Janice Morse reports
Pam Plunkett rarely eats meat but even she felt compelled to join the throngs of people who lined up at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the nation Wednesday to show support for the company’s owner to express his opinion about gay marriage.
“I’m a vegetarian, but I’m eating chicken today,” declared Plunkett, 57, a Liberty Township resident who went to the West Chester location on Tylersville Road.
Even people who disagreed with Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s stance against gay marriage came and stood patiently in long lines to demonstrate their unanimous belief: Cathy’s free-speech and free-enterprise rights as an American should be upheld, Plunkett said.
In June, Cathy told the Baptist Press that his Atlanta-based company was “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.” In response, politicians in cities such as Chicago and Boston vowed to prevent the chain from opening new stores there.
“What’s with these mayors trying to block someone from starting a business? I just don’t feel that’s right,” Plunkett said. “This is America – and there were all kids of people at the Chick-fil-A…who all believe that it’s his right as a business owner to express his opinion.”
Plunkett said she heard about the plan to flood Chick-fil-A’s with business via Facebook. Participating was “a very unifying experience,” she said, because people from diverse walks of life and political and religious persuasions were there. “It was quite a moving experience. It was almost a chilling, tears-in-your-eyes experience.”
Today’s outpouring of support came after Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared today “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” across the nation. And the Rev. Billy Graham threw his support behind the plan, saying, “As the son of a dairy farmer who milked many a cow, I plan to ‘Eat Mor Chikin’ and show my support by visiting Chick-fil-A,” Graham said in a statement, referring to the slogan in the company’s ads, which feature cows urging people to eat poultry.
Meanwhile, opponents of the company’s stance are planning an event called “Kiss Mor Chiks” on Friday, encouraging people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the nation and kiss each other.
The Cathy family’s Southern Baptist roots are well-known. Ever since Cathy’s father, Truett, opened the first Chick-fil-A in 1967, the restaurants have been closed on Sundays.
The Associated Press contributed to this story