"Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day" sets stage for support rallies and counter-protests over restaurant's stand on same-sex marriage.
Chick-Fil-A has come under fire after CEO Dan Cathy publicly stated his company's opposition to gay marriage, but today a national "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day" is being held for those who support Cathy and his company.
It started when Cathy reiterated his company's strong religious beliefs to a Baptist Journal reporter, saying: "We are very much supportive of family, the Biblical definition of a family unity. We are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
Those comments outraged supporters of the gay and lesbian community across the nation, who have called for a boycott of the fast-food chain.
The debate has become a political hot-topic in some of the nation's largest cities.
"When people don't support marriage equality, it is the law here in the District of Columbia, people who don't support human rights for everybody, there just is no place for them in this city," said Washington, DC Mayor Vincent Gray.
With annual sales over $4 billion, the company is mainly focused in the southern states and has not commented on the controversy, but those who support the values of the privately run company are.
Former Arkansas governor and conservative television host Mike Huckabee has declared today "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day", calling it a chance to "affirm to a Christian brother, Dan Cathy, that he has not been disenfranchised from his citizenship nor his right of free speech."
The Billy Graham Evangelical Association also supports Cathy and is backing today's "Chick-Fil-A Day".