As they did in many cities across the country, crowds in Albany showed up Wednesday to show their support for Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s statements on traditional, or Christian-based, marriage and family.
ALBANY, Ga. — The human line stretched all the way from the doorway of the restaurant to the mall parking lot. A local funeral home owner walked from person to person, handing out fans to keep away gnats. Motorists hungry for a meal and anxious to make a statement of support reached all the way to Westover Road.
“Beautiful,” said a woman with a camera poised on the grass alongside Chick-fil-A on Dawson Road.
All that for a chicken sandwich?
Most of those who turned out came in support of a recent statement by Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy on “traditional marriage, as set forth in the Bible,” implying to some a disregard for the rights of gays and lesbians.
Albany is not alone in its strong response to Cathy’s statement. Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country are experiencing long lines of people “voting with their wallets,” Wednesday on what has been declared National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day by former
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. According to an article on The Huffington Post, Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr., founder and president of STAND (Staying True to America’s National Destiny) has called for a “Buycott” of Chick-fil-A, in support of the company’s defense of marriage and protection of family and Christian values.
“We come down here to stand for the Lord,” said Bryan Bentley, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Ellaville. “And we came to support Chick-fil-A for their stand on the scriptures, because according to Genesis 2:24, which is the word of God, ‘Man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’.”
Bentley said his visiting church group “loves homosexuals” but says what they’re doing is wrong.
“God wants to save them,” Bentley said. “Adulterers, fornicators, effeminates, drunkards, thieves, revelers will not inherit the kingdom of God. God has not changed.”
“I’m here supporting Chick-fil-A,” said Joni Patten. “I support the right to have our own opinions. We live in a free country. We’re not fascists. We don’t have to believe what the government tells us to believe. I believe in tolerance. There’s a mayor in a city up north that wouldn’t let (Chick-fil-A) have a business license because of their beliefs. I think that turns them into a fascist government.”
Cindi Redding said that it was “fine” for homosexuals and their partners to “do what they want,” as long as it isn’t forced on anyone else.
“Obviously, whoever may have been coming to demonstrate didn’t come,” Redding said. “We’re here to demonstrate that we still love Chick-fil-A even though they support the Bible. They’re supposed to support the Bible. (Cathy) just said that men and women should be married and that he believes in the Bible.”