CHARLOTTE—There were long lines outside of some NC Chick-fil-A restaurants on Wednesday afternoon as supporters of the restaurant's president, Dan Cathy, organized an "Appreciation Day" to show they stand behind the owner and his stance on marriage.
Cathy said in an interview with the Baptist Press that he supports the biblical definition of the family unit. That statement is drawing both support and criticism.
"It's important to support them, especially Christians. All of the churches should really be supporting Chick-fil-A right now," said Charlotte resident Rwanda Blackman.
Many people outside of the restaurant on Wednesday said their Christian beliefs are in line with the restaurant owner's. Others decided to show their support because they say it is a right protected under the First Amendment.
"I love Chick-fil-A anyhow but I'm going to show my support. I believe they have a right to say what they want to say without being punished for it," said Charlotte resident Jim Carter.
However, Equality for North Carolina has a different opinion on the matter.
"When you take a stance on something like discrimination, let's be frank that's what we're talking about here. You're going to generate a strong response," said Executive Director of Equality NC Stuart Campbell.
Campbell said Wednesday's turnout was not surprising and he hopes Cathy's comment will open a dialogue about equality for everyone.
Chick-fil-A did release a statement saying:
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. As a privately held company Chick-fil-A does not comment publicly about our sales figures or volume.
The restaurant has said in the past it will not turn away customers based on their beliefs or sexual orientation.