Chick-fil-A ''Appreciation Day'' was Wednesday. More than 1,300 transactions took place by 2:30 p.m. doubling sales, according to local owner David Griffin. (Michelle Higginbotham / American Press)
Bob Alleman, a member of the local chapter of the Tea Party, waited out the long lines Wednesday for Chick-fil-A ''Appreciation Day.'' (Michelle Higginbotham / American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, August 02, 2012 7:17 PM
Chick-fil-A on Nelson Road sold out of food by 7 p.m. Wednesday — declared to be “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” — with more than 1,300 transactions taking place during lunchtime, according to its owner.
The sales spiked as Chick-fil-A supporters turned out in response to criticism of the company that came after its president, Dan Cathy, voiced his public opposition to same-sex marriage.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy told the Baptist Press last month.
Gay rights advocates replied with calls for boycotts of the restaurant. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee declared “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” as a result of that backlash.
David Griffin, owner of the Nelson Road Chick-fil-A, said that by 2:30 p.m. Wednesday the local franchise handled 1,300 transactions — double its usual number.
“We definitely saw a significant increase,” Griffin said. “We had to staff up and get extra inventory. There was a lot of people that came forward.”
He said the influx of business is exciting for him and his staff.
“We’re thankful for the community who came out and showed their support,” Griffin said.
Dale Abshier of Lake Charles said she came out to the restaurant Wednesday to support American values.
“We have a right, we’re against same-sex marriage — simple as that,” Abshier said. “I think it is beautiful that everyone came out to support Chick-fil-A.”
Bob Alleman, a local tea party supporter, said he went to Chick-fil-A to show his support for religious freedom.
“I wanted to show my disapproval of people in Chicago and Boston who want free speech but only if it is only their viewpoint,” Alleman said while waiting in line Wednesday. “Free speech is one of the most important things, but religious freedom is the most important.”
There was no visible protest at the Chick-fil-A on Nelson Road and the one in the Prien Lake Mall, but some local people had no intention of showing their support of the appreciation day.
Daryl Boyd is not associated with Lake Charles Pride, which is the local organization for the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, but said he has friends who are involved with it.
“This is not about the First Amendment, freedom of speech or Mr. Cathy’s beliefs — this is about his support of organizations that promote hatred and bigotry toward a certain population that deserve to be treated equal and fairly,” Boyd said.
“Being a homosexual, it is kind of silly to me to have a day that is so discriminating against a minority,” said Taylor Simon of Lake Charles. “So many people preach about their faith and the Bible and being Christian, and they are totally missing the point of loving and respecting each other.”
Simon said he did not partake in any protest because he did not feel like it was the way to go about it.
“The fact of the matter is that gay Americans are denied rights,” Simon said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Posted By: Dennis Bertrand On: 8/2/2012
Title: Dennis Bertrand
I don't believe in the so called Gay rights movement because GAY means happy I do not think they can be happy in their chosen life style and it is a CHOICE not something they are born with. The only reason they want to be married is so they can get the tax benefit like a married MAN and WOMAN. And I and most people of this world, not just Christians, know that it is all about and man & woman being married not same sex marriages. I God for Mr. Cathy and people like him around this Country who support the things our says. Now what we need to do is send a clear message to our curtain president that we will not tolerate him or any one in public office stepping on our beliefs or the Constitution Of Our Great Country which was formed under God We Trust(everyone else step lightly.).