Customers wait in long lines outside area Chick-fil-A restaurants

Published: Aug. 1, 2012 at 8:59 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2012 at 8:59 PM EDT
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Customers lined up outside local Chick-fil-A restaurants Wednesday for lunch
Customers lined up outside local Chick-fil-A restaurants Wednesday for lunch

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - More than the usual crowd showed up to eat more chicken at the Chick-fil-A on Harden St. in Five Points Wednesday.

It was the result of Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, an event you've probably seen talked about on Facebook.

"I'm here primarily in support of free speech," said Suzanne Hardeman.

Hardeman was there to show support for the company's president, Dan Cathy, who said in an interview his company supports "the biblical definition of the family unit."

While she agrees, Hardeman said her biggest concern was the backlash.

"I'd like to have my beliefs, and have them have theirs," she said. "And hopefully live in a country where we both have the freedom and the right to express our opinions and be respected for that."

Christine Johnson, Executive Director of SC Equality was not at Chick-Fil-A Wednesday.  And doesn't plan to go back.

"Mr. Cathy says his corporation has this policy and personal belief system, but it's not really conducive to creating a community of compassion," said Johnson. "Hatred in the name of God is still hatred, and we need to be honest about that."

Blair Harris falls somewhere in between.

She came for lunch without knowing about the demonstration.

"I don't necessarily agree with what he said, but he's got a good product to offer and that's why he's successful," said Harris. "I think that we live in a country where we're encouraged to speak freely, and we're not supposed to be condemned for believing certain things and I think this is a big fat case of bullying."

SC Equality says there's a national kiss-in day planned for Friday. They're encouraging same-sex couples to visit their local Chick-fil-A's for public displays of affection.

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