From Associated Press:
The gatherings come two days after hundreds of thousands of customers, many of them conservative Christians, recognized "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" at more than 1,600 locations.
The company said in a statement the turnout Wednesday made for "an unprecedented day," although it says it doesn't release exact sales numbers.
"The Chick-fil-A culture and 66-year-old service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect - regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender," the statement said.
Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy stirred the controversy when he told a religious publication last month that the company was "guilty as charged" for backing "the biblical definition of a family."
On Thursday, South Florida LGBT activists announced their plans:
Pro-equality activists will gather on Friday, August 3rd, 2012 at 7pm in front of the Chick Fil A at 2250 North Federal Highway (eastside of Federal Highway just south of East Copans Road), Pompano Beach, FL 33062 to exercise freedom of speech and participate in the National Same Sex Kiss Day.
Ronni Dowd and Michael Emanuel Rajner, Wilton Manors residents, are organizing the Broward County event for the National Same Sex Kiss Day. It is an opportunity to honor our support for love, equality, and the real definition of family. Events will occur in many parts throughout the country. This event was not created as a response to Mike Huckabee’s appreciation day. National Same Sex Kiss Day was launched on July 19, several days before Huckabee’s plans for this past Wednesday’s action.
“I’m outraged by the blatant display of hate. This is not about freedom of speech. Dan Cathy has every right to say and think what he wants, just as I have every right to not spend at Chick Fil A and contribute to the company’s hateful agenda”, said Ronni Dowd, a 47 year old lesbian living in a committed relationship and a member of Women in Network (WIN). “Who we love should be irrelevant as far as what our rights are. I have issue with the fact that someone, an American, would financially contribute to causes that promote the execution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the globe. What is the difference between pulling the trigger and paying the trigger man? Murder is murder and in the Bible, it is a sin!”
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth make up 40% of our nation’s homeless youth population. Sadly, the primary reason these youth are forced to a life on the streets stems from intolerant families who reject them from the home”, said Michael Emanuel Rajner, a 41 year old social worker and community activist focusing on LGBT and HIV/AIDS issues. “The last time I opened up the wrapper of a Chick Fil A sandwich, I realized their profits continue to fuel the genocide of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world, and their vision is not far from a time when gays were among the millions of innocent human lives who perished in the holocaust.”
Broward County is home to an extremely diverse community of people and its Human Rights Ordinance provides protection against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, pregnancy and gender expression/identity.
Organizers invite anyone interested in fairness and human rights to participate in this Friday’s National Same Sex Kiss Day in Broward County. Feel free to bring a kissing partner of your choice or someone who you would like to hold hands with and stand in solidarity against hate.
According to Equality Florida:
"The company has donated nearly $5 million over the past 9 years to homophobic organizations like the Family Research Council and Exodus International, and their donations are getting larger and larger. In 2010 alone, Chick-fil-A donated over $1.9 million to anti-gay causes, more than any other year for which public records are available."- http://eqfl.org/node/1901
According to the Human Rights Campaign:
• Nearly $500,000 to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes – a group that has publicly denounced the “impure lifestyle” of LGBT people
• Nearly $13,000 to Focus on the Family – identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center
• $1.1 million to the Marriage & Family Foundation
• Thousands to groups like the Family Research Council, the Pennsylvania Family Institute, and the
Georgia Family Council – all of which loudly advocate against equality for LGBT people