some mayors actually said they don't want Chick Fil-A in their cities due to CEO's opposition to gay marriage
Long lines have formed outside San Antonio Chick Fil-A restaurants today, as conservatives, evangelicals, and supporters of the traditional family show their support for the fast food chain after CEO Dan Cathy said he is a backer of traditional marriage and supports groups opposing legalization of gay marriage.
"I'm a Christian too and I am in favor of traditional values," said one Chick Fil-A customer at the Forum Shopping Center on the northeast side, where cars stretched around the block.
"Mayors shouldn't be dictating to a businessman what his beliefs should be," another customer told 1200 WOAI's Michael Board.
The mayors of Chicago and Boston indicated they would not support additional Chick Fil-A restaurants in their communities due to Cathy's comments, although both have since walked back those comments.
Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress of Dallas' First Baptist Church says he is participating in 'Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day, which was set up by talk show host and former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
"I ask people, what would you think if, for example, the Mayor of Dallas said he did not want any more Starbucks in Dallas, because Starbucks supports gay marriage," Jeffress said. "There would be a hue and cry from liberals across the country.
But Chuck Smith of Equality Texas, which backs gay marriage, says it is not about restricting Cathy's free speech.
"We're not opposed to Dan Cathy's freedom of speech, we're not against religion," Smith said. "He has donated literally millions of dollars to organizations whose missions are to make sure discriminator laws covering gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination remain in place."
Pro gay marriage activists had planned 'kiss ins' at Chick Fil-A restaurants as a counter protest today, but that effort appears to be fizzling. No such incidents were reported in San Antonio. But many locations call for help from police to deal with large crowds, especially at lunch time, as people attempted to buy products to show their support for Cathy.
"He should not be chastised for expressing his opinions," one shopper said.
"I'm here to show my support and I'll probably be back tomorrow," another man at the Forum locations said.