Big Crowds at Area Chick-Fil-A Stores
Update: 5:30 p.m.:
Lynchburg, VA - Loyal customers are standing by their fast food restaurant. Wednesday, people flocked to their local Chick-fil-A. There, they got a bit to eat and made a statement in support of the company and traditional marriage.
A few weeks ago, Chick-fil-A's president spoke about marriage, saying he believes in the biblical definition as being between a man and a woman. That sparked a firestorm - and a call from the LGBT community to boycott the chain.
At all three Chick-fil-As in Lynchburg Wednesday, huge lines. It is Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. The chicken chain says it did not start this day. But fans flooded the restaurant, saying they stand by the chain's Christian-based beliefs.
You would have thought they were handing out free chicken sandwiches. Lunch time at Chick-fil-A was a madhouse. Ryan Culkin stopped by for a bite.
"Oh yeah, definitely. Definitely support Chic-fil-A," said Culkin.
Many at the Chick-fil-A on Wards Road share a similar belief. They support Chick-fil-A's statement that marriage is between a man and a woman.
"Is it wrong for the president of a company to make a statement like that?" we asked Hope Harris, Rustburg.
"No, because it's his company and he's entitled to do with it whatever he wants to do," said Harris.
But, since the president's statement, Chick-fil-A has pivoted, releasing this statement: "Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."
Too late. The public's already politicized the statement and the company. Christian conservatives like Mike Huckabee have picked up and run with this, cluttering his Facebook page with support for the chicken chain.
"I was absolutely outraged," said Elizabeth McKee, against Chick-fil-A.
Elizabeth McKee is straight, married, and goes to church. But she's against the restaurant. She and her son will not be picking up a chicken sandwich here ever again.
"This is America. They have every right to be here in support of what they believe in. But, just to be so anti-gay marriage that you feel you need to drive down here. I think it's ridiculous," said McKee.
Chick-fil-A restaurants are very crowded Wednesday.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee declared Wednesday national "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." He's asking people to come eat at restaurants to show support after a recent controversy.
This comes after Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press last month that he and his company support the traditional, biblical definition of marriage. Chick-fil-A says it doesn't discriminate against anyone.
In response, gay rights groups and others have called for a boycott of the chain and are planning a national "kiss in" on Friday.
We checked in on the Chick-fil-A on Wards Road in Lynchburg at lunchtime and there were plenty of people waiting in line. You also sent us your pictures of long lines at other area Chick-Fil-A stores. If you have any pictures to share, email them to email@example.com.