Today is the day of the Chik-Fil-A ‘kiss-in’ protest

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Flickr photo credit Maureen Lunn

Gay rights activists and backers of same-sex marriage plan to hold a
nationwide “kiss-in” at Chick-fil-A restaurants on Friday to protest the
fast-food chain president’s opposition to homosexual unions.

Same
Sex Kiss Day is a reaction to comments last month from Dan Cathy, who
said he supported “the biblical definition of the family unit” and that
backers of gay marriage were “arrogant.”

Carly McGehee, a Dallas
political activist who came up with the idea of the kiss-in, said more
than 15,000 people have said they will join the protest since she posted
an announcement on her Facebook page on July 19.

Cathy’s company
“is continuously supporting hate and bigotry and intolerance,” said
McGehee, 24. “He has the right to do that, but he has to be prepared for
the backlash, for the repercussions. This is America.”

Customers
who backed Cathy’s stance swamped Chick-fil-A outlets on Wednesday,
giving the 1,600-store chain – known for chicken sandwiches, waffle
fries and being closed on Sundays – a “record-setting day,” a spokesman
said on Thursday.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against
Defamation (GLAAD) says Cathy’s stance goes beyond opposition to
same-sex marriage, with Chick-fil-A financially backing groups that are
anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

“Consumers and
communities have every right to speak up when a company’s president
accuses them of ‘inviting God’s wrath’ by treating their LGBT friends,
neighbors and family members with respect,” GLAAD President Herndon
Graddick said in a statement.

Steve Robinson, a Chick-fil-A
spokesman, said in a statement about the “kiss-in” that the chain’s goal
was “to provide great food, genuine hospitality and to have a positive
influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”

Marci
Alt, 48, of Atlanta, has started an online petition calling for Cathy to
come to her home for dinner with her family, including her partner of
12 years and their two children.

“I thought I would take a
different approach, and try the good old-fashioned way and sit down and
talk,” she said. Alt will also be among those protesting at the chain’s
Decatur, Georgia, site.


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