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Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee urge Chick-fil-A counter-protest

July 26, 2012|By Seema Mehta
  • Chick-fil-A President and CEO Dan Cathy said last week that his privately owned company is "guilty as charged" in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family unit.
Chick-fil-A President and CEO Dan Cathy said last week that his privately… (AP Photo / Mike Stewart )

Protesting can be hard work — gathering petition signatures under the beating sun, chaining one’s self to trees, boycotting a favorite store or picketing family-planning clinics all take work with little immediate reward.

But Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee have a pretty tasty demonstration in mind, if you share their views on traditional marriage.

“No signs and no protests are needed to make your voice heard.  Just simply have a meal at Chick-fil-A on August 1 for ‘Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day’ and our support for traditional values will be heard loud and clear,” Rick Santorum wrote in an email Wednesday to supporters.

The devout religious beliefs of the founders and owners of the fried-chicken sandwich stands is well known. (When this reporter was in high school, the local Chick-fil-A was the sole fast-food stall closed in the local mall’s food court on busy Sundays — so its employees could attend church.)

But current company President Dan Cathy sparked a controversy when he confirmed in an interview with the Baptist Press earlier this month their belief that marriage should be allowed only between one man and one woman. (Cathy, also the CEO, is the son of the founder.)

"Well, guilty as charged," he said, when asked about the position. “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.”

The comment has led to threats of boycotts and mass "kissing protests" by same-sex partners, as well as denunciations from elected officials in cities such as Boston and Chicago.

Santorum and Huckabee offered their counter-protest. And while many disagree with the owners’ views on traditional marriage, there seems to be widespread consensus on the allure of their fried-chicken sandwiches with a side of waffle fries.

seema.mehta@latimes.com

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