Two days after an unofficial Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day brought the conservative chicken chain record sales, marriage equality advocates are planning same-sex "kiss in" protests at restaurants across the country.
On Wednesday hundreds of thousands showed up at Chick-fil-A restaurants after former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee created a Facebook event in solidarity with the restaurant's president Dan Cathy, who said last month that America was " inviting God's judgment on our nation" for allowing gays to marry. Cathy and Chick-fil-A distanced themselves from the event, but all across the country lines stretched out the door in response.
Today, gay rights and animal rights advocates respond with their own events. GLAAD declared today National Same Sex Kiss Day, also known as Kiss Mor Chiks Day to mock the chain's "Eat Mor Chikin" ad campaign.
""Let's show Chick-fil-A that EVERYONE deserves to be able to fall in love, start a family, and take their children to eat fried chicken after a soccer match." " the organizers' Facebook event reads.
When Cathy's comments first became public, several sponsors announced their disproval, including Jim Henson Co., which pulled its Muppet toys from Chick-fil-A kids' meals. The mayors of Chicago and Boston were equally disdainful, saying publicly that they did not want new franchises opening in their cities. Boston mayor Thomas Menino wrote a letter calling Cathy's comment "prejudiced," adding that it would be "an insult to (Boston's gay couples) and to our city's long history to have a Chick-fil-A" built at a proposed spot next to a historic monument.
On Thursday, a Tucson man was fired after he posted a YouTube video of himself antagonizing a Chick-fil-A employee while going through a drive-thru according to Fox News.
“I don’t know how you sleep at night,” the man, Adam Smith, tells the employee after ordering a free water. “This is a horrible corporation with horrible values.”
Smith continued filming the encounter, against the employee’s wishes and despite her polite responses. After she wishes Smith a good day, he tells the employee that he “just did something really good” and feels “purposeful.”
The video went viral, and on Thursday Smith’s boss at medical manufacturing company Vante fired him.
“Vante regrets the unfortunate events that transpired yesterday in Tucson between our former CFO/Treasurer Adam Smith and an employee at Chick-fil-A,” the company said in a statement. “We hope that the general population does not hold Mr. Smith’s actions against Vante and its employees.”
The majority of the Atlanta-based chain's restaurants are in the Southeast, where numerous states have constitutional amendments mandating that gay marriage not be recognized. The organization has also made no secret of its conservatism -- its charity gave $2 million to organizations opposing gay marriage in 2010 and its founding family, the Cathys, have contributed $81,000 to politicians who oppose it, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The chain is also famous for not opening on Sundays.
Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News and World Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.