The exterior of a Chick-fil-A restaurant is seen in Silver Spring Maryland (Photo : Reuters)
Wednesday has been coined "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" in efforts to attract customers back to the chicken chain after its president spoke about his view on same-sex marriage.
The Chick-fil-A controversy started when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press that the chicken chain was "guilty as charged" for supporting the biblical definition of family.
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Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has been given the credit for creating the appreciation day. The governor has even created a Facebook page to promote the event, garnering over 635,000 people planning to participate.
"Let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating," the event on Huckabee's Facebook page reads.
Huckabee's page adds, "Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we're considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant."
Evangelist Billy Graham was reported to attend the local Chick-fil-A in North Carolina. The event has been supported by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Texas State Senator Dan Patrick, and local candidates running for office.
Gay rights groups and other has since called for boycotts and protests.
The gay and lesbian investigative organization Equality Matters obtained Chick-fil-A's 2011 tax and showed the chicken chain donating nearly $2 million to the WinShape Foundation, an anti-gay organizations in 2010, among other donations throughout the years.
A Chick-fil-A manager in New Hampshire has made the effort to ease sentiments against Cathy's company by donating sandwiches to an upcoming gay rights festival.
The manager, Anthony Piccola, told Boston.com that the food service has a tradition "to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."
Massachusetts' Burlington Mall's has reported to have seen 150 percent more customers, as locations in Atlanta were reported to be "packed" with "the line for the drive-thru looped twice around the building and out into the street, according to Fox News.
According to the Associated Press, protesters have planned a "Kiss Mor Chiks" for Friday, asking people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A locations and kiss each other.