Will Protests Erupt at Chick-fil-A in Springfield?
Both supporters and protesters of same-sex marriage plan to demonstrate Wednesday and Friday at some Chick-fil-A locations following controversial remarks by the company's president.
After Chick-fil-A's president, Dan Cathy, spoke out in favor of the "biblical definition of the family unit" to the Baptist Press in July, reactions from organizations, politicians and other businesses have erupted both in support and against the fast-food chain and its stance on same-sex marriage.
With a local Chick-fil-A nearby in Springfield, what do local residents think about the issue?
Carl Sell of Rose Hill said: "I go to restaurants for food, not social issues. If I did, I'd have to stop shopping at too many places. People need to get a life and concentrate on important stuff."
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee wants to show his support for the franchise by deeming Wednesday "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." He is asking supporters to eat at the restaurant, and claims that more than half-a-millon people have RSVP'd to participate.
In response, the LGBT advocacy group, GLAAD, is organizing protests at various Chick-fil-A locations on the same day. The organization is also promoting Friday as "National Same Sex Kiss Day."
Will the controversy make its way to the Springfield Chick-fil-A location, which just opened in April?
The manager there declined to comment on the issue when contacted Tuesday by Patch and said that he is not aware of any shows of support or protests planned at that location.
Chick-fil-A is not giving any interviews, however, the company released a statement that included the following comments:
"The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, which is based in D.C., responded to Cathy's statements by saying: "Join FRC in thanking the Cathys for standing their ground and refusing to be intimidated. Start by clicking over to our "EAT MOR CHIKIN" Facebook post. Then, drive through Chick-fil-A and drive home your support!"
Are you planning on showing support or protesting this week? Have Cathy's comments changed your mind about eating at Chick-fil-A? Tell us in the comments!
Correction: A previous version of this article misparaphrased Dan Cathy's statements.