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Thousands At OP Chick-fil-A Supporting Free Speech and ‘Traditional’ Marriage

In the wake of Chick-fil-A president’s gay marriage statement, with mayors in Boston and San Francisco telling the company to open elsewhere, a massive crowd showed Wednesday in support of the Orland Park franchise.

The wait around 3 p.m. Wednesday was two hours through a winding line at parking lot just to get to the front door.

“I like their view on marriage and I believe we should have the freedom to at least express our views on it,” said Susan Soulian, who drove an hour from Wilmington to wait in the long line. “That’s all they did. You can’t let a business not set up because of a different viewpoint.”

Soulian was among a steady flow of people numbering in the thousands who appeared at the Orland Park Chick-fil-A franchise throughout Wednesday, to show support after public officials denounced the company’s stance against gay marriage.

The fallout, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s own statement about the company’s values “are not Chicago’s values,” started with a comment made by Chick-fil-A president and chief operating officer Dan Cathy.

According to the Baptist Press article by K. Allan Blume:

Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position.

In response to the outcries against the company, Fox News pundit and former governor Mike Huckabee created a Facebook event called Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, though the company had no formal involvement.

“This is not a Chick-fil-A event, nor a Chick-fil-A sponsored event,” said Cassie Dignan, marketing director for the Orland Park restaurant. “It was started by fans of Chick-fil-A. “We just heard through the news that we should probably get ready. We had a lot of people call last week that they’d be coming.”

Dignan said an exact number of customers wouldn’t be available until after business hours, but a long wrap around line outside the restaurant – that one patient patron said took about two hours just to get inside – started forming around 9 a.m. Wednesday.

“Some people were waiting in line at 5:30 a.m. before we opened,” Dignan said. “. It’s just been crazy. We’re just a chicken place that’s here to serve really great chicken and treat people with honor, dignity and respect.”

Former Michigan State Senator Cameron Brown and his wife Helen drove about two-and-a-half hours to Orland Park from Kalamazoo, Michigan to support the company.

“This is a fundamental expression of everything we believe as Americans,” Cameron Brown said about visiting the Orland franchise. “Mr. Cathy has been well-mannered. He made a statement about marriage and he has a right to do that. It’s hard to imagine this is happening in America. We feel this is the most patriotic expression we can do.”

Cameron Brown further said statements from Emanuel and other mayors are “mean-spirited and un-American.”

Becky Howard came from Bridgeview to offer her support at the Orland location, but chose to open doors for people leaving rather than wait in the long line.

“I don’t believe in same sex marriage, but I do think if we don’t stand up for our rights they could take away our freedom of speech,” Howard said. “It bothers me that we live in a country where we should have freedom of speech and it could be taken away just because we believe differently.”

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laura August 03, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Want to make a statement supporting rights of gays to legal marriage? Attend today's Same-Sex Kiss-a-Chik demonstration at Chik-Fil-A in OP. Equal rights; equal time. This isn't the '50s any longer.
Dean Casper August 03, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Just because extremists agree on a position does not make everyone an extremist. Liberals taking everything to the extreme again. Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez endorsed Obama, this, in and of itself, does not make Obama a dictator. The government has no right to impose a thought standard on regulation of commerce. Again, she my post on where this ends. You may cheer the pols running out a business that disagrees with you on Gay marriage, but what happens when Rahm goes after a business because they support a cause you support? Liberal free speech, you can only talk, own a business, or live in my town if you agree with the oppressive rulers. That is completely un-American. Cardinal George said it best, we do not have to submit our values to the government for approval. The scariest part is the man promoting this nonsense was the Chief of Staff to the most powerful man in the world, well until our debt he is creating drags us down behind China.
Carin August 03, 2012 at 03:11 PM
And you feel the same way so long as I believe your christian beliefs. Which I do not. I don't remember you standing up for the Muslims when they wanted a Mosque to be built. I don't recall you at the Village meetings telling all the protesters they are infringing on the 1st Amendment rights of the Muslims. You throw Obama into this as if he has ANYTHING to do with this.
Carin August 03, 2012 at 03:14 PM
I'll be by there.
Carin August 03, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Alan - I don't think you know exactly what an Anarchist is. Cause you're basically comparing someone who wants to be treated like a human being to Bane.
Carin August 03, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Here's a list of companies the "Conservatives" have called out to boycott because they don't discriminate against Americans wanting basic human rights: JC Penney DC Comics Electronic Arts Marvel Comics The Lifetime Network Toys R U Oreos Levi's Cheerios American Apparel Disney World Starbucks Wheaties Tide Microsoft The Home Depot Pampers Pepsi Safeway Crest Old Navy Girl Scouts Macy's Target Pillsbury Wallgreens
Jamie Lynn August 03, 2012 at 03:24 PM
https://www.facebook.com/NationalSameSexKissDay - According to this, it will be at 7pm!
Carin August 03, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Awesome! I'll have dinner at the Taste of Orland and then head on over for some smooching. Don't worry, I will lay off anything garlic! :o)
frank August 03, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Should Chik & Lowes be overcrowded, a second site for the KISS-IN is scheduled for Maple Lake at the Port-a Potty between 1-2pm. Bring sun screen. Name tags are optional. Please don't tip the Potty, remember that others use the facility. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Julie August 03, 2012 at 04:15 PM
AWESOME! I don't purchase products from any of those places...except Microsoft. When did Oreos, Tide, Crest, Wheaties & Cheerios become companies? That would be Proctor & Gamble, General Mills, and Nabisco. Actually I think the AFA called off their Pepsi boycott. When 500,000 customers said they would boycot Pepsi....Pepsi changed their tune. The last boycott on the Gap (which own's Old Navy) was called for not using 'Merry Christmas' in their Christmas sale ads....
Bill Popowski August 03, 2012 at 05:29 PM
This is as good as the Jerry Springer show :-)
Arthur Huff August 03, 2012 at 06:00 PM
100% correct John. Unfortunately nobody would have anything to argue about if they acknowledged that truth so they have to focus on fringe issues to keep the debate going.
Carin August 03, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Alan - 50 years ago, this is the same conversation except with segregation. Christians protested and used their religion to promote not allowing Americans to be treated as Human Beings. Gay Marriage will happen. Cheers.
Carin August 03, 2012 at 07:24 PM
I assume you think having your face in the news is a scare tactic to deter people from showing up??? This isn't 1950. You are aware of that correct?? I'm a hetero sexual and will proudly stand next to my fellow Americans on their RIGHT to be treated as a human being.
laura August 04, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Too bad that "out of the ordinary" isn't inclusive. How would you react if your son or daughter or close friend or co-worker disclosed to you that he/she were gay? Being HUMAN trumps all. After all, don't true Christians trump, WWJD?? Guess he'd throw that first stone, right? Get a life!
Kathie August 04, 2012 at 02:39 AM
When is the Patch going to implement the agree/disagree or thumbs up/thumbs down buttons on comments? I am on limited wi-fi signal at the lake... It would be easy to "hit the button" and agree or disagree, without rewriting similar thoughts. :)
frank August 04, 2012 at 02:44 AM
"S U S" is again sweeping the "common-taters" >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
John Paul August 04, 2012 at 05:47 AM
Carin, there's a big difference between Conservatives (or Liberals) acting as individuals boycotting a business over a disagreement and Conservatives (or Liberals) acting as the government doing it.
John Paul August 04, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Carin, as much as the Westboro people disgust me, I defend their right not to be picked on by government if they are not disobeying the law. you can't pick and choose whose rights are defendable and those whose aren't. Now, if the Westboro people are trespassing on private property, that's a different issue. I would not agree if a municipality denied the pastor of that group a business license if he met all of the requirements.
AtlantiCat August 04, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Dean--To what plan for massive tax increases do you refer? Last I checked, the only tax increases President Obama proposed were 4% on the top 1%. I would hardly call that a massive tax increase on somebody who is making billions per year. I realize you think this is attacking success, but the marginal tax rates have been MUCH higher in the past (go look it up) and very few complained about it then. And the current Republican plan for taxes would add several billion to the debt, hardly a better deal than Obama's plan. Obama has never divided the country. Please explain where this occurred? You do realize that BUSH II was responsible for the huge debt currently burdening our children and grandchildren? When Clinton left office, we had a SURPLUS. Bush II took that and turned it into the worst debt in the history of the United States. But Obama's responsible for all of it because facts should never get in the way of a good argument....
AtlantiCat August 04, 2012 at 12:15 PM
John--this has nothing to do with the CEO's beliefs. If he believed that we were all a bunch of demons from outer space, the government wouldn't give a rat's tail. It's all about his ACTIONS. He donated his company's profits to known hate groups. If he'd donated to the KKK or the Nazi Party, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now. But because these hate groups are pretending to be Christian, suddenly everybody's outraged. They are not Christian. Hate is not Christian. It's just wrong.
AtlantiCat August 04, 2012 at 12:17 PM
You still haven't explained what that's supposed to mean.
Arthur Huff August 04, 2012 at 02:36 PM
AtlantiCat, so we are all clear, are you OK with the government deciding who can and can't do business based solely on their beliefs?
AtlantiCat August 05, 2012 at 11:24 AM
Arthur--No. But I am perfectly comfortable having the government block a business based on that business's willingness to support hate groups. As I said, if the CEO had been donating the company's profits to the KKK or the Nazi Party, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
Laura B August 05, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Here ya go Julie: http://www.upworthy.com/the-top-8-ways-to-be-traditionally-married-according-to-the-bible?g=2&c=la2 look up the verses in the bible - you can't even make this shit up it's actually in the bible
Laura B August 05, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Barbara - you are joking, right?
Laura B August 05, 2012 at 08:39 PM
If you vote for Romney you are voting for the exact reason of what is wrong with this country.
Julie August 05, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Laura B....like I said "Remember that much of the Mosaic law was fulfilled by Jesus so be sure to include many NT references as well as OT" Every reference which has been taken completely out of historical context is from the Old Testament. I will give you some NT thoughts on marriage: Mark 10:11-12 Luke 16:18 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 Ephesians 5:21-25 (Don't read this and leave out verse 28!) Ephesians 5:31 Oh, why not just read all of Ephesians 5.... Hebrews 13:4 Clearly you don't understand the OT. I'm not a theologian, but at least I understand that the OT laws were meant to be formational in order to bring the people from worshiping gold cows to the point where they would be ready to hear Jesus' message.
Carol August 08, 2012 at 04:00 PM
How come you can say your for it and that is ok, but if you say your against it, that makes people mad. So what, everyone has their own opinion, not everyone has to be for gay marriages.
Dean Casper August 08, 2012 at 04:55 PM
That is the very point I am making. No matter the issue, liberals, especially Liberals holding public office, demand 100% compliance with their political agenda or they will use the power of their office to make life very difficult for you. Speak out against any Iiberal initiative and suddenly you are having a zoning problem, etc. unemployment and underemployment are at historic levels. We need jobs! Here you have liberal politicians holding ideology over employment. They would rather deny their economically oppressed constituents an opportunity to work and make a living than allow a CEO voice opposition to liberal ideology.

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