Chick-fil-A draws huge crowds

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 1, 2012

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Traffic was backed up on East Innes Street and people waited in line for more than an hour today as fans turned out to support Chick-fil-A.
Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day came about in response to criticism of the company president’s stance on gay marriage.
Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press recently that the company was “guilty as charged” for backing “the biblical definition of a family.”
In a later radio interview, he ratcheted up the rhetoric: “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.’ ”
Diners at the Salisbury restaurant said resulting boycotts against the restaurant amount to persecution, and they support Cathy’s willingness to speak out in support of the traditional definition of marriage.
“It’s a good thing that a company and a CEO are willing to stand up for a moral issue,” John Morgan said.
Cars in line for the drive-through wrapped around the building, and more than 100 people stood in line to get inside the restaurant at noon. The lobby was packed with customers, who were for the most part good-natured as they waited their turn to give their order to frazzled employees.
“We came with patience,” Dewey Bryan said.
“And support,” added Dot Gandy.
Marketing director Dustin Wilson stood in the parking lot, directing traffic.
“It’s been overwhelming,” he said.
Hap’s lost a sale when Vince and Annette Cerullo, who live in Mt. Gilead and planned to eat lunch at the hotdog stand in downtown Salisbury, saw an email about the event at Chick-fil-A.
They ate chicken sandwiches instead of hotdogs.
Annette Cerullo said she appreciates Cathy’s anti-gay rights stance and supports his decision to close the restaurant on Sundays.
Others said they don’t see Cathy as “anti” anything, but pro-family and pro-America.
Company officials are standing up for what they believe in, said James Dicus, not attacking or hating anyone.
Read more in Thursday’s Post.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.