Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee hoped to spark a grassroots movement Wednesday, declaring it "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" and encouraging people to eat at the chain after it received a torrent of publicity over comments the company president made about gay marriage.
Workers at Chick-fil-A restaurants in Jacksonville said they were very busy as a result.
The extended drive-through lines even at off-times attested to how busy the chain restaurants were.
Felecia Armstrong stood in one Chick-fil-A parking lot for hours on Wednesday morning, wearing a T-shirt that read, "Out of the closet Christian." She wanted to let other patrons know how she felt.
"If the homosexuals can come out of the closet for their cause, surely the body of Christ can come out of the closet for his godly principals and laws and commandments," said Armstrong, who supports the chain.
Chick-fil-A gained the torrent of publicity when company President Dan Cathy told a syndicated radio host last month, "I think we're inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'You know, we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God's mercy on our generation.'"
Others say they knew about the controversy, but didn't care enough to keep them from coming to the popular fast-food restaurant.
"I actually don't agree with what he said, but I'm not going to penalize Chick-fil-A for what he said," said Ashley Cook. "It doesn't hurt him, it hurts the employees, and we all need jobs."
Opponents of the company's stance on gay marriage are holding their own demonstration Friday. They're calling it "Kiss More Chiks," and they're encouraging same-sex couples to go to Chick-fil-A restaurants and kiss to demonstrate their own values.