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Thousands 'Eat More Chikin' to Support Chick-Fil-A

People from all over drove to Racine's Chick-Fil-A to participate in nationwide "eat-in," an event started by former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to support the owner of Chick-Fil-A's support of traditional marriage.

People supporting Chick-Fil-A put their money where their mouth is in a big way Wednesday.

After company President Dan Cathy's comments about supporting traditional marriage went public, there were talks of boycotting the company, and the Muppets contract with Chick-Fil-A got stuffed.

He spread the word through the most effective means available, by creating a Facebook page.

At Regency Mall in Racine, the line was out the door, down the hall, through the mall and circled back in front of an end anchor store. As of 2:45 pm, the restaurant had been open for nearly five hours and had served between 1,500 and 2,000 people.

And it wasn't just folks from the greater Racine area who took time out to wait in line. Keith and Bonnie Chillquist drove in from Mukwanago, and Jim from the Sheboygan Tea Party (he didn't want to give his last name) came down from Sheboygan.

"We heard about the protests against Chick-Fil-A, so we came over to support the rights of small business owners and the rights of business owners to say what they believe," said Keith Chillquist. "There's this thing called the Constitution, and Democrats try and take it and do whatever they want with it but we think that's wrong."

Jim agreed.

"We came down to support Chick-Fil-A because of the political quandry they're in because it isn't right," he said. "The owner has a right to say what he thinks and what he believes."

Caledonia's Heather Doebereiner said she was eating at Chick-Fil-A not because she agrees or disagrees with what Cathy said, but because she supports his right to say it.

"I'm supporting him having his own opinion," she said. "This is about freedom of speech and not necessarily whether I agree with him or not."

The Wisconsin Family Council purchased 300 $5 gift cards as a "thank you" to those stopping at the restaurant to eat. Julaine Appling, president of the group, said with the turnout so much greater than anticipated, they had to buy more gift cards to try and keep up.

"We are the marriage champion so of course we want to show Chick-Fil-A that we support Mr. Cathy's view," she said. "Look at this line. This shows that Wisconsin citizens have core values and are willing to show their appreciation for a company that shares those values."

Gay marriage supporters aren't letting this go quietly, though. A Facebook group has started to promote a counter-protest.

Dubbed "National Same-Sex Kiss Day," the invitation asks people to gather at their local Chick-Fil-A at 8 pm Friday to stage a same-sex "kiss-in."

Patch left a message with the office at Regency Mall about whether or not they're aware of this event and their plans to handle any potential crowds.

scot August 02, 2012 at 10:45 AM
not a answer, but a reply. You are still a Fruit Loop!
WIwishes August 02, 2012 at 03:21 PM
All of you applauding Chic Fill A should take a step back and realize you are supporting discrimination. I'd you read more about the money this company has donated, it includes money to essentially support a law in another country to kill gays!!! Now tell me how Christian that is! It disgusts me to think that do many people think this is just about the word "marriage" and trying to own the meaning of this word as a religious word. Every marriage does not have religion in it and it is still recognized in every state as binding with equal rights.
CowDung August 02, 2012 at 03:27 PM
I support the legalization of gay marriage, but I have to side with Chik-f-A on this one. We should be free to hold and express our opinions without the government penalizing us for it. Private citizens should feel free to patronize or boycott CFA according to their own beliefs, but the government needs to protect everyone's rights, not just those that hold beliefs that are deemed to be "correct".
skinnyDUDE August 02, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Chick -Fil-a was open for business and people with the legal view of traditional marriage supported it and a big way. Once again the left Jumped in feet first with the typical Ignorance and Hypocrisy that seemingly defines the party. They simply lack consistent views in the causes they embrace. It is a symptom of a victim party that defines itself too promote a segment of the party they embrace while slapping another segment in the face. Free speech is for everyone . The Liberals haven't got the memo. This event which wasnt even President Obama putting his foot in his mouth . But Obama has embraced the issue of gay marriage and America has not . One thing America certainly showed at Chick-fil-a appreciation day is the affirmation of Free speech . The ironic twist is that Obama himself had the same view of Marriage as the CEO of Chick-fil-a up until a few weeks ago when he played politics on the issue. The Hypocrisy is shining Brightly and events like this have helped Mitt Romney far more than anything the two Presidential candidates can do . The Liberal mistake to choose commerce based on gay marriage views is CLEARLY a violation of free speech .Even common sense lefties realize this. The liberal stance is in fact least tolerant . You agree with me or else. We seen it time and time again. It's refreshing to see Americans overwhelmingly reject this notion. They just don't see there own Hypocrisy and it will undo them in the end.Free speech is for everyone and Americans get it
Randolph Brandt August 02, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I should think the only real issue here is whether the company discriminates against gays and lesbians, either as employees or customers. If not, Mr. Cathy can think whatever he wants, personally, so long as he abides by the law and treats everyone fairly at his stores.
WIwishes August 02, 2012 at 03:45 PM
You don't have to be Christian to get married!! Stop trying to hold hostage a word that cannot be owned by religious beliefs. The free speech goes both ways. I will not support a company that hides behind religion and advocates for killing people based on their sexuality.
Heather in Caledonia August 02, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Well put.
Heather in Caledonia August 02, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Well, then buying gas made from oil from Muslim nations that hold that same view on homosexuality.
Avenging Angel August 02, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Please document your assertion, or is it just rhetoric? I know where I'm placing my bet.
Heather in Caledonia August 02, 2012 at 04:22 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Saudi_Arabia http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/region/10.html http://gayswithoutborders.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/false-hope-lgbt-rights-in-the-middle-east-by-omar-hassan/ http://iraqilgbt.org.uk/news-home/militias-massacre-sexual-minorities-and-emos-in-iraq/ Please note that in these areas it's the government that is complicate or even perpetrating these "punishments." These types of things happen in many countries around the world, but there are only a few where the government is involved.
Brian Dey August 02, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Wrong, 32 states do not recognize gay marriage. Only seven states allow gay marriage and 11 recognize civil unions, not marriage.
Avenging Angel August 02, 2012 at 07:54 PM
"I will not support a company that hides behind religion and advocates for killing people based on their sexuality." Nothing cited indicates this company advocates killing anything other than chickens.
LCG August 02, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Sorry for your loss but you are incorrect in your assessment. http://www.examiner.com/article/chick-fil-a-and-westboro-baptist-agree-on-lgbt-rights-denial
WIwishes August 02, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Check out Uganda and Republucan Foundation (American Heritage). Approximately $25,000 donated to a foundation that tried to stop the US from lobbying against a law in Uganda that would kill homosexuals.
Avenging Angel August 02, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Nonsense. Once again, document your source.
Avenging Angel August 02, 2012 at 08:48 PM
How about this, from the Heritage Foundation: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/07/how-the-new-african-union-leadership-should-improve-the-organization
JW August 03, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Laws do not make something right. Laws once supported segregation... look... I was on Walker's side in the recall... first time I swung to vote Republican in a while. I am a straight (sexual orientation) independent who likes and dislikes several stances from either side. But, listen... the right won me over to their side with the union issue in the past year... if we want to start pushing this particular issue right before an important major election, I think you are going to find you lose much of the independent support you gain. It is a stupid issue with an obvious answer. The government has no business involved in the definition of marriage that is related to its religious definition. They should not be legislating LOVE and or the legalities that come with marriage. Everyone should be treated the same. This shouldn't even be an issue in the "land of freedom". No one should support a business that openly supports viewpoints they significantly disagree with... because it really is like contributing against your own beliefs and interests. What Chick-Fil-A gains in the short term from those who LOVE to push their beliefs on others will likely be lost long term in the high publicity of this situation stopping many from EVER eating there again.
JW August 03, 2012 at 11:30 AM
I do agree with this... the government need not be involved... individuals should vote with their wallet and that will take care of the situation, one way or another, just fine.
JW August 03, 2012 at 11:34 AM
By the way... people here need to get off the "left" viewpoint talk on here. It is NOT just a left viewpoint. What it is, is a non-religious-right viewpoint. If you call it a left viewpoint you are leaving out the center... and trust me, most of us who do not drink the crazy from either side, see this as an obvious discriminatory situation and side with gay rights. Businesses that communicate political preferences to either extreme deserve the ramifications of lost business that will come from that. Businesses would be wise to remain neutral on politics.
JW August 03, 2012 at 11:36 AM
That is part of the equation, however, if Mr. Cathy gets to highly direct the tone of the organization and especially where they send their money in pet causes that support anti-gay agendas, then it is still a real issue for those who disagree. When it comes to employment there are real laws and real punishments to cover that... and sometimes an organization abides by those laws ONLY because they have to.
JW August 03, 2012 at 11:41 AM
The comments at this url are a LONG read... but... I think it says it all from the LGB perspective (read it rather than having people have to cover all the points here)... people who can't empathize with this have real issues... and, especially if they consider themselves good people with good morals and values, they need to look in the mirror and question whether they really actually live up to those supposed values... http://www.owldolatrous.com/?p=288
C. Sanders August 03, 2012 at 11:45 AM
@LCG. ..... And your reference is a post from an atheist blogger whose day job is a loss prevention manager for a store? You are an intellectual zero for putting the remarks of Cathy and the Westboro Baptist Church in the same context. Get some help, and go back to school.
JW August 03, 2012 at 11:47 AM
Riiiiight... and yet, the majority of pedophilia that hits the news seems to be from supposedly Christian people (Sandusky) or the clergy themselves. The connection is probably more that they are closeted homosexuals. Not everyone who enjoys heterosexual sex molests kids and I am sure that is the case on the the other side just the same. Sick individuals that commit pedophilia are sick individuals... they have to be treated as their own set regardless of which sexual orientation banner they claim to operate under because it is always a shame regardless of that factor.
Heather in Caledonia August 03, 2012 at 01:27 PM
JW, Eventually, I'm sure same-sex marriage will become legal across America. That however, won't require everyone to agree with it. It's legal for people to possess handguns, but that doesn't stop people from advocating against it (as is their right.) I still don't see how the government has any right to discriminate against a business for the opinion of company executives. Have you researched what groups Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Pick 'n Save, your local gas stations, etc. have contributed to? For those who do not agree with the stance of the Chick Fil A executives, they have every right to not shop there. I don't agree with policies of the Venezuelan government, so I don't shop at Citgo gas stations. I'm pretty sure this will drop out of the news in a couple of weeks and it will go back to being about whether they make good food and have great service. There will be those who used to go there and won't again, but I don't think it's going to make one bit of a difference in the long run.
JW August 03, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Heather, I commented in another area in here about how I actually agree that most government levels shouldn't be going after a business over something like this... the market will take care of that if it turns out to be a big enough deal to some people. However, part of expressing a viewpoint tied to a business is that PEOPLE will make choices and people run the smaller governments, so it can affect any business even at that level. As for researching every company... no... I dont and no one should have to unless they want to. It is always odd to me when something like that is brought up in a debate. Well, "if you are against this one... why arent you actively seeking out other ones to be against". If I do not know, I do not know... but once I do know, it absolutely may affect my willingness to give a business any of my money. Saying that does not somehow obligate me to research every company or every purchase I make. Chick-Fil-A had their stance exposed and will deal with the ramifications of that, whether ultimately good or bad for them overall, time will tell... but generally the people who do find their stance offensive are more likely to change their viewpoints long term. I think the controversy has gotten far more than the typical publicity and will actually far more likley lead to some reduced sales in the future.... but that's just my opinion, time will tell.
CowDung August 03, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Not only does the government need not be involved, their involvement is a violation of the constitutional rights of the owner of Chick-fil-A. The actions taken by the mayors of Chicago and Boston are horribly wrong...
CowDung August 03, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Any reports on the 'Kiss In' that was to be staged today?
Tom August 04, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Apparently, a kiss or two and no tell.
Frad August 04, 2012 at 03:22 AM
I wonder if Harry Reid appeared at Chick-Fil-A to kiss a young boy.
James R Hoffa August 04, 2012 at 03:57 AM
http://mountpleasant.patch.com/articles/same-sex-kiss-in-doesn-t-really-pucker-up It was an EPIC FAIL!!! 4,000+ attended CFA Appreciation Day at the Regency Mall location in Racine, while only 4-6 people showed up for the 'Kiss-In' protest.

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