Gay activists are observing today as "National Same Sex Kiss Day." Organizers urge gay couples to "show Chick-fil-A thanks for their support of Love, Equality, and the Real Definition of Marriage" by snapping photos of themselves kissing at a restaurant.
According to Gawker, at 8 p.m. ET, same-sex couples around the country will gather at their local Chick-fil-A restaurant and begin kissing in public. Participants are asked to submit photos to the official National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A Tumblr page.
Carly McGehee, event organizer, said in a statement: "The event is intended to show Chick-Fil-A how many people their donations and decisions are affecting, not to disturb business."
According to Gawker, McGehee and other organizers emphasize on the event's Facebook page that National Same Sex Kiss Day is not a response to Mike Huckabee's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day that was observed on Wednesday, during which hundreds of thousands of supporters of Chick-fil-A's declared anti-gay stance flocked to branches of the restaurant chain across the US and helped set record sales for the company.
According to CNN, organizers of the National Same Sex kissing Day urged same-sex couples to particiate in the event and post pictures and videos online. Organizer McGehee, said: "I like to liken it to a married couple sharing a light kiss over a romantic meal, it's the same thing. We're here, and our love is just as good."
CNN reports McGehee said more than 13,500 people have expressed support on Facebook for the protest. Most protesters plan to stay outside, but some say they will take the protest inside the restaurant. McGehee said "Some plan to buy food with cash marked 'gay money.'"
Chick-fil-A's Executive Vice President of Marketing Steve Robinson, issued a statement saying the company appreciates all its customers and is "glad to serve them at any time."
ABC News reports that Marci Alt, who is organizing a protest outside the Chick-fil-A restaurant in Decatur, Ga., said: "Basically what you're going to get is a bunch of pretty normal, average, everyday people that just happen to be gay or lesbian give each other a kiss or a hug, hold each other's hand, and really show them that we stand up for what we believe."
Alt commented on the information that Chick-fil-A has donated millions to anti-gay groups such as Marriage & Family and Family Research Council which support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage: "Yes, you're allowed to have your opinion, but when you start signing checks over to people who are against my community and trying to rip my family apart, I'm going to stand up."
BBC reports Herndon Graddicks, president of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), said: "Without question, Dan Cathy has every right to voice his opinions and beliefs. But he should meet and get to know the people that he's speaking out against - the people who are harmed by his company's multi-million dollar donations to anti-gay hate groups working to hurt everyday LGBT Americans and break apart loving families."
Unlike "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" which was largely peaceful, "Same Sex Kiss Day" has recorded some criminal activity, the Daily Mail reports. A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Martinsburg, West Virginia was evacuated after someone called a bomb threat that later turned out a hoax.
In South Carolina, a man was arrested after he blocked the drive-thru with his vehicle. Vandals at a Chick-fil-A in Torrance, California, painted a message with a picture of a cow on the wall of the restaurant building that said, "Tastes Like Hate."
CNN reports police in Torrance are trying to find out who vandalized the Chick-fil-A building. According to Los Angeles Times, Chick-fil-A employees found the graffiti scrawled in large black lettering across the back wall of the restaurant at 182nd Street and Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance.
National Same Sex Kiss Day is unlikely to record the same level of massive turnout as the Appreciation Day, the Daily Mail reports
The Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, called by former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, was a great success with nearly 700,000 pledging to attend on Facebook. Huckabee told Fox News: "It's gone beyond anything I could have imagined. Every one of (the stores) that I know have reported record, historic sales yesterday... A lot of the stores ran out of chicken before the end of the day."
Chick-fil-A said the company had nothing to do with the planning of the Appreciation Day. The company said in a statement: "We are very grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout of loyal Chick-fil-A customers on August 1 at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country. While we don't release exact sales numbers, we can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day."
The Daily Mail reports that not all gays support the boycott. According to Daily Mail, a gay man who is a liberal wrote a piece for CNN iReport in which he argued in favor of Cathy's right to oppose gay marriage. He said he would continue eating at Chick-fil-A and that the reaction of the gay rights groups was excessive.
The Chick-fil-A controversy began after the fast-food restaurant chain's president Dan Cathy, gave The Baptist Press an interview on July 16, Digital Journal reports. Cathy said in the interview: "We are very much supportive of the family, the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
The BBC reports Mr Cathy is a Southern Baptist and his chain does not operate any of its stores on Sunday, in observance of the Christian "Sabbath."