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Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day draws crowds, company gratitude

August 01, 2012|By Rene Lynch

Hey, Chick-fil-A, are you feeling appreciated?

The fast-food chain was overrun on Wednesday by men, women and children wanting chicken sandwiches, cross-cut fries -- and to voice their support for the company that finds itself under fire for taking a position against same-sex marriage.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee declared Wednesday to be Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, and urged Americans to show their appreciation with their wallets.

PHOTOS: The Chick-fil-A controversy

Now, we can't tell you that we personally checked with each and every one of Chick-fil-A's 1,615 locations in 39 states and Washington, D.C.

But we can point out this growing photo collection on Huckabee's Facebook page of people in Illinois, Colorado, South Carolina and elsewhere mobbing Chick-fil-A outlets. Some lined up in the summer heat to get inside a store, while others waited in cars as far as the eye (or the camera) could see for a chance to place their orders at the drive-through window.

Interest in Chick-fil-A was just as intense in the online world. For much of the day, "Chick-fil-A" was a trending topic on Twitter and the most-searched-for term on Google.

A representative for Chick-fil-A declined to discuss sales figures, but issued the following statement to the Los Angeles Times: "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was not created by Chick-fil-A. We appreciate all of our customers and are glad to serve them at any time. Our goal is simple: to provide great food, genuine hospitality and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A."

Huckabee's declaration was intended to counter the fury recently directed at the company. The outcry began when Dan Cathy, president of the fast-food chain, spoke out publicly about how the company proudly abides by Bible-based principles and, as a result, opposes same-sex marriage. "Guilty as charged," Cathy said, adding that Chick-fil-A supports "the biblical definition of the family unit."

This wasn't exactly news to the LGBT community, which has long criticized the fast-food chain for donations to campaigns and causes it sees as opposing gay rights. But Cathy's comments landed at a time when the country is more fractured than ever about the issue of same-sex marriage.

The flap seems unlikely to end soon. Fox News is reporting that supporters of same-sex marriage plan protests -- including "kiss-ins" -- at Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide on Friday.

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Join Rene Lynch on Google+ and Twitter. Email: rene.lynch@latimes.com

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