National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A wasn't planned as a rebuttal to former Gov. Mike Huckabee's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, but many will see it that way.
People across the country lined up at their local Chick-fil-A restaurants Wednesday to show their support of the Atlanta-based restaurant.
Huckabee declared Aug. 1 as “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” after the company's Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy came under fire for comments he made in which he affirmed his view that the biblical definition of marriage should be upheld.
But Wednesday is just the first of two key dates for the chicken chain. The second, organized by gay rights supporters in response to Cathy's comments, will happen on Friday.
Organizers of National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A say on their Facebook page that the event was set up before Huckabee announced his plans for Wednesday, and was not created as a response to his appreciation day.
Huckabee said Thursday morning he does not have a problem with the protest.
“That's America,” he said on Fox News. “As long as they're orderly. As long as they don't disrupt the flow of customers and traffic.”
The event's organizers said on their Faceook page, “Let's show Chick-fil-A thanks for their support of Love, Equality, and the Real Definition of Marriage! Invite your friends!” By 3:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, more than 11,800 people have said they will attend the “kiss-in” on Friday.
“If they believe that this will help their cause—to put people of the same sex kissing each other in front of families—if they believe that will encourage people to be more sympathetic, then more power to them,” Huckabee noted on Fox.
Gay rights groups like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, known as GLADD, are promoting the National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A. Activist Carly McGehee told the group she wanted to start the “kiss-in” because just boycotting the fast-food chain doesn't go far enough.
“Change will not come if we are sitting at home behind closed doors,” she was reported saying by CBS News. “We need to show not just the Chick-fil-A company, but the rest of the country that our numbers are great. By participating in the kiss-in, thousands of people will get out of the house and show their support for LGBT equality.”
Monica Lynn Todd wrote on the group's Facebook event page: “While I do not agree with the beliefs of the owners of Chik-Fil-A, I do not see this as an appropriate action of protest. … Is showing off by kissing in front of a single chain - or worse, sitting in the parking lot with picket signs - worth it? It all seems very immature to me, and in a way, it makes LGBTQ organizations seem childish.”
Others who wrote on the event and group page suggested that patronizing KFC would be a better way to show their support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning community.
Nathan Alexander Roush, a professed Christian and employee at Chick-fil-A, also questioned the event on its Facebook page. “It never ceases to amaze me that many homosexuals preach tolerance and even acceptance but often do neither when it comes to my views.” His post had received more than 700 comments by press time, by both people who agreed and disagreed with his statement.