SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Over a hundred supporters camped out overnight in front of a new Chick-fil-A location in San Jose in anticipation of the store’s grand opening.
Around 5 a.m. about 120 people were camped out in front of the new location set to open Thursday. More than a month after the president of Chick-Fil-A spoke out against gay marriage, LGBT rights supporters were heading a rally at the same location Thursday.
The Chick-fil-A location at 53 Headquarters Drive will be the second chicken sandwich restaurant in the Bay Area once they open Thursday morning.
A third Novato location is also in the works, according to Marin County records.
Until Thursday’s San Jose opening, the only other Chick-fil-A in the area was in Fairfield, which was the site of long lines earlier this month when restaurant supporters participated in “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”
A few days later, protesters countered with “Same-Sex Kiss Day,” where same-sex couples were called to kiss in front of Chick-Fil-A restaurants nationwide.
Same-sex marriage supporters rallied against the company after president Dan Cathy said in a July 16 interview, “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.”
Continuing to use the restaurant as a platform for social rights discourse, the LGBT community will gather in front of the San Jose restaurant Thursday starting at 4 p.m., Marriage Equality USA’s Bay Area spokesman Billy Bradford said.
“This is about our relationships, it’s about our families, it’s about treating everybody equally,” Bradford said.
Armed with signs and music, Bradford said the rally is not intended to dissuade chicken sandwich-seeking customers, but to educate the San Jose community about supporting equal rights.
Bradford said LGBT rights supporters will head to another Bay Area Chick-fil-A opening in Walnut Creek on Oct. 11. The location is set to open at 2750 N. Main St., and coincides with National Coming Out Day, which celebrates the gay community.
“We’re going to say ‘Welcome to the Bay Area,’” Bradford said.
There are plans to open other locations of the chicken eatery elsewhere in the Bay Area. A Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Novato at 35 Rowland Way filed a change of deed document last month to Chick-fil-A Inc., according to county records.
As of July 25, Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A bought the property for $2.7 million, Marin County appraiser Nader Amirhosseini said.
Information about a possible opening date from the Burlingame-based Terranomics Retail Services, where a receptionist said they are managing the sale of the Novato Chick-fil-A, was not immediately available.
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