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Chick-fil-A ‘Appreciation Day’ round-up: Intolerance on display

Editor, Think Progress LGBT
Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wednesday was Mike Huckabee’s Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, and opponents of marriage equality turned out in droves to proudly support the anti-gay restaurant chain. Religious bullying was on display at locations around the country as people as the media continued to conflate homophobia with Christianity.

Here’s a round-up of the latest news in the Chick-fil-A controversy:

FRED BLOCHER, The Kansas City Sta

Kansas City's Chick-fil-A, like locations across the country, had a line out the door yesterday.

From The Chicken’s Mouth

Chick-fil-A was officially quiet yesterday, not tweeting anything, and saying only that “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was not created by Chick-fil-A.” Given it’s not a publicly traded company, there will not be any public information about yesterday’s likely record-high sales. But according to Pastor Rick Warren, who is well known for his opposition to LGBT equality, Dan Cathy called to say it was a “world record day.”

It’s important to recognize that unlike other fast food chains, Chick-fil-A franchises are not independently owned, limiting the extent that local operators can speak out. That didn’t stop Lauren Silich, who runs Chicago’s only Chick-fil-A, from speaking out about her support for LGBT equality, though she would not specifically address the question of same-sex marriage.

Gay and lesbian employees of Chick-fil-A had perhaps the most disheartening reaction to the day. An Alabama gay staffer named Andrew described the day as “hater appreciation day,” calling it “very, very depressing.” A gay employee at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta heard a customer say, “I’m so glad you don’t support the queers, I can eat in peace.” Another in Colorado had customers telling him, “I support your company, because your company hates the gays.” Many report experiencing homophobia not just from customers, but from fellow employees as well.

The Media Cries Fowl

Unfortunately, much of the media coverage yesterday was simply an open display of anti-gay views without much to rebut them. Still, there were a few notable highlights. For example, Fox News’ Shep Smith, who supports marriage equality, made a quick jab at Huckabee, pointing out that it was “National Badminton Day,” so “forget National Day of Intolerance, let’s just stay with Badminton.”

Journalist Mark Krzos of The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida, wrote on Facebook that covering Chick-fil-A yesterday was incredibly disheartening:

I have never felt so alien in my own country as I did today while covering the restaurant’s supporters. The level of hatred, unfounded fear and misinformed people was astoundingly sad. I can’t even print some of the things people said.

Food writer Josh Ozersky wrote in Time Magazine that he has changed his mind on Chick-fil-A, walking back his previous willingness to turn a blind eye: “I respect Chick-fil-A’s owners for taking a love-it-or-leave-it stance in regard to their religion; and, like a lot of people, I am choosing to leave it.”

A Sweet Alternative

A number of restaurants across the country offered alternatives to Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day:

And numbers are still being tallied, but LGBT equality groups raised tens of thousands of dollars yesterday thanks to a Facebook event encouraging people to donate the cost of a chicken dinner for marriage equality.

© Think Progress.
This article was published by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

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52 more reader comments:

  1. …and the sheep shall follow… lol

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:02am
  2. huckebee WANTED t o be POTUS..and now the LEADER of intolerance…PERFECT TP MEMBER!!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:03am
  3. I really hope that all the hate in that food makes everyone sick.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:04am
  4. It made front page in the paper

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:06am
  5. Stop Giving them press already, and Name restaurants that are gay Friendly.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:06am
  6. This whole thing makes me want to be violently ill. Or just burn every stupid shitty Chik-Fil-A to the ground. The people that say “ohh well they have a right to say if they support gay rights or not” make me SICK. Because THAT’S NOT THE PROBLEM. The problem is not that they have an opinion (however fucking ignorant that opinion is) it’s that they’re LITERALLY GIVING MONEY to organizations that ACTIVELY work to oppress people and change laws to keep us from having simple basic rights. It’s DISGUSTING.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:09am
  7. “HATRED” had a pic-nic

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:10am
  8. I agree if everyone would just stop talking about it they wouldnt have so much press

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:11am
  9. And giving money to support the Kill the Gays bill in Uganda.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:11am
  10. I have been called a fag, I have been picked last for games as a kid, I’ve been shunned by friends, ignored by family, been asked to move off a park bench, just for holding hands with my partner. Nothing hurts more than what I witnessed yesturday at a chicken establishment I refuse to say the name of. People supporting ignorance, hatred, and discrimination, to a group off people, just because of who we love. A vote for a left wing republican that dose not suport equal rights, is a slap in my face, and the face of every gay american you know. If you agree with the people that stood in line in support of haitred please defriend me on face book, you are no freind of mine.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:12am
  11. although i love you cause for very good reasons as i said on the chick site. we are who we are and we shoould be able to eat where we like and not worry about who are for or against

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:13am
  12. Well said Rebecca!

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:13am
  13. thank you Alejandro

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:13am
  14. animal rights activists should hate them too they kill animals

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:14am
  15. for profit

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:14am
  16. With gay marriage in the forefront of LGBT rights, it’s logical to see such a display. I expected to see this and was not shocked or surprised. I wouldn’t be surprised to see KFC equality commercials airing soon.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:14am
  17. This press really isn’t flattering. The images of lines in front of the restaurants yesterday ‘look’ impressive but the impact isn’t what you may think. Many areas only have 1 franchise so those supporting CFA and Huckabee had to converge into one restaurant which gives the impression of a huge impact. However, one day of support is unlikely to be sustained nor have a long term impact. Keeping the name in the headlines though reminds the majority which supports gay rights to avoid this place. I think it’s good to keep the conversation up and the negative spotlight on them.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:15am
  18. nothing sweeter than CHRISTIAN HATE!

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:15am
  19. Totally agree Alejandro. But the more they show their stupidity the more people will not frequent these a*holes establishments. More people agree with the rights of ALL women and men. THey are just hurting themselves.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:16am
  20. Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:22am
  21. choke the chicken!

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:23am
  22. Yay for heart disease and obesity! Nice job right wing politicians and Chick-fil-A. *morons*

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:23am
  23. Alejandro is completely right! The media should just forget about this restaurant. They are ignorant! We are all the same and we are all equal people.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:25am
  24. I’m getting frustrated too, Rebecca. Dan Cathy’s “Free Speech” just put a spotlight on FIVE MILLION DOLLARS TO END GAY RIGHTS. There would be no massive boycott if it was just someone stating their opinion.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:26am
  25. Wow, @ john I am so sorry for your pain.. I know some of your pain… You guys, do know that “WENDY”s” do support Chick f lay stand against our rights, also?

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:26am
  26. Let’s start: Vegetarians for marriage equality! Eat mor veggies!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:26am
  27. First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:27am
  28. i am boycotting for my gay friends, i think this is going to hurt them in the long run,

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:28am
  29. I was shocked at HOW MANY people want to display their support of bigotry by going there. But it’s their right.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:31am
  30. There is a reason why so many oppose to the world of LGBT in a democratic nation. It is not the fact that these people believe in what they believe it is simply the issue of polarizing and continuing to sabotage the lives of many who choose and/or are genetically predisposed to be who they are. Some people always want to have someone or something to step on because they are not content in their own lives therefore project that externally to someone else or something else. Chick-fil-A are not only standing for what they believe they are telling the world to be homosexual is an abomination totally disregarding choices people have as well as genetic factors that play major role in the development of a human being. I am so displeased with so many in the LGBT community as well as many in the research and science industry who remain silence while these abominations against an innocent group of people have been going on to the point of many loosing their lives. I am aware many are working without exposing themselves yet it is not enough. For a Corporation openly in the public eye in 2012 to go to such great length against gays you might as well continue putting up signs to say “No Blacks allowed” because there is a thin line between homophobia and racism. It is PURE HATRED. You cannot tell me you are a Godly person and allowing your heart to hate so deep because people choose a certain way of life. Whatever happen to pray for your brothers and sisters. I would recommend these stubborn folks to check Kinsey Scale and other studies which are collected evidence on sexuality plus all the other researches proving there is a GAY GENE as well as the nature and nurture factors. One cannot continue to openly be so ignorant and totally disregard what the Bible openly states to love your brothers and sisters and to not judge. Human in their complacent natures are so comfortable with division as well as unnecessary hatred that they forget how to live in peace and co-existing with differences among us in the world.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:31am
  31. Very true Nicholas ….. there are only 1,600 stores nationwide so what they had in turn out was literally nothing …. but they will see in the end who is right and wrong and who is with sin and isn’t …. everyone have a blessed Gay day … Huggs

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:33am
  32. stop this crap if you want to hurt them stop going there to eat thay will loos $$$ and close down right?

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:37am
  33. I am a Gay father of two wonderful children …. and yes they know I am Gay … how do u explain to them the terrible hate that is in the world and for them to grow up to be normal loving human beings and to have compassion for the people in the world when they see things like this ….. we have a very dismal future for this country and it sucks.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:39am
  34. Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:56am
  35. The Chick-Fil-A owners know how to manipulate a controversy just to profit for themselves. By generating a cash cow, relied mostly upon the bigoted views of the general herd, they are creating a “golden calf” to worship for their own success. Come on, you all know that shrewed businessmen will stop at nothing to generate a successful business for themselves, even if it is at the expense of others. In this case, capitalism, is a dirty word. They aren’t stupid, their patrons are!!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:57am
  36. Sad to see so much hate & intolerance. What have we become?

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 9:58am
  37. all those freaks lining up to harden their arteries.. no love lost!

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 10:00am
  38. How can they follow any GOD and be so hateful!? I still don’t get it

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 10:04am
  39. I really love this. I have been seeing where everyone is jumping to the aide of Chick-fil-A. We have all fell for the crap. I have the feeling that this man made the comment that he did because he saw a oportunity to make a lot of money. Stop to think about it. How many times did anyone hear any thing about them until he decided to make his feelings known. We all jumped with both feet into this crap. It is not right, but it is what he says he feels. We all have our own feeling about it. He is right now smarter then us. He is laughing his tail off all the way to the bank. He probably don’t care either way. We need to ignore him and his crap, because we are just putting money in his pockets.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 10:35am
  40. Isn’t it amazing that people will flock to this place to show their support of intolerance, but yet, you will never see this many people flocking to a shelter or food bank to help the poor and homeless!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 10:40am
  41. That’s because these self serving bastards are too busy kicking their hookers out of the bed, wiping the coke of their noses and heading to church with all the other gooooooooood christians, no time for work with the poor.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 10:54am
  42. We have “wearable opinions” at , in the form of the 2 1/4″ handcrafted pinback buttons we make for LGBT pride and equality. We also have flags, stickers, magnets, and accessories. Come see us, at gay pride festivals as MarJane Ent. Rainbows and Pride, and on the web at (see photos on this fb page for a QR code that gets you a discount on the website!)

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 11:20am
  43. “Unhealthy minds eating unhealthy food.”

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 11:28am
  44. Just something to keep in mind

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 12:37pm
  45. CFA is nothing about any constitutional right… It is not a constitutional right to deprive others of their rights based on your religion, or your bigotry. It is not constitutional to put religion in politics, or to force your opinion on the lives of others. No, CFA is only about HATE, PROPAGANDA AND BIGOTRY. Continue your life with your head stuck in the sand if you want, but I now invite you to truly look at this with criticical thinking skills and ask yourself, where does it give anyone the right to tell others how to live. It does say there is an absolute in the fact that politics and religion are NEVER to be bed partners, and in that alone, there is no place to legislate anything on the topic of unions between two consenting people who are exercising their freedom to pursue happiness. Look past the smoke screen and see villainy for what it is, HATE MONGERING.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 1:50pm
  46. Stuff like this makes me ashamed to live on this planet. Lines of bigots about to stuff their face with food and hate.

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 1:52pm
  47. Wouldn’t it be nice if the lines to help those in need were this long???

    I say we respond by having a GLBT “Appreciation for ALL people” YEAR! (Not just one day) We go and volunteer to help the homeless, help those in need, volunteer at the RSPCA and Humane Societies! Start standing up for all of humanity and stop padding your pockets with bigotry!! (Meaning them, not us) lol

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 3:10pm
  48. I don’t know where these quotes came from, but those things that were said do NOT represent the masses that I came in contact with. I myself went to two locations and did not encounter any hatred, bigotry or violence, but rather a peaceful gathering of people. Personally, I am a Christian and God created all people and therefore I love all people. There was a young gay man that come out with a sign and I spoke with him briefly and I am sure that he would be a witness that he was greeted with love and respect and we even brought him and his 2 friends water because it was 105 degrees outside. I know and love many people in the gay community and am insulted to be bulked a a “bigot”. Yesterday was not about hating gays, which is clearly what you seem to think. The gay community wants to be greeted with love and acceptance but they refuse to give the same to people who have opposing beliefs. Many preach “Complete Tolerance”, but that has to mean complete tolerance for ALL beliefs. Because someone supports traditional marriage it does not mean they are bigots, anti gay, hateful, etc. Yesterday was about coming out to support the fact that EVERYONE has a right to free speech and to voice there opinion and not be slaughtered in the media and told by politicians that they cannot do business somewhere based on their beliefs. For example, Starbucks came out as a supporter for gay marriage and you didn’t see a protest or the media bullying them or conservative leaders telling them they are not welcome in their cities, and I am a DAILY customer!

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 4:15pm
  49. this just keeps getting stupider…

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 7:11pm
  50. The beginning of these brazen public displays occurred as early as 1965. They DEMANDED that the American public and Government “Stay out of our bedrooms” ..Today, however, they’re hyper-sensitive, thin skinned, and MILITANT with diminutive ‘in your face’ attempts to gain power and be heard that lack substance and amount to little more than NAKED AGRESSION. Like a jilted ex-boyfriend turned stalker, the LGBT(Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender)community’s tacit mission statement could be summed as “we’re going to MAKE you like us”!

    KEEP your bedroom OUT of politics… REALLY. We don’t want to hear about it! They’re less than 2% of the population….They’re NOT by any means the NORM. Who said members of homosocial groups or same-sex couples have the right to HIJACK the word GAY anyway? the conflicted and negligible contingent contradicts its self with a TV show called ‘That’s Gay’. Why is ok for THEM to use the word? is that the similar to the Black Community, where it’s ok to call each other the N-word? For now, GAY has become slang, it will, like all trends; go away; on it’s own. In a world of competing ideas around economical and military strength, the threat of accelerating Islamic terror, can we afford to devote ANY more our time and resources to enforce laws against the personal religious convictions or content and tone of people’s words. What’s next? criminalize people for what they think and feel?

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 7:35pm
  51. I am a L&G supporter, but you cannot hate someone who has different beliefs that you. The owner of this company NEVER bashed gay marriage or couples he is simply sticking by his religion like he has the FREEDOM to do. I really feel like all of those attending the “kissing in front of chick-fil-a” are just proving his point. It’s so blatantly disrespectful. It even says in this article that chick-fil-a did NOT start their appreciation day. Customers did. So, taking your anger out on a businesses that are LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED is ignorance. For all you know, that local owner could be one of your own. This is not the way to gain respect or support and for those attending, you should be ashamed of yourself for your actions!

    Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 8:02pm
  52. For those of you planning to do a “kiss in” tomorrow at Chick-Fil-A, don’t. It shuts down crucial communication opportunities. It makes the rest of us look bad/immature. It’s just childish rebellion; it won’t change anything. Here’s an alternative: Go with your friends. Sit outside (but don’t be in the way). Wear a non-offensive shirt/accessory that shows your support for gay rights. Don’t bother employees or customers. Don’t bring signs. Don’t chant. Don’t confront. Just hang out. Sometimes the most effective messages are silent ones. And you know what this says if you do it right? “We are here. We’re mature and respectful. The money this company is donating harms us and our friends.” If someone insults you, remain respectful. If someone asks a question, answer intelligently. Make it clear that we are acting because of the owner’s monetary actions, not his opinion. No, it’s not a protest. It’s not angry or demanding. But it’s a message more people will listen to, even if they don’t agree.

    Posted on Friday, August 3, 2012 at 12:03am