Chick-fil-A restaurants draw huge crowds in same-sex marriage debatePosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- It took more than one hour for customers at several Phoenix area Chick-fil-A restaurants to get their food Wednesday.
Lines of people went out the door and wrapped around the building at the location outside Arrowhead Mall near 83rd Avenue and Bell Road in Peoria. The lines lasted into the evening and police had to direct traffic.
The drive-through at the Loop 202 and Dobson Road location was so jam-packed, restaurant employees had to run outside to help take orders.
Police also had to direct traffic in and out of the parking lot at the location near the Loop 101 and Interstate 17.
Nancy Caggiamo showed up to the Peoria Chick-fil-A to support the company's president and COO, Dan Cathy.
“We are out here to support Chick-fil-A because we feel like they are being maligned against because of their opinions,” said Caggiamo.
Cathy recently spoke out publicly against gay marriage, which sparked debate from both sides on the Internet.
In an interview, Cathy said, “"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about."
Former Republican politician and Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee called for people to support the restaurant on August 1.
Across the country, supporters showed up by the thousands. In Phoenix, they were willing to wait outside in the scorching temperatures.
“We don’t hate anybody, but we do feel as though our values are being infringed upon,” said Lee Holsclaw.
“I’m here to support Chick-fil-A in their support for one man, one woman marriage,” said Carolyn Whiteneck.
Many waiting in long lines considered the massive crowds a victory for opponents of gay marriage.
“I don’t think it’s a victory,” said Bill McDonald of Equality Arizona, an organization that supports gay marriage, “How can you have a victory against civil rights?”
For McDonald, today was about more than just Chick-fil-A.
“It's not a war over chicken. It’s a war trying to get equality for all of the citizens of this country,” said McDonald.
Gay rights groups around the nation are planning protests outside Chick-fil-A restaurants this Friday, August 3.