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Supporters Turn Out For Chick-fil-A ‘Appreciation Day’

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Chick-fil-A supporters were lining up to eat at the chicken chain’s restaurants across the country Wednesday as the company continues to be criticized for an executive taking a public position against same-sex marriage.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared Wednesday “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” Large lines formed at at the chain’s restaurants, including in Sacramento.

“I’m here to support the owners of this business and their Christian values,” Rosanne Aylworth said outside the Sacramento restaurant on Alta Arden.

A spokeswoman for the Rev. Billy Graham says the 93-year-old evangelist ate a Chick-fil-A lunch, including a chicken sandwich and waffle fries, at his North Carolina home.

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press last month that the Atlanta-based company was “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.” Gay rights groups and others answered with calls for boycotts.

“It’s a First Amendment rights issue and he has a right to his opinion, as does the other side,” a Fairfield customer said Wednesday.

“I love those who love the lord,” supporter Rick Rarick said at Sacramento restaurant. “I’d be glad to stand in line for a long time.”

But opponents say they have just as much right to freely disagree. Ellen Pontac and her partner were the first same-sex couple to marry in Yolo County. She held a sign outside the Sacramento restaurant Wednesday.

“Everyone who has stopped me here says ‘We have the right to our opinion,’ and I absolutely agree. They do have a right to their opinion, and so do I.”

Opponents of Cathy’s stance have planned “Kiss Mor Chiks” for Friday, asking people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A locations and kiss each other.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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