Waxahachie residents flocked to the local Chick-fil-A restaurant Wednesday to show their support on Appreciation Day.
Supporters said they were turning out to make a statement about their personal support of traditional marriage and freedom of speech or show their support of Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s remarks about being a supporter of traditional marriage.
Hundreds of people packed inside the restaurant’s dining area and lined up from the front entrance of the building to the side entrance, marked for exit only due to the overwhelming turnout. Cars formed a queue line from the front of the building and through the parking lot waiting for the drive-thru.
One Waxahachie shared her reasons for supporting Chick-fil-A and expressing her freedoms.
“I’m here with my kids and family, because we support the biblical values that Chick-fil-A supports,” Dawana Quintana said. “It’s not that we’re taking a stand against other people, we’re taking a stand for ourselves. We’re saying that we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion in this country, and we want our values to be held without persecution as well.”
Nationwide the Atlanta-based fast food chain’s restaurants were flooded with supporters and more than 600,000 people confirmed their attendance on the event’s Facebook page.
Supporters of same-sex marriage and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transvestite (LGBT) community have called for boycotts against Chick-fil-A. A “Kiss Mor Chiks” protest has been planned for Friday, when same-sex couples will show up at restaurants to share a public display of affection as a “kiss-in.”
Another resident expressed his support of Chick-fil-A’s stance on traditional marriage and acted against the boycotts called for by supporters of same-sex marriage.
“I’m here to support Chick-fil-A in their endeavor to stand by the traditional family,” Local resident Richie Kotwica said. “The boycott isn’t going to work. We’re here to support them and give them more money and prove their they stand is legal – is right.”
Local franchise operator Philip Browne said the Waxahachie Chick-fil-A was simply serving its customers.
And serve it did. The restaurant scrabbled to provide meals and drinks for everyone who turned out and had to make runs to pick up more food supplies.
The Appreciation Day was called for by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee after the negative comments made by the mayors of Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C.
As the event gained support, many other organizations joined in and hundreds of thousands of individuals across the U.S. voiced their support or protest against the fast-food chain.
The local Chick-fil-A set up shade canopies and handed out umbrellas to help supporters protect themselves for the sun and heat. Elderly people were ushered inside to wait in the air-conditioned dining hall to order their meal.
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