far, over 624,000 fans on the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day Facebook page say they'll be loading up on chicken sandwiches and waffle fries today.

Will you patronize Chick-fil-A today, or will you avoid it because of the company owner's beliefs? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Bryan Gifford August 01, 2012 at 08:11 PM
None of the above. I find the whole thing silly. This is the free market system working at its finest. You make a good sandwich, leave it at that and people will come. As soon as you chime in with any sort of politics or religion you open your self up to market pressures that go beyond the sandwich. The lesson here is do what you do well, and let your product speak for itself, once you open yourself up to debate over anything other than your product, you lose.
Lori McCandrew August 01, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I tried to get into the Chik-Fil-A in Northdale and traffic was jammed with lines out the door. I do agree with their company policy in closure on Sunday if that is the owner's belief. I love the idea that he believes in family days on Sundays. Maybe if more familie spent the day together we would improve as a society. Time to go back to old fashioned family values. If they are against same sex marriage that is their opinion and they're allowed to voice it.
Doug August 02, 2012 at 12:17 PM
It never ceases to amaze me how an answer to a question in an interview suddenly became "hatred" and "discrimination" and an active stance by the company. I have yet to see any evidence of Chick-fil-A denying service to LGBT, refusing to hire LGBT, or treating LGBT differently from anyone else. If the LGBT crowd disagrees with the owner's opinions, fine, don't patronize his business. But to try to make it sound like Chick-fil-A is actively attacking LGBT and unfairly persecuting them? That's just false and it discredits everything the LGBT crowd says - about anything.
Larry Bush August 02, 2012 at 12:32 PM
I used to eat at Chik-fil-A. That Dan Cathy would go public and tell everyone that they contribute large sums to groups that openly oppose same-sex marriage is tantamount to a large corporation calling a press conference to endorse segregation, either now or in the 1960s. You are going to get a lot of bigots agreeing with you, but on the whole, you are alienating a good share of your clientele. Cathy has already said that he does not want his company in this controversy. Too late. He took a chance, thinking that it would beef up business, and it looks like he may have goofed. The lesson: Don't play chicken with your consumers.
Larry Bush August 02, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Supporters of same-sex marriage are more than just LGBT in the same way that supporters of civil rights in the 1960s were more than blacks. You would know that if you followed the news. In fact, in numbers alone, more heterosexuals support same-sex marriage now than homosexuals.
Doug August 02, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Fine. "If *anyone* disagrees with the owner's opinions, fine, don't patronize his business."
Doug August 02, 2012 at 01:19 PM
1. I would suggest that it's a bit of a leap going from "doesn't support gay marriage" to "endorsing segregation". 2. I wish people would stop with the name calling the instant someone disagrees with them. I don't agree with Obama's politics and suddenly I'm a racist. Somebody doesn't support gay marriage and suddenly they're a bigot. As Inigo Montoya once said, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." 3. How do you know what Cathy was thinking when he answered the question in the interview? I've seen no indication whatsoever that he was trying to beef up his business. 4. He may have alienated some people, but according to what's being reported about yesterday, he didn't alienate a good share of his clientele. For many of us, this isn't about gay marriage. It's about free speech. It's standing up for someone's right to express their opinion without being bullied by those who disagree with that opinion. You don't like Cathy's opinion? Great, don't eat at Chick-fil-A. Tell all your friends to not eat at Chick-fil-A. But when politicians start saying that they will block the opening of restaurants because the owner doesn't agree with them, that's fascism. When groups start throwing around the "hate" word just because someone doesn't agree with them, that's an attempt to stifle free speech. That's what I was protesting when I ordered my Spicy Chicken combo meal yesterday.
Teresa Kohan August 02, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Larry, it might surprise you to know that there are more important things in life than 'the bottom line'. Our country has become so amoral that anyone with a firm stand on anything is a 'bigot'. Then, I am 'guilty as charged' also. What hypocrites the Marxist left is: "we support freedom of speech/expression/whatever." Yeah, we support it as long as you believe EXACTLY as we do. The level of vile language and actual physical threats reveal what the left is truly about....oppression and complete control of society's values. The left used to say, and repeat ad nauseum, "Everyone knows you can't legislate morality!" But that is exactly what they try to do when they seize power.....lying hypocrites.
Mark S. Hankins August 02, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Chick-Fil-A's around the country had to close early because they ran out of food. I guess we're neck deep in bigots. Perhaps all of us should be sent to labor camps until we get our minds right.
Larry Bush August 02, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Same-sex marriage equates with the Civil Rights movement in that when couples marry, there are over 200 tax and other government-sponsored benefits that they can receive as a result of being legally married (source: Reason Magazine). In the 1960s, blacks were restricted from voting and going to white public schools. This issue is about how public money is handled and that someone is getting the short shrift. Anybody who opposes equal rights (under the law) for all citizens, is engaged in discrimnation. By supporting the continued exclusion of gay couples from reaping the benefits accorded to committed couples, you are endorsing unequal rights under the law. Scientists have given strong evidence that homosexuality is inherent and not learned or "a choice," but even if it is not, American institutions are barred from discriminating against others who have chosen, say, a religion. Therefore, since it hurts no one to allow same-sex marriage, it should be legal. Think of that next time you reap the benefits of "married filing jointly" on your tax forms. Doug: I do not agree with Boston's attempts to stop the building of a CFA. Mark: Look at the historical films of adults lined up outside Little Rock High School taunting the black children that were escorted into the school by armed guards, then you get an idea of what you will look like in twenty years when this is over and same-sex marriage is as common as interracial marriage.
Virginia Bockmiller August 02, 2012 at 06:54 PM
As far as I know from the Good Book, homosexuality is against God's rules, and I am hoping the USA is still a nation under God. From the response to the Chick-fila appreciation day, I feel comforted that we are. God bless America and may we always be able to shout to the world God is Good Every Day!
Bryan Gifford August 02, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Virginia, When you have some uninterrupted time and an open mind, watch this video, about what the Good Book says about being Gay and Sin. It is a great presentation that is well thought out, uses historical contents and takes the often quoted bible verses and looks at the whole context of the story that is being told in that chapter to really understand what the Bible is saying. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezQjNJUSraY
Larry Bush August 02, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Thank you, Bryan, for bringing that up. As far as I am concerned, since there are so many benefits given by government to married couples, this is not a religious question. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, religious belief is not an issue in any debates about legislation. Therefore, the only arguments are legal ones.
DS August 03, 2012 at 08:58 PM
There is not much good in your "good" book - a book which condones slavery, mass genocide, child murder and worse. Nothing in the Bible is "God's rules" - they are the rules of ignorant bronze age men. God is not associated in any way with the Bible, Christianity or any other man made religion or book. I assure you any being with an intellect capable of creating a universe is least concerned with two male creatures on a speck of duct in the cosmos loving one another and joining in a silly pairing ritual we call marriage. Oh, and America has never been a nation "Under God". That's another lie you Christian have foisted on us. We were founded as a secular Republic, on secular Enlightenment principles. That's why our Constitution has no mention of God, The Bible or the ten commandments and beings with "WE THE PEOPLE" instead of "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ". Sorry, but people came here FLEEING FROM Christian nations.
Tom Kent October 11, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Bryan, that youtube clip gives the illusion of being balanced, but is actually one-sided. If you Google for the other side of the story, you can find many refutations. EG http://www.christianpost.com/news/theologians-find-vines-homosexuality-is-not-a-sin-thesis-not-persuasive-82341/pageall.html
Bryan Gifford October 11, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Tom, You are right, and there are people that will grasp at anything to support their way of thinking. Bottomline for me, We are all Americans I have no rights that you do not, that included the ability to have the state acknowledge union of two people and grant with that all the rights and abilities that our nation has decided that a couple may have. Simple stuff. Wehn we all can respect and accpet one another, this would will be a much better place to be. Gay, straight, male, female, young, old, muslim, christian, skinny, fat, makes no difference, and our laws should reflect that.

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