Chick-fil-A's "Appreciation Day," the brainchild of former presidential candidate and television talk show host Mike Huckabee, is well underway today.
The event was conceived as a counter-protest against the criticism the Atlanta-based chain has endured during the past two weeks since president and COO Dan Cathy spoke out against gay marriage in an interview with Baptist Press.
Cathy's comments sparked numerous protests and boycotts, and inspired mayors from Chicago and Boston, as well as seven universities, to block or remove the chain from their markets.
CNN is running an iReport about today's Appreciation Day. A reader from Owensboro, Ky., said there was a 20-minute wait for a parking spot at a restaurant there.
According to another reader, a Chick-fil-A unit in Clarksville, Tenn., was "crazy packed, lines of people wrapping around with the drive thru also wrapping around. No parking spaces anywhere. I asked one of the CFA workers if it has been like this all day, and she said 'yes all day!'"
As of this morning, also according to CNN, more than 550,000 visitors to Huckabee's event page on Facebook responded that they planned to participate in the Appreciation Day.
Counterprotests also have been planned for today for supporters of same-sex marriage. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has asked supporters to donate the approximate cost of a Chick-fil-A meal – about $6.50 – to gay and lesbian rights organizations.
Additionally, GLAAD is supporting a "National Same-Sex Kiss Day" planned for Friday, Aug. 3, at Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide.
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