FAIRFIELD (CBS SF) — Supporters of same-sex marriage were expected to lock lips Friday afternoon in front of a Fairfield Chick-fil-A, but as of the 5 p.m. planned protest time, only 2 couples had shown up.
“We just came out here to show, that it’s OK for two women to love each other – OK for two men to love each other,” said Protester Naomi Love of Suisun.
Before Friday’s stand against the company, its supporters organized a Chick-fil-A “Appreciation Day” Wednesday to create a day for the company that has been under fire since CEO Dan Cathy came out against same-sex marriage last month.
“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. We give God thanks for that,” Cathy told the “Baptist Press” in a July 16 interview.
Appreciation Day was called for by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who propelled the day to success with online campaigns and several posts to his website expressing his support for the business and its values.
Lines were out the door at the eatery’s nationwide locales. At the Fairfield location at 1750 Travis Blvd. it was no exception.
An employee answering the phone during the Wednesday lunch hour said, “We are slammed out the door.”
Chick-fil-A spokesman Steve Robinson released statements Thursday about the “unprecedented day.”
“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.
He emphasized that the event was not a company promotion and organized outside the company.
The company does not release sales numbers, but the spokesman said the day was a successful business day for the 66-year-old company.
He wrote that the restaurants strive to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect—regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”
To come out in support of same-sex relationships, “National Same-Sex Kiss Day” had been gaining momentum online with more than 11,000 Facebook users who say they are attending.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, had linked information about the event to its website and a spokesman said they encourage actions to promote gay rights.
San Jose resident Michael Fahl learned about the company’s stance on gay marriage last month and decided the soon-to-open franchise at 53 Headquarters Drive was not something he wanted to see in his community.
“I’m trying to make people aware,” the 21-year-old said. To do so, he has created a Change.org petition.
His campaign aimed to initially receive 100 signatures asking for the removal of the San Jose Chick-fil-A location.
“Chick-Fil-A publicly opposed equal rights for the LGBT community, and as an American company should stand for the basis of the American culture, Freedom and Liberty for all,” the petition reads.
“I wouldn’t have a problem with the company so much if they weren’t so out with it and so aggressive” he said.
The restaurant server was studying administration of justice at San Jose City College before he decided to get involved in the fight for marriage equality.
Although he could not vote in the 2008 election, Fahl said he had been involved in the campaign against the state’s Proposition 8, which banned the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
To view the petition visit www.change.org/petitions/chick-fil-a-remove-their-location-in-san-jose.
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