Los Angeles News

Chick-fil-A attracts supporters, detractors amid controversy

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

People are showing support for the embattled Chick-fil-A chain on Wednesday after weeks of protests over the owner's anti-same-sex-marriage comments.

People across the nation flooded the fast-food restaurants to support CEO Dan Cathy, whose recent radio show comments have stirred controversy.

"We are inviting god's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes marriage," Cathy said.

Last week, the gay and lesbian community protested at a Chick-fil-A in Laguna Hills. Such protests have taken place at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country and Southern California, including the Hollywood location on Wednesday.

"The gay and lesbian community, the LGBT community, is one that's been persecuted for a long time. There's anti-gay marriage that's been pushing by the religious right for years now, and I think it's time that they got the opportunity and they get the rights they deserve," said Karen Abizur, a supporter of same-sex marriage.

Cathy's comments have also ruffled the feathers of a number of politicians, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who said that Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago's values.

On the other hand, conservative politicians are rallying around Cathy's comments and the company - including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former presidential candidate Rick Santorum. Huckabee has encouraged the public to support the company by eating at the restaurant on Wednesday for "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."

"This isn't about chicken or marriage. This is about free speech. This is about the freedom to express one's faith, whether it's in the workplace, church or in school," said David Hernandez with the group, San Fernando Patriots.

Chick-fil-A released the following statement:

"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."

The controversy is far from over. On Friday, the gay and lesbian community is planning another protest at Chick-fil-A restaurants - calling it a "public display of affection."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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