Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chicken fans show their support

Chick-fil-A restaurants in Wilson and around the country, apparently, were swamped by loyal fans Tuesday, which was proclaimed "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." The event was initiated by Mike Huckabee, the former governor, former presidential candidate, ordained minister and TV personality. Huckabee was reacting to criticism of comments by Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy, who said in an interview with a Baptist magazine that he supported a biblical definition of marriage. The privately owned company, whose restaurants are independently owned, has contributed to groups opposing gay marriage or supporting a state ban on gay marriage. The mayors of Chicago and Boston announced that Chick-fil-A would not be allowed in their fair cities. The thousands of customers who came out Wednesday to show their appreciation of Chick-fil-A made it clear that many Americans agree with Cathy, despite all the criticism and negative press he has received.

An interesting test of gay marriage sentiment might be forthcoming in November. It has been reported that the Democratic National Convention is likely to include a gay marriage plank in the party's platform. President Obama has already endorsed gay marriage, so a platform plank will merely affirm the candidate's position. Even so, it's a risky move for the Democrats. In every state where gay marriage has been on the ballot, voters defeated a right to gay marriage.

In what promises to be a tight election, a gay marriage plank could swing enough voters to decide the election. The question for Democrats will be whether it sways more voters who are advocating for gay marriage, or will it sway more of the voters who lined up at Chick-fil-A restaurants all day Wednesday.

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