More than chicken sandwiches and waffle fries are on the menu today at Chick-fil-A fast-food franchises, including some in the Bay Area.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has declared today "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" and called on supporters to patronize the company, which has been under fire since its CEO came out against same-sex marriage last month.
Huckabee wrote on the Facebook page for the appreciation day, "I have been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick-fil-A company because the CEO, Dan Cathy, made comments recently in which he affirmed his view that the Biblical view of marriage should be upheld." Cathy made the remarks in a July 16 interview with "Baptist Press."
"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 Christian news service.
A woman answering the phone at the Fairfield Chick-fil-A franchise at 1750 Travis Blvd. around 11 a.m. said she was too busy to talk.
"We are slammed out the door," she said, and suggested calling back later in the day.
The "Appreciation Day," which boasts more than 610,600 "attendees" nationwide on its Facebook page, has spurred backlash from those who support same-sex marriage rights.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, is encouraging counter-actions today. An online campaign is under way that suggests donating $6.50 -- the approximate cost of a meal at Chick-fil-A -- to an LGBT-friendly organization.
A San Jose Chick-fil-A location is opening on Aug. 16, and same-sex marriage supporters have organized a protest at the restaurant at 53 Headquarters Drive this afternoon. Forty-five people have said on the protest's Facebook page that they will attend the 3 p.m. demonstration.
The page directs participants to "wear purple, bring signs or flags to express your support of marriage equality, and come ready to march."
This Friday, some gay marriage supporters will participate in a "National Same-Sex Kiss Day" in which groups throughout the U.S. plan to smooch in front of Chick-fil-A restaurants to show "the real definition of marriage," according to an online flier for the event.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee weighed in on the controversy in a Tweet last week that read, "Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer." A third Bay Area Chick-fil-A location is scheduled to open on Sept. 20 at 2750 N. Main St. in Walnut Creek.
The franchise had planned to open a new location in Mountain View as well, but the restaurant has been met with opposition since the company's political affiliations came to light.
--Bay City News